Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

13 July 2023

Let’s talk about… Anatolian Shepherd Dogs: what are they?

  • Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, also known as Anatolian Karabash, are a large and powerful breed originating from Turkey.
  • They were primarily bred for guarding livestock, particularly sheep, in harsh and challenging environments.
  • Although similar, The Kennel Club considers the Turkish Kangal Dog and Anatolian Shepherd Dogs as separate breeds.
  • They have a thick, weather-resistant double coat that helps protect them from the elements.
  • Anatolian Shepherds have a commanding presence and are known for their protective instincts.
  • Males typically stand at an average height of 74-81 cm, while females are slightly smaller at 71-79 cm.
  • They weigh between 40 to 65 kg on average.
  • The breed has a life expectancy of around 11-13 years.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog  Exercise Needs 4/5 Grooming Ease 3/5 Trainability 2/5

What is the temperament of Anatolian Shepherd Dogs like?

  • Anatolian Shepherd Dogs have a calm and confident temperament.
  • They are fiercely loyal and protective of their families and territory.
  • They are naturally independent and can be somewhat reserved or aloof with strangers.
  • Early socialisation and proper training are crucial to ensure they become well-adjusted and well-mannered dogs.
  • Anatolian Shepherds are known for their exceptional guarding abilities and are instinctively protective of livestock.
  • While they can be gentle and patient with children and other animals when properly socialised, they may display a strong guarding instinct and need supervision when interacting with unfamiliar individuals or pets.

How much exercise do Anatolian Shepherd Dogs need?

  • Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are a large and active breed that requires a good amount of exercise.
  • They have good stamina and enjoy daily physical activities.
  • On average, they need around 1.5 to 2 hours of exercise per day. This can include long walks, jogs, or play sessions in a secure, fenced area.
  • Anatolian Shepherds also benefit from mental stimulation through training, puzzle toys, and engaging activities that challenge their problem-solving abilities.
  • It's important to provide them with regular exercise and mental enrichment to prevent boredom-related behaviours and to keep them physically and mentally fit.
  • Anatolian Shepherd Dog puppies have different exercise needs compared to adult dogs. As large and growing puppies, they require careful management of their exercise to avoid putting excessive strain on their developing bones and joints.
  • It's important to provide them with age-appropriate activities that stimulate their minds and bodies without causing overexertion.
  • Full exercise at an adult level can typically be introduced slowly around 18 months of age, but it's best to consult with your veterinarian for specific exercise recommendations based on your pooch's individual needs.
Nala, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Do Anatolian Shepherd Dogs need a lot of grooming?

  • Anatolian Shepherd Dogs have a dense and weather-resistant double coat that requires moderate grooming.
  • They have a thick undercoat and a slightly longer outer coat that provides insulation.
  • Regular brushing with a slicker brush or a grooming rake is recommended to remove loose hair and prevent matting.
  • During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be necessary to manage the amount of hair in the house.
  • Anatolian Shepherds are a clean breed and typically do not have a strong dog odour.
  • They only require occasional bathing when necessary.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.

Are Anatolian Shepherd Dogs easy to train?

  • Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are intelligent and independent thinkers, which can make training a bit challenging.
  • They have a natural instinct to protect and guard, so proper socialisation and early training are crucial.
  • Start training your Anatolian Shepherd Dog puppy from a young age, focusing on basic obedience commands, leash manners, and positive social interactions.
  • Positive reinforcement techniques, using rewards and praise, work best with this breed.
  • Keep training sessions interesting, varied, and mentally stimulating to keep them engaged.
  • Early and ongoing socialisation with a wide range of people, animals, and environments is vital to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and well-behaved dogs.
  • Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to successful training with Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.
Rakia, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

What do Anatolian Shepherd Dogs eat?

  • Anatolian Shepherd Dog puppies have specific dietary needs to support their growth and development. It's important to provide them with a balanced and high-quality puppy food formulated for large breeds. Follow the feeding guidelines provided on the puppy food packaging, but typically, they require 3-4 meals a day until around 6 months of age. At around 6-8 months, the number of meals can be reduced to 2 meals per day.
  • As they reach their adult size and maturity, usually around 12-18 months of age, you can transition them to an adult dog food suitable for large breeds.
  • It's important to monitor their weight and adjust the portion sizes accordingly to prevent obesity. Providing fresh water at all times is essential.

Are Anatolian Shepherd Dogs healthy?

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are generally a healthy breed, but like any dog, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some of the health concerns that may affect Anatolian Shepherds include:

Bones and Joints

  • Elbow Dysplasia - this condition is where there is an issue with how the bones fit together at the elbow joint
  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis (although not as commonly seen as in some other breeds)
  • Panosteitis - a painful, inflammatory condition of the long bones of the leg


  • Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately! Although this is not as commonly seen in Anatolian Shepherds as some other large breed dogs, it is important to watch for the signs of this dangerous condition.

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if an Anatolian Shepherd Dog is right for you, consult with your vet.

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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive.  If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

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