Anatolian Shepherd

Home > Dog Breeds > Anatolian Shepherd
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.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

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.

Brushes for Anatolian Shepherd
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Anatolian Shepherd Temperament

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs must be properly socialized from puppyhood on to ensure that they do not become reclusive and aggressive towards humans. When properly socialized, the Anatolian Shepherd will become deeply bonded to their caregiver. They were bred to be protectors and that instinct is still strong in the breed. They should never be allowed off their property unleashed and a substantial fence is recommended unless they have been trained in an open range setting with a flock or herd to protect. Training is strongly recommended for the Anatolian Shepherd Dog. Obedience school and consistency in their training is a must as they can be strong-willed. Introduce other household pets slowly to an Anatolian Shepherd. Anatolian puppies can bond with other household pets, but an adult Anatolian is less likely to form a bond or even accept other household pets. If bringing in an adult Anatolian Shepherd into your home be firm, confident and consistent. They need to have a leader they can respect established quickly.

Anatolian Shepherd Activity Requirements

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Anatolian Shepherd Popularity

Popularity ranking
Popular Hybrids
Anatolian Pyrenees
Anatolian Shepherd
Great Pyrenees
Anatolian Pyrenees

Anatolian Shepherd Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Anatolian Shepherd Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 75 lbs
Height: 18 inches Weight: 57 lbs
12 Months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 102 lbs
Height: 22 inches Weight: 70 lbs
18 Months
Height: 30 inches Weight: 120 lbs
Height: 29 inches Weight: 92 lbs

Top Anatolian Shepherd Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Anatolian Shepherd breeders of 2017.
Karaboudjan Anatolians
Valley Center, California
Alaturka Anatolians
Chiefland, Florida
Mystic Anatolians
Palmerton, Pennsylvania
Marble Peaks Ranch
Etna, California
Skyview Anatolians
Maidens, Virginia
Lost Armadillo Ranch
Davis Creek, California
Carpe Diem Anatolians
Palm Beach, Florida
Chevaliers Du Roland
Miami, Florida
Gerlach Ranch Anatolians
Napa, California
Sakarya Anatolian Shepherds
Alpine, California

Anatolian Shepherd Owner Experiences

BISS GCH Eiserntor AA Mustafa At Turkay
13 when he passed away
2 People
House & Yard
Amazing dogs; usually smarter than their humans ...
1 month, 3 weeks ago
Comar Cevik (Kevlar)
7 Years
1 People
Kevvie died at age 7 due to auto-immune disease. He was excellent with children, strangers, other dogs but he could go from zero to business on the 2 occasions he thought it necessary. He was socialized extensively in order to achieve this. He was superb.
1 week, 2 days ago