An AKC recognized breed, Anatolian Shepherds are used worldwide to protect herds of animals and are valued for their intelligence, quick reactions and territorial natures. Like other large breeds such as Golden Retrievers or Great Danes, Anatolian Shepherds are also kept as pets.
Anatolian Shepherds are a breed of working dog recognized by the American Kennel Club. Since 1970, over five thousand Anatolian Shepherds have been registered in the United States by the AKC. Some Anatolian Shepherds are kept on ranches and in fields as working dogs, protecting livestock from predators and thieves. Others are kept by owners who live in residential areas and may be used as guard dogs for the home or as family pets.
Anatolians Shepherds developed in the area of Turkey and Asia Minor around 4000 to 6000 years ago. They were originally bred by shepherds to protect livestock from large predators like wolves, cheetahs and bears. Anatolian Shepherds were the 144th breed to be recognized by the AKC.
The classic coloring of an Anatolian Shepherd is fawn-colored body with a black mask at the muzzle and eyes, but they may be any color, including brown or red. The Anatolian Shepherd is a large breed, with males ranging in weight from 110 to 150 pounds and females from 80 to 120 pounds. If kept as a pet, an Anatolian Shepherd will usually live about 12 years.
All dogs are individuals. There are some personality traits commonly found among Anatolian Shepherds. They are considered intelligent, responsive and independent. Bred to defend their master and their master's flock, Anatolian Shepherds are often protective of their owners and anyone they regard as part of the family. Like most working dogs, they are energetic and need exercise.
While recognized as a dedicated and intelligent breed, an Anatolian Shepherd will not make an ideal addition to every household. Because of their territorial nature, some dogs are not welcoming of visitors or strangers and steps must be taken to keep them confined if someone new is entering the home. Their size makes them impractical for people who do not have yards or land for them to roam. Because of their high energy level, Anatolian Shepherds can become bored easily and may then become destructive.