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Anatolian Shepherd



Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian shepherd is an ancient guardian breed with a long working history. Its roots probably lie in the Tibetan mastiff and Roman Mollosian war dogs that came to Turkey more than 4,000 years ago. Here Anatolian shepherds proved invaluable as staunch defenders of livestock against formidable predators, including wolves and bears. They accompanied the nomadic shepherds and became widespread over a large geographical region, accounting for the Anatolian's great variation in size, coat type and color.



AKC Ranking: 123

Family: livestock dog, mastiff, flock guard

Area of Origin: Turkey

Date of Origin: ancient times

Original Function: flock guard

Today's Function: flock guard, security

Avg Size of male: Height: 29 Weight: 110-150

Avg Size of Female: Height: 27 Weight: 80-120

Other Name: coban kopegi, karabash dog, kara bas, Kangal dog

 
History
The Anatolian shepherd is an ancient guardian breed with a long working history. Its roots probably lie in the Tibetan mastiff and Roman Mollosian war dogs that came to Turkey more than 4,000 years ago. Here Anatolian shepherds proved invaluable as staunch defenders of livestock against formidable predators, including wolves and bears. They accompanied the nomadic shepherds and became widespread over a large geographical region, accounting for the Anatolian's great variation in size, coat type and color. Several traits that remained constant throughout the breed, however, are loyalty, independence and hardiness. The name shepherd is a misnomer because the breed was never used as a herder. Its Turkish name, koban copek, means "shepherd's dog." The first of the breed did not come to America until the 1950s, where although it proved itself as an effective livestock guard against coyotes and other predators, it remained unknown to most dog fanciers. Only in the late 1970s and 1980s did the Anatolian shepherd begin to be more widely appreciated, still valued for its utilitarian, rather than cosmetic, attributes. Pet owners desiring a loyal and effective guardian began to acquire the breed. In 1996, the Anatolian shepherd was accepted in the AKC miscellaneous class; Anatolian fanciers are adamant about retaining the dog's working instincts above all else. Upon official recognition as a regular breed, the Anatolian shepherd will be in the working group.
 
Temperament
This is a serious dog, devoted to its family and its duty as family protector. At the same time, it is laid back-and easygoing, never on the lookout for trouble. It is suspicious of strangers and is territorial. It is good with children, but it may not be playful enough to satisfy children's desires. As a serious watchdog, it tends to bark a lot when its suspicions are aroused.
 
Upkeep
The Anatolian shepherd needs a chance to exercise every day, either with a long walk or brisk run. It can live outside in temperate to cool climates. Coat care is minimal, consisting only of a weekly brushing to remove dead hair.
 
Health
Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: entropion
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: hip, (eye)
Life span: 10 13 years
Note: sensitive to anesthesia
 

Form and Function
The Anatolian is built tough to do a tough job. It is a large, powerful, rugged dog, having both great agility and endurance. It has good bone and a large head. Its gait is powerful, smooth and fluid. Its coat consists of a thick undercoat and an outer coat that ranges from short (about 1 inch) to rough (about 4 inches), slightly longer around the neck and mane. Its expression is intelligent, and the general impression it gives is one of a bold yet calm protector.




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