Dogs make our lives a whole lot better. It definitely is a good feeling to come home to an excited dog, tail wagging and eager to shower you with love, after a tough day at work. One of the most popular dog breeds today is the Anatolian Shepherd dog. It is also called Anatolian Karabash dog, Turkish Shepherd dog, and Kangal dog. Although easygoing, calm, and generally pleasant with children, one of the things you will notice about this particular breed is that it barks so much. If you are thinking of getting an Anatolian Shepherd dog, it is of the utmost importance that you get to know its characteristics and behavior before making a commitment.
The Root of the Behavior
A highly protective breed which originated as a guardian for livestock in Turkey, the Anatolian Shepherd is a very protective breed that is also very suspicious of strangers and is aggressive towards other dogs that he does not recognize. Back in the day, the Anatolian Shepherd dog was used as combat dogs. They were used to take down various kinds of game, including horses and even lions! In Turkey, they guarded livestock against predators and they were able to easily blend in with the flock because of their coat, color, and size. There are many possible reasons why your Anatolian Shepherd is barking so much. Let us examine them. If your dog has been barking for great lengths of time, you would, at the very least, be curious what is going on.
If your Anatolian has not been taught who is the boss in the house, it is very likely that he will bark excessively to get something or for attention of some sort. Unlike other types of barking, demand barking, as what the experts call it, is shorter and they are usually a few barks in quick succession. Your dog will look at you or at the thing he wants. Experts say this type of barking should be ignored or else you will only reinforce their behavior and encourage them to bark so they can get what they want.
When your Anatolian gets anxious, he can start barking excessively. This usually happens when they see a stranger or another dog approaching. As mentioned before, they are guard dogs and it is innate for them to be very suspicious of strange people or strange dogs. So, it is not unusual for them to get agitated in situations with strangers. When Anatolians get excited, they also tend to bark so much more. You will often see this excitable barking when they are doing something they really enjoy, such as chasing after small animals.
Encouraging the Behavior
Excessive barking is something which must be discouraged in your Anatolian. The last thing you want is keeping you and your family up all night and disturbing the neighbors. You would not want them to start hating you. Because of its heritage, your Anatolian Shepherd is protective and territorial in nature. He appreciates the company of his family, as well as other animals that he is raised with. However, strangers and strays will not receive any kind of welcome from him unless you socialize him. Never reward barking.
Do not make eye contact or pet your dog until he stops barking and behaves himself. You can then acknowledge or praise him once he stops with his bad behavior. If your Anatolian happens to bark when he wants something, you should find different ways to communicate with him without barking such as getting him to bang the dish when he needs water or tying a bell to the door and getting him to ring it when he wants to go outside. The help of a professional may be needed for compulsive barking because of separation anxiety. Dogs, not just Anatolians, that have this problem often need the help of drug therapy to help them learn more acceptable behaviors.
Other Solutions and Considerations
It is important to keep in mind that the Anatolian Shepherd dog is not for first-time dog owners. They need a confident leader because they are dominant and stubborn and once they know that their human is not in charge, training will be a challenge. It is important to have a consistent and strong leadership because the lack of it will result in your Anatolian taking over the whole household. Right from the start, you must let him know that you are the Alpha male and that you are the dominant person. Your commands must be obeyed, and you are calling the shots, not the other way around.
The Anatolian Shepherd dog is a joy to have in the family. Aside from being great with children, they are also very protective of their family and will not let any harm come to any of you. However, they can be very aggressive and display this behavior in various ways such as excessive barking. It is important to stop this behavior as soon as possible