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Anatolian Shepherd

author
Maria Garcia
• Thursday, 25 February, 2021
• 9 min read

Temperament: Loyal, Independent, Reserved AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 90 of 196 Height: 29 inches (male), 27 inches (female) Weight: 110-150 pounds (male), 80-120 pounds (female) Life Expectancy: 11-13 years Group: Working Group Large, rugged, powerful and impressive, possessing great endurance and agility.

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(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

Contents

Developed through a set of very demanding circumstances for a purely utilitarian purpose; he is a working guard dog without equal, with a unique ability to protect livestock. He possesses size, good bone, a well-muscled torso with a strong head.

Eyes are medium size, set apart, almond shaped and dark brown to light amber. Eye rims will be black or brown and without sag or looseness of haw.

There is a slight centerline furrow, fore and aft, from apparent stop to moderate accept. Neck slightly arched, powerful, and muscular, moderate with more skin and fur than elsewhere on the body, forming a protective ruff.

Back will be powerful, muscular, and level, with drop behind withers and gradual arch over loin, sloping slightly downward at the croup. When relaxed, it is carried low with the end curled upwards.

When alert, the tail is carried high, making a “wheel.” Both low and wheel carriage are acceptable, when gaining. Shoulders should be muscular and well-developed, blades long, broad and sloping.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

Feathering may occur on the ear fringes, legs, breaching, and tail. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog stands between 27 and 29 inches at the shoulder and can weigh as much as 150 pounds.

Profusely muscled but nimble afoot, Anatolian's are more than a match for the predators and harsh terrain of their homeland. This lends the breed a sense of timelessness, a no-frills, untouched quality that takes us back 6,000 years to the Bronze Age.

Anatolian owners must be strong leaders, willing and able to handle a dog as dominating and demanding as he is calm and loving. We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.

Bred to work outdoors, the Anatolian has a thick undercoat that protects him from the elements. Some Anatolian's have a long outer coat, but on most it is quite short, and a quick brushing once a week will keep it looking good.

Because the breed tends to be wary toward others and instinctively protective, an Anatolian puppy must be socialized. The Anatolian was bred to work independently, make decisions on his own, and protect his flock from outsiders, and training the breed to respond to commands can be a challenge.

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(Source: www.mascotarios.org)

Hip dysplasia is not common in Anatolian's, nor is bloat, a life-threatening twisting and inversion of the stomach. The breed can be sensitive to anesthesia, and owners should ensure that their vet is aware of this before any procedures.

Good breeders will screen for entropic, in which the eyelids invert, which can be surgically corrected. An Anatolian ’s ears should be checked regularly for any signs of infection, and the dog’s teeth should be brushed frequently.

Anatolia, or Asia Minor, is the peninsula that constitutes the Asian portion of Turkey. It was at this crossroads of early civilization that sheep and goat herders developed a livestock guardian known as the Cuban Kopeck (“ shepherd ’s dog”), forerunner of today’s Anatolian Shepherd.

The central region of Anatolia is a high plateau of endless plains and rolling hills. Summers are dry and brutally hot, and the winters are snowy, with sub-zero temperatures.

In this harsh, unforgiving crucible the Anatolian Shepherd forged his longstanding reputation as the flock guardian supreme. Ancient artifacts going back to the days of the Babylonian Empire document the breed’s ancestors.

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(Source: www.dogalize.com)

Assyrian bas-relief carvings housed in the British Museum, dating to 2000 b.c., depict large dogs of recognizable Anatolian Shepherd type. The earliest books of the Bible refer to shepherds whose dogs were most likely some local variation of the Anatolian.

The breed’s history in America begins in the years immediately preceding World War II, when the Department of Agriculture imported a breeding pair from Turkey to participate in the top-secret “Sheepdog Project.” The program’s objective was to determine which breeds would be best suited for work on American sheep pastures. With the outbreak of war, the project was disbanded and the Anatolian's and their offspring were dispersed.

American ranchers began importing Anatolian's in the postwar 1950s, but the breed really took hold in this country in the 1970s. The credit for firmly establishing the breed in America goes to Lieutenant Robert Ballard, U.S. Navy, who acquired a pair of Anatolian's while stationed in Turkey.

He brought them home to America and bred his first littler in 1970, providing foundation stock for U.S. breeders. This new breeding activity coincided with the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The new law required that ranchers control the population of predatory wolves without killing them. Anatolian Shepherds, who would rather intimidate predators than fight them, were perfectly suited for the job.

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(Source: www.petful.com)

Many Anatolian Shepherds are still working ranch dogs today, protecting everything from sheep and goats to ostriches and llamas. Namibia's Cheetah Conservation Fund started a program to encourage ranchers to use Anatolian Shepherd Dogs to protect their flocks, reducing the need to kill cheetahs.

Though protective, the Anatolian Shepherd is calm, friendly, and affectionate with his immediate family. Large, rugged, powerful and impressive, possessing great endurance and agility.

Developed through a set of very demanding circumstances for a purely utilitarian purpose; he is a working guard dog without equal, with a unique ability to protect livestock. He possesses size, good bone, a well-muscled torso with a strong head.

Eyes are medium size, set apart, almond shaped and dark brown to light amber. Eye rims will be black or brown and without sag or looseness of haw.

There is a slight centerline furrow, fore and aft, from apparent stop to moderate accept. Neck slightly arched, powerful, and muscular, moderate with more skin and fur than elsewhere on the body, forming a protective ruff.

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(Source: www.akc.org)

Back will be powerful, muscular, and level, with drop behind withers and gradual arch over loin, sloping slightly downward at the croup. When alert, the tail is carried high, making a “wheel.” Both low and wheel carriage are acceptable, when gaining.

Shoulders should be muscular and well-developed, blades long, broad and sloping. Feathering may occur on the ear fringes, legs, breaching, and tail.

The Anatolian Shepherd can also make a loyal and gentle family dog. There is evidence of large dog breeds recognizable as Anatolian Shepherds present within ancient Assyrian bas-relief carvings.

The breed made its debut in the United States directly after the end of World War II. There it was involved in a project to measure various breed’s suitability to work on American sheep pastures.

Helping ranchers needing to control the population of endangered local wolves. Their ability to intimidate potential predators rather than fight them was perfect for the job.

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(Source: thehappypuppysite.com)

As the Anatolian Shepherd is so big and powerful, obedience training from a young age is a must. This breed is known for its large muscular body that it uses to excel in both power and agility.

They sport medium-sized ears set high up in the skull that droop to the sides of the face. They have a long tail that is curled when relaxed and held high when alert.

Bred to be a very effective guardian of flocks, the Anatolian Shepherd is a very territorial and protective breed. With close members of the family, the Anatolian Shepherd can be known as a gentle giant.

If they have been trained correctly, they will show kindness and loyalty to those it holds dear. Their nails will need to be trimmed regularly, as they can become uncomfortable and painful if left to grow too long.

Regular teeth brushing being the best thing you can do to ensure a healthy mouth for your dog. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make them immune from potentially severe health issues.

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(Source: www.petguide.com)

These are developmental disorders where the joints do not form correctly as the puppy grows, leading to painful arthritis at even a young age. This quickly causes tissue death, which then releases toxins into the blood that can prove to be life-threatening.

Dogs experiencing symptoms must be rushed to a vet as soon as possible, as the condition can be fatal in just a few hours. However, with regular checks and good hygiene, these infections can either be caught early or prevented.

It causes major irritation to the eye, which can lead to painful conditions such as Corneal Ulcers. To have your best shot at a healthy Anatolian Shepherd dog puppy is through health testing.

Both parents should have excellent hip and elbow scores, and a recent clear eye test. A fair amount of exercise will be necessary to keep them happy and stop undesirable traits from forming.

This is due to the dog being bred specifically to work independently, and to make their own decisions. The Anatolian Shepherd is incredibly loyal to their family, and will likely treat them as members of the flock they like to protect.

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As the Anatolian Shepherd is a huge, muscular dog it can be very easy for them to accidentally knock over a toddler or scare a child. Anatolian Shepherds will also usually treat other animals within the home as part of the flock.

Before purchasing a puppy, there are multiple precautions you must take to ensure you receive a healthy and happy dog. There are multiple ways to find an Anatolian Shepherd breeder, such as online or through local newspapers.

Check that they are able to move without pain or lameness and their eyes and ears are healthy. However, due to their large and powerful stature coupled with their independent nature, it is not a breed for first-time owners.

Potential owners must be able to put the time and money into training them correctly. An Anatolian Shepherd life expectancy can reach up to 11-13 years, so families must be prepared for the long haul.

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Sources
1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botfly
2 www.thoughtco.com - https://www.thoughtco.com/botfly-facts-4173752
3 allthatsinteresting.com - https://allthatsinteresting.com/botfly-larvae