Anatolian Shepherd Dog
I popped over to the AKC site and the Anatolian Shepherd Dog was featured. This intrigues me, since I don’t think I’ve ever met an Anatolian Shepherd, but I do see them frequently listed in the local Craigslist ads around Tulsa. I wanted to know more, which means that y’all get to learn more. 🙂
The probable reason Anatolian Shepherds are seen in local ads is because they’re:
- A working dog – Oklahoma is fairly sparsely populated, with plenty of farm land, so we see a lot of working dogs on farms
- The Anatolian Shepherd is a short haired working dog, probably making it more desirable than a Great Pyrenees here where the summer temps climb above 100 for a month
- Anatolian Shepherds are known to be loyal and independent, two traits that seem to be hallmarks of Oklahomans in general
Here’s what the AKC has to say about the Anatolian Shepherd:
Large, rugged and powerful, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a working guard dog, possessing a superior ability to protect livestock. While not a “glamour” breed, the Anatolian’s loyalty, independence and hardiness is cherished by breeders and owners. The breed’s coat can be short (one inch) or rough (approximately four inches), with all color patterns and markings, including fawn and brindle, equally acceptable.
So this is a farm dog. A smart farm dog. According to Wikipedia, the dog is fast, able to race a predator and save the flock. The Anatolian also has amazing hearing, meaning coyotes aren’t likely to sneak up on sheep in the middle of the night. The coat is actually pretty thick, especially around the throat, for protection, but they’re bred to endure hot, dry summers, which is why they make sense in Oklahoma, as well as cold winters.
Anatolian Shepherds are large dogs, between 90 and 150 pounds, mostly muscle. I’m reading that this is a very independent breed, bred to work alone, which is great for a large flock of anything. Dog Breed Info compares this breed to the Kuvasz (Emma’s sister), as well as the Great Pyrenees (Clowie). The comparison is, in part, because the Anatolian is not a herding dog, like a Blue Heeler or Australian Shepherd, but is a guardian of the flock, fighting predators.
Breed Pros and Cons
Let’s look at the pros and cons of owning an Anatolian Shepherd, in case you’re looking at the breed for yourself.
- If you’re a farmer and need a trustworthy dog to guard the flock while you sleep, this is the perfect dog
- Relatively few health problems, especially for a large dog
- Requires very little grooming most of the year
- Fairly long life span for a large dog – 12 to 15 years
- The Anatolian Shepherd is not the ideal family dog – uber protective, stubborn, needing plenty of roaming space and time, and prone to knocking over small children
- Independent – the Anatolian needs a firm owner and intensive training from a VERY young age, and ongoing
- Space – this is not an apartment dog – definitely needing a large, secure space, preferably a farm yard
- Protective – the Anatolian will protect either its family or its flock from perceived predators, including from other friends and family – plenty of work necessary to incorporate new people into its flock
I encourage you to pop over to Dog Breed Info and read more about how this handsome dog operates. They’re fascinating. And they’re DEFINITELY a working dog, meant to be in a field protecting farm critters.
I always like to imagine what the breed of the week will like in the way of a Jones Natural Chew. Pretty sure the Anatolian Shepherd would love any of Jones Mammoth Bones, as well as a good Pizzle, or Bully Stick. I imagine they’d also like a Hoof and Pumpers. OM NOM NOM.
To sum up – probably not a good idea to get an Anatolian Shepherd unless you’re a) a farmer who needs a good working dog; or b) a dog trainer with extensive experience with stubborn working large dogs and have plenty of space and time to work with the dog.
Spreading the good chews …
PS Today’s post is gently recycled. I’ve since met several Anatolian mix dogs, and they’ve all been lovely creatures. They’ve also all been farm dogs, just doing their job. They’ve also all LOVED Jones Natural Chews. Naturally.