A giant, powerfully built Mastiff-type dog, the male Karabash dog breed is 74-81cm tall when fully grown and the female is 71-79cm. Adult dogs weigh 50-64kg and females 41-59kg. The short, dense coat can be any colour, with or without a distinctive black mask and ears, and is often fawn or dark fawn, sometimes with white.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog, also known as the Karabash, is an ancient breed descended from the Mastiff and flock-guarding dogs of the Middle East. Tall, athletic and powerful, they protected their wards against such fierce predators as bears and wolves. Now they are used for guarding flocks of sheep and goats in Turkey, where they are regarded as a national emblem and are called 'Coban Kopegi' (translated as 'Shepherd's Dog').
This breed's working history is still present today – he is naturally territorial, independent and highly intelligent. Because of the strong guarding instinct, early and ongoing socialisation and patient training is essential. Do ensure your garden is escape-proof with high, possibly double, fencing. Be sure to keep him occupied, as he may become destructive or problematic if bored.
The Anatolian dog breed is generally a very hardy breed, but as with many breeds they can occasionally suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
For his size, he doesn't need vast amounts of exercise; two one-hour walks a day should keep him happy. He enjoys walking – his working ancestors would have roamed many, many miles with nomadic shepherds.
Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Anatolian Shepherd dog breed is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.
The coat offered protection to the Turkish flock guards in the coldest of winters and hottest of summers. Short and dense with a thick undercoat, it needs a brush-through one or two times a week and will shed heavily during the moulting seasons.