Don't be mislead by the name "Anatolian Shepherd Dog." The Anatolian is not a herding dog, but
rather a livestock protection or guardian dog. These dogs have a history that appears to go back thousands of
years to ancient areas in and around Turkey. They were selectively bred by nomadic herders to independently
guard their livestock.
Characteristics of Today's Anatolian
As a result, the Anatolian of today demonstrates the ability to withstand
harsh climates with both extreme hot or cold conditions. They are independent yet loyal to their family unit
which may include both human and livestock members.
They demonstrate both speed and size; the speed necessary to confront
threats and the size to take on large predators like coyotes, bears, wolves and mountain lions. Having said
that, it must be pointed out that the Anatolian seldom needs to resort to fighting predators off.
From our observations at Shear Perfection Ranch, the Anatolians establish a
protective area toward the center of the property with an outer defensive sector surrounding it. They pick a
vantage point from which they can see the entire property. Their defense posturing is slowly progressive. The
initial barking is a mild yet confident warning to observed predators or intruders that there are better places
for them to be. If that warning is not sufficient, the next is a more rapid, agressive alarm bark which serves a
dual purpose. It tells the intruder that the Anatolians mean business and it tells the sheep to retreat to the
central protective zone. If there is more than one Anatolian on duty, one dog generally takes command of the
outer perimeter while the other is stationed just outside the central protective area with the livestock. Actual
confrontations with intruders occur rarely and only after warnings go unheeded.
Anatolians Not for Everyone
If you tend to spoil your dogs and let them run the show, then Anatolians
are not for you. Anatolian owners must establish their position as pack leader, otherwise you will not be able
to socialize your Anatolian to be obedient in unfamilar surroundings and around unfamiliar people. If you are
unfamiliar with the techniques of establishing pack leadership we recommend introducing yourself to
The Dog Whisperer and Leader of
Males average 29-32 inches tall and 100-145 pounds.
Females average 27-31 inches tall and 88-120 pounds.