The Anatolian Shepherd is an ancient breed of livestock guardian that was developed in the area currently occupied by the country of Turkey, some six thousand years ago. They are large, imposing animals with an extremely protective and loyal nature and a fierce and independent mind. Because these dogs are very large, some higher impact activities, such as agility training or lure coursing, may not be recommended as they could cause injury to the joints, particularly for dogs that are still growing.
A childhood favorite for many of us, hide and seek is an easy game to modify for your canine companion’s abilities and a great way to provide mental stimulation as well as increase the bond between you and your dog. Hide and seek is a great game for larger dogs as it is a low impact game that can be played at any age, a plus for large canines that tend to mature more slowly than other dogs. This game may also appeal to your Anatolian Shepherd’s nature as a livestock guardian and their desire to keep tabs on their flock and their family.
Some breeds of dogs enjoy the activity of swimming to the extreme and are quite eager to jump in just about any body of water, and there are a few breeds that are not well-built for swimming or for getting wet, such as the English Bulldog breed, some American Pit Bull Terriers, and many northern dogs such as Malamutes and Huskies abhor getting wet due to their extremely thick coats and undercoats. Anatolian Shepherds tend to fall somewhere in between the two when it comes to their enthusiasm. Swimming is a particularly good activity for large dogs like the Anatolian Shepherd as it can provide an additional way to build muscle and improve overall cardiovascular health, but without providing additional stress to the skeletal system and joints.
Shepherds are large, powerful dogs that are employed to guard livestock against
predators such as tigers, bears, and cheetahs, and may capable of causing a
great deal of damage without really meaning to. Playing games that encourage careful
behavior towards people will help your dog to understand their limits. Anatolian
Shepherds have rather large appetites, but
it is also important that they not bolt their food in order to avoid developing
the life-threatening condition known as
bloat. This activity does double duty for your dog by both breaking up their meal
into multiple portions, preventing your dog from eating too fast, as well as teaching
your dog both patience and gentleness. While this games can be played with dogs
of any age, it is most effective when introduced while your dog is still quite
While agility sports may be difficult on the joints of this large dog, rally sports are based on the same principles of obedience and communication but without the physical strain or agility based obstacles.
These dogs have a longer lifespan than the average dog of their size and are likely to develop a few aches and pains over the years. Practicing disciplines like canine massage on your pooch could help ease those aches and pains naturally.
There are many beneficial activities that you can do with your Anatolian Shepherd breed dog, including activities that work the canine’s physical body as well as ones that work the mind and enhance problem-solving skills. It is important to ensure that this breed of dog is kept occupied as boredom often leads to severely destructive chewing when it comes to Anatolian Shepherds.