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Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd is a powerfully built mastiff type with a short, dense coat and a broad heavy head. The coat is designed to protect against extreme weather conditions, and comes in any colour, with or without a distinctive black mask.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Giant dog
  • Heavy drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
Weight: 50 – 64kg for males, and 41 – 59kg for females
Height: 74 – 81cm for males, and 71 – 79cm for females
Colours: Comes in a variety of colours, and may or may not have a distinctive black mask
Size: Large
Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral


Family-friendly: 3/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 2/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5


With family members and other people well known to them, the Anatolian Shepherd is loyal and friendly. However this breed retains their working nature, suspicious of strangers and very fast to react to any perceived threat. As a flock guardian breed, the Anatolian is an independent thinker, relied upon to make decisions by themselves rather than at the cue of a shepherd. In the pet home, this can mean they are not easy to live with and require a great degree of careful management.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Turkey

The Anatolian Shepherd is an ancient breed descended from mastiff types and flock guardian breeds of the Middle East. Giant in size and athletic, this powerful dog was bred to protect flocks of sheep and goats from predatory bears and wolves and of course, human thieves.

They are the original livestock guardian dogs of Turkey and are still seen working with the nomads who move to find food and other resources, a process called ‘transhumance’ which is responsible for the spread of both human and canine genetics across some parts of the world. 

Health and Common Concerns

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Anatolian Shepherd Dogs

Training Anatolian Shepherd Dogs

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

The Anatolian Shepherd dog has never been known by that name in its native Turkey. There they are called the Kangal, Karabash (black face) and Akbash (white face), depending on colour and which area of Turkey they are from. Each area of Turkey has its own favourite and the arguments regarding which is best can get heated!

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