The Anatolian Shepherd is a large dog, standing between 26 inches and 30 inches. There is a height difference between the sexes. This is a powerful dog. The Anatolian Shepherd head is in balance with the body, it has a rounded head, with a rectangular shape to the muzzle. The muzzle is normally black. Their lips are black and the top lip should not over hang the bottom jaw. They can have a scissor or level bite. Naturally, they have pendent ears that hang down. These are mostly black, these should be set no higher than the head plane. Some country's, like their native home Turkey, crop the ears short. Their eyes are almond in shape and have black eye rims, except for the liver colour who's eye rims are brown. Their head is set on a thick neck that is in proportion to their body. It is slightly arched and powerful. They have a chest that is deep and reaches to their elbow. Legs are smooth and straight, set well apart, but in proportion to the dog's body. The Anatolian Shepherd tail is high, it is long, and it curls upwards, and when alert their tail curls up and over their back. For showing it is desirable to have a tail that is "wheel" carriage, this means that the tail will not un-curl totally. They have a short coat that is double, the colours can range mostly in the fawn, with a black mask, but you can have brindle, white and pinto. We see two coat lengths medium and medium long, which can vary with the seasons. The Anatolian Shepherd dog has really good hearing and sight. It can be very fast. They tend to be barkers at night.
History: The Anatolian Shepherd dog comes from Turkey which is in the area known as Anatolia, which used to be known as Asia Minor. This dog has been, for centuries, a shepherd dog protecting the flock. Before that they were used in battle and for hunting. They were seen as a great prize in victory. This dog can fight wolves and the Turkish people who owned this dog would put on spiked dog collars to help the dog in a fight with a wolf, this gave the dog some neck protection from the wolf or even sometimes a bear, which may attack their flock. They live outside all year with vast changes of temperature and weather. This dog comes from the region of Sivas- Kangal. There is some debate around what is a true Kangal but due to the isolation of the area this is felt to be the pure Kangal. In Turkey the Kangal is the National Dog and is seen as a great treasure. The Anatolian Shepherd dog is very hard or impossible to get from Turkey. These dogs are still a working dog and good companions for the Sheppard.
Temperament: While these dogs are shepherding dogs, they are not herding dogs. Their role is of night watching and guarding. The Anatolian Shepherd tend to be noisy at night as they patrol, to ward of predators. They have good hearing and good eye sight, are bright and intelligent. They have a built in protective instinct that cannot be stopped. They need great leadership from their humans and not a dog for the first time ownership. Human leadership is a must for this dog. This dog, if not getting good leadership, will get to think his own way, and will choose to answer a command or not as the case may be. While saying this he is sensitive to being told off and loves to have affection heaped on. The Anatolian Shepherd dog is wonderful with children; they seem to know that a child is safe. In Turkey these dogs live in villages and in the day when they are not working play and sleep around the village seeking affection from the children, they can be very protective of their young wards. While being big this is a gentle dog around the family. The only thing to note is that due to the size of the dog, they may knock the young child over. The Anatolian Shepherd get on well with other animals if introduced. They can bedominant to other dogs so it is best to socialize them while they are very young. Due to their nature, this dog will patrol his territory at night, keeping close watch of their flock or family. If they see or feel that their flock is in danger the fist thing they do is stand in front of the flock to guard them and bark a loud deep bark. If the foreseen danger is not scared away this dog then attacks, this is the last thing the dog chooses to do. This breed needs a lot of socializing while young to allow them to understand what you want and to help with their natural guarding instincts.
Health issues: The Anatolian Shepherd breed has a slower immune system than many other breeds, talk to the veterinarian about extra injections it may need. They are sensitive to anaesthesia. Hip dysplasia can occur in this breed. They are prone to hypothyroidism or eyelid entropion.
Grooming: You do not need to do much in the way of grooming with the Anatolian Shepherd, but you will need to do vigorous grooming, twice a year when they are shedding. Shedding is very heavy.
Living conditions: The Anatolian Shepherd is not an apartment dog. They need a large garden that is well fenced as they are very suspicious of any strangers. Some thought has to go into how a stranger or visitor new to the house can enter without the dog scaring them too much. This dog likes and needs to run free so a large garden is needed along with long daily walks.
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