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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care & Facts

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care & Facts

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The Anatolian Shepherd is a giant dog breed that is rugged and ancient. It usually stands more than 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs close to 150 pounds. It’s well suited for the harsh terrain, and its muscular body allows it to carry out many tasks, including pulling carts.

Breed Overview


27 – 30 inches


90 – 150 pounds


13 – 15 years


Biscuit, blue, brindle, fawn

Suitable for

Large homes, fenced-in yards, families


Bold, confident, independent, intelligent

Some experts believe it’s been around since the bronze age, more than 6,000 years ago. It’s described as intelligent, devoted, and protective. It has a large head with a slightly shortened muzzle, floppy ears, and a curly tail. Its thick double coat allows it to withstand extremely cold temperatures, but it will shed quite a bit.

Anatolian Shepherd Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Anatolian Shepherd Puppies

Anatolian shepherd puppy in the grass
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

When you find a breeder for your Anatolian Shepherd, make sure they have ethical practices and take good care of the puppies. A good breeder may run several genetic tests to ensure a healthy puppy, which can increase the cost significantly. Good breeders may also have a waiting list that prevents you from getting the dog immediately.

After you have your Anatolian Shepherd puppy with you, you will need to get vaccination shots, have the dog spayed or neutered, and purchase flea and tick medication. You will also need to regularly purchase dog food, treats, and toys.

Anatolian Shepherds are large dogs so they will require plenty of space to burn the energy they have. Anatolian Shepherd dogs are very intelligent but can be quite stubborn. Inexperienced dog owners may have a hard time training their Anatolian Shepherd. Early socialization is also very important for these dogs to avoid them turning aggressive when older.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is an extremely intelligent dog that naturally works independently with very little instruction. It picks up new tricks quickly and can perform a wide variety of tasks. It’s a calm breed that rarely gets aggressive and enjoys playing with children and other pets. It’s highly protective of its family members and makes a great watchdog, but it isn’t overly barky. However, it is very independent and can be stubborn on occasion.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Anatolian can make a great family pet for an experienced owner. It’s attentive and wary of strangers, so it will make a fantastic watchdog. It also enjoys playing with children, and many owners describe it as a gentle giant. However, since it is so protective, it can become aggressive toward strangers if not properly socialized as a puppy. Early socialization and an owner who knows how to control large dogs are critical to keeping one of these dogs a pet.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Anatolian Shepherds are territorial dogs that may not do well around other pets. Early socialization can help them see the other pets as part of their flock, but they will still bark at other passing dogs and animals and may even attack them if not properly trained. An experienced owner will have better luck getting pets to cohabitate.

Image By: CharlitoCZ, Shutterstock


Things to Know When Owning an Anatolian Shepherd:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Despite their extremely large size, Anatolian Shepherds require the same basic diet as any other dog breed. Choose a dry kibble to help keep your pet’s teeth clean as it chews and look for brands that have real meat listed as the first ingredients. Chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, salmon, and other meats will provide your pet with plenty of high-quality protein it needs for energy and muscle. Foods that contain omega fats can be beneficial to large dogs like the Anatolian Shepherd because it reduces swelling in the joints that often plagues the bigger breeds. Omega fats will also produce a shinier coat and can help prevent the skin from becoming dry.

Exercise 🐕

The Anatolian Shepherd will only require a moderate amount of exercise. We recommend setting 30 minutes a day aside to take your pet for a walk and allow it to spend a while in the yard each day. It likes to go on long hikes in the woods where it can impress you with its nimbleness over rough terrain, but it may become aggressive if there are other animals nearby, so it is important to keep your dog on a leash at all times.

anatolianshepherd dog in the grass
Image By: FOTMA, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

Your Anatolian Shepherd is smart enough to learn new tricks, but many inexperienced owners struggle with the dog’s stubbornness. We recommend setting aside 5-10 minutes each day to train. Keep the sessions short, but be consistent, and don’t miss any days. Holding your sessions right after a long walk is a great choice because your dog will burn off much of its energy and might be more open to listening and learning. Get some of your dog’s favorite treats and motion what you want it to do while you repeat the command. If your dog does what you want, give it a treat and try again. If it doesn’t, be patient and keep trying, your dog will come around.

Grooming ✂️

The Anatolian Shepherd has a thick double coat that will shed quite a bit twice a year in the spring and fall. You will need to brush the coat daily to remove the hair as it falls out during this time. The rest of the year, you should be able to get away with brushing the coat about once a week. If you get started early, your dog will get used to you manually brushing its teeth with a pet-safe toothpaste. Manual brushing can help slow the spread of dental disease, which is common in many dogs. You will also need to trim your dog’s nails if you hear them clicking on the floor.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Dental Issues
  • Ear Infections
Serious Conditions
  • Obesity

Serious Conditions:

  • Obesity: Is a growing problem in American dogs, and many experts suggest that as much as 40% over the age of 5 are obese. It increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and many other health problems. It can speed the progression of many others, including hip dysplasia and arthritis. Obesity is entirely preventable by ensuring your pet gets the required activity each day and following the feeding instructions on the dog food.

Minor Conditions:

  • Dental Issues: Another problem that affects a lot of dogs, including the Anatolian Shepherd, is dental disease. Some experts suggest that over 80% of dogs more than 3 years old have some form of dental disease. Manually brushing the teeth with a pet-safe toothpaste and frequent checkups can help slow the progression of dental disease.
  • Ear Infections: Many dog breeds with floppy ears like the Anatolian Shepherd are susceptible to ear infections. Moisture and dirt can get trapped in the ear and allow bacteria to grow. Symptoms of infection include scratching, shaking the head, and a bad odor. Medication can usually clear it up, but staying vigilant about cleaning and drying the ears can help reduce the risk they will occur.

Male vs Female

The female Anatolian Shepherd is better around children because they are not as dominant. However, they are more aggressive toward strangers around the home. Males are more relaxed at home and easier to train. Both sexes are about the same size and weight.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Anatolian Shepherd

1. An Anatolian Shepherd Named Kurt Stands 40 Inches Tall And Is Currently Running For Britain’s Largest Dog

2. Anatolian Shepherds Help To Conserve Cheetahs By Scaring Them Away From Flocks Of Sheep Instead Of Having Them Shot

3. Anatolian Shepherds Are Sensitive To Anesthesia—Important to Know for Vet Care

anatolian shepherd dog
Image By: CharlitoCZ, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

The Anatolian Shepherd is a great companion for someone with experience raising large, stubborn dogs. It’s loyal and will fiercely protect your family. However, this Shepherd dog’s large size and stubborn temperament can be challenging to someone with less experience. We hope you enjoyed reading over our look into this massive dog, and it has answered any questions you had. If we have convinced you to give one a try in your home, please share our review of the Anatolian Shepherd on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more about other popular dog breeds:

Featured Image Credit: FOTMA, Shutterstock

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