Anatolian Shepherd

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80-120 lbs
Blackhead Karabaş, Anatolian Blackhead, Anadolulu Karabaş, Kangal, Coban Kopegi

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is not a herding dog; it is a livestock guardian dog and protects livestock from predators. It originated in Turkey and is speculated to date back to 2000 BC; these dogs were depicted on bas-reliefs on display in the Assyrian Rooms of the British Museum located in London. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is also speculated to be depicted in the Bible in the Book of Job. The Book of Job references these dogs with the flocks and was set in the region of Turkey. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is not necessarily recommended as a family companion, especially families with young children. These dogs are independent and dominant. They can be affectionate; however, they do not typically see children as pack leaders and will not respect them.

livestock guardian dog
Date of Origin
1800 BC

Anatolian Shepherd Health

Average Size
Height: 29-32 inches Weight: 110-140 lbs
Height: 28-31 inches Weight: 80-120 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Tongue Tie
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Dental Disease
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Occasional Tests
  • Heart
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Dental Examination

Anatolian Shepherd Breed History

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was named after the region where they were said to have originated, Anatolia in central Turkey. The exact date of origin is unknown but many believe that these majestic dogs date back to 2000 B.C. and are described in the Book of Job in the Bible. The Book of Job was set in the region that is Turkey. The Anatolian Shepherd, despite his name, is not a herding dog. He is a working dog who takes his job as a livestock guardian dog seriously.

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs were first brought to the United States in the 1930s but did not become commonly known until the 1970s. When the Endangered Species Act was initiated, the Anatolian Shepherd was used as a way to control predators without actually killing them. The Anatolian Shepherd prefers not to fight predators but does have a fearlessness that allows them to face down a predator of any size and come away the victor. Now, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are seen across the globe protecting livestock from predators and providing a sense of peace for farmers and ranchers. 

Anatolian Shepherds are not necessarily the best choice for a family companion, especially for families with small children. These dogs can be stubborn and have a very high protection instinct. They do require a lot of socialization from puppyhood until they are trained to guard a flock. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1999 and are becoming more popular in the United States. They are ranked 109th among the breeds that are registered with the American Kennel Club.

Anatolian Shepherd Breed Appearance

Many people compare the Anatolian Shepherd Dog to the Kuvasz and the Great Pyrenees; however, the Anatolian is more slender and much more agile. Their head is proportional to their body and their muzzle is most of the time black. Their lips are also black and will hang down slightly. Their ears are to hang down in a triangular pattern with a rounded tip. Their ears are most often black. The Anatolian Shepherd’s tail is set high and when it is relaxed will be carried low with a curl in the end that goes upward. When alert, their tail will be carried high and will resemble a wheel. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s coat is short and rough. It is a double coat and will shed in the spring and summer months. Their coat is longer around their collar or neck region and the tail. The coat length will vary on the season and the dog’s bloodline. The Anatolian Shepherd has two basic coat types: medium long and medium.

Anatolian Shepherd Breed Maintenance

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog will shed heavily twice a year and will require daily brushing during these times. Weekly brushing when they are not shedding is acceptable. Baths are rarely needed even though they mainly work with livestock. Brushing them generally helps remove any odor from their coats. Most owners who surrender their Anatolian Shepherd Dog to a dog pound or rescue group do so because the maintenance is more than they were expecting. Even though the Anatolian Shepherd has a shorter coat, it is a double coat and does require at least weekly attention to keep the shedding and matting to a minimum. Ears should be kept clean and dry to keep any infections from developing. Nails should be regularly trimmed, about once every two weeks. Teeth should be checked weekly and brushed often to prevent dental disease. Regular parasite checks are also necessary to ensure that your dog is parasite free.

Anatolian Shepherd Breed Activity Requirements