Are you looking for a calm and quiet fur baby who is also an excellent guard dog? Well, look no further as we bring our today’s breed… *drum roll* the Anatolian Shepherd!!

If these dogs were humans, they would be that one friend whom you can trust with your drink in a club. And the ones that will drive you home safely. Because they will never leave you.

Do you think we are making some wild claims? Then, let us take a deep dive into the world of Anatolian shepherds and see what they have to offer.


Height27-29 inches
Weight80-150 lbs
Life span11-13 years
Exercise needs1 hour daily
TemperamentEnergetic, Social, Loyal
GroomingLow maintenance

Origin of the Anatolian Shepherd

These dogs look like they were exposed to the same gamma rays that turned Bruce Banner into Hulk. Anatolian shepherds are a rugged, intelligent, and patient breed of dogs. 

Now, these fur buddies are HISTORICAL! We mean that they were bred around a thousand years ago by the ancient people of Anatolia (a region in modern-day Turkey). Their purpose was to protect livestock and support farming work.

They are calm and steady for the most part and will not wander off out of curiosity. Let us look further into the various characteristics of these dogs and see if they are suitable for your household.

Appearance of the Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherds belong to a large breed of dogs known for their loyalty and superior looks. Their physique makes them look intimidating. 

1. Body structure

Their body is muscular, chest deep, and legs set wide apart. The front legs are set wide apart, reach smoothly with no obvious pounding, and are straight. Their neck is thick and slightly arched. The Anatolian shepherd’s tail lies high. It should be long and reaching to the hocks. When relaxed, it is carried low with the end curled upwards. 

2. Coat looks

The short or rough double coat generally has a black mask, though all color patterns and markings are equally acceptable, including pinto, white, and brindle. The coat is longer around the collar and the tail. The length will vary depending on the dog’s lineage and the season. There are two basic coat types: medium length and medium long.

3. Head structure

The head is large and robust, slightly rounded, and in good proportion with the rest of the body. The snout is often black and rectangular. The lips are black and hang down slightly; dewlap should not be excessive. The upper lip should not hang lower than the bottom jaw’s edge. (article).

Fun observation: If the Anatolian shepherd was a human, he could play the majestic veteran army officer in a Hollywood movie.

Personality and Temperament

Anatolian Shepherds are a prideful breed of dogs. And they rightfully deserve to be so. They are the best for adventurous dog lovers. But it is best if they are with owners who do not interfere in their alone time. Here’s why:

1. Protective and alert

They are very well known for their protective instincts. Anatolian Shepherds had to fight against predatory creatures such as wolves and bears in the ancient days. They will go to lengths to protect their hooman families. They are often wary of strangers, and they make amazing guard dogs.

These dogs are always on high alert and have a particularly great sense of smell and hearing. They can detect potential threats from a distance and grab their handler’s attention then and there.

2. Independent

Anatolian shepherds are masters of their own will. They were bred to work independently while guarding livestock on vast open ranges. They love to make their own decisions.

3. Loyal

This breed of dogs is extremely loyal to their handlers. They form strong bonds with their owners. And are fiercely devoted to protecting them from any danger. 

4. Calm and reserved

These dogs’ discipline and calmness are remarkable. They are not silly-billy kind. Anatolian shepherds do not play around when it comes to their roles and their families. 

5. Courageous

These dogs are renowned for their courage. They can hardly be intimidated and will confront threats boldly. Thieves and thugs beware!!

6. Adaptable

Even though these dogs were developed to guard livestock, they are great at adapting to unfamiliar lifestyles or environments. But, they do thrive in spaces where their guarding instincts are utilized.

an Anatolian Shepherd staring

Beige Flags of the Anatolian Shepherd

Some of the paw-sitive characteristics of the fur buddies can even be negative or at least not very helpful when you own one.

1. Stubborn breed

While they can make their own decisions, their overly independent nature often makes them stubborn. This further makes the training process challenging. You must take extraordinary measures to establish your place with them from a young age.

2. Prefer peace and quiet

They are not your typical playful dogs. Anatolian shepherds prefer maintaining a calm and quiet aura. If you need a happy, jumpy dog breed for yourself and your kids, these dogs are not the best option. 

3. Need early socialization

They also need to be socialized from a very young age. New people can make them uncomfortable very easily. And they can become aggressive once intimidated. 

Exercise and Training Needs

These dogs need intense workouts. Guarding livestock requires a lot of running and barking, which they were made for. 

1. Let them run around

Raising Anatolian shepherds is best when you can provide ample space for them to run around freely and securely. This keeps them engaged and keeps their guarding instincts alive. Anatolian Shepherds love going on long walks. Long walks do not just help them burn energy but also get YOU your much-needed refreshing workout after your long day at work.

2. Mental stimulation

For their mental stimulation, these dogs do well if you incorporate puzzle toys and interactive games such as treats and toy hunts. Swimming can also be an engaging physical activity to meet their daily energy needs.

3. Obedience training

Obedience training is a crucial part of keeping an Anatolian Shepherd. These pups can become stubborn if not trained young. Leash training and differentiating between real threats and non-threats will help you control behavioral issues. Positive reinforcement does wonders in such cases. 

Grooming Needs of the Anatolian Shepherd

While these dogs are fairly low maintenance, they do have their own grooming requirements:

1. Weekly brushing

The Anatolian Shepherd is a seasonal, heavy shedder. Their coat needs thorough brushing out during the twice-a-year shedding seasons. Bathe these grumpy boys only when they are too dirty or smelly. Also, take special note of ticks that might show up.

2. Coat check

Do weekly coat checkups so they are free of foreign particles or dirt. Trim their nails the moment you hear them tapping on the floor. Keep their oral health in check by frequently brushing their teeth.

3. Keep ears clean

Now, along with all of these basic steps, your pup’s ears can also get dirty. Keep their ears cleaned with a wet wipe. There should be no dirt or foreign particles in them. It can cause redness and ear infections.

Are Anatolian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, Anatolian shepherd dogs are not considered among the hypoallergenic dogs. As discussed above, Anatolian Shepherds shed heavily during shedding seasons. So, they produce a good amount of dander and loose fur. These are common allergens in hoomans. 

No matter what breed you choose, we always recommend spending some time with the breed. Look out for any allergic reactions. Allergies can vary for everyone. 


If you are a farmer or own cattle such as sheep or goats, these are some of your best choices. They are incredibly diligent in their job as protectors and guard dogs. But if you were looking for playful dogs, they will NOT serve the purpose.

Anatolian shepherds are a calm and quiet breed. They might get aggressive even if provoked to play. Early socialization helps a lot, but you, as a pet paw-rent should never cross your fur baby’s boundaries. This will help you maintain a good bond with you and your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an Anatolian Shepherd bigger than a Kangal?

 No, Kangal dogs are sometimes larger and weigh more. The Anatolian Shepherd can grow to around 30 inches and weigh anywhere from 80 to 140 lbs, while the Kangal grows up to 33 inches and weighs 90 to 145 lbs. (article)

 What is the bite force of a Kangal Anatolian Shepherd?

Anatolian shepherds are one of the dogs with strongest bit force.This breed registers a whopping 743 PSI of bite force.

 Do Anatolian shepherds like to cuddle?

Anatolian shepherds are rather introverted when it comes to spending time with their loved ones. They might want cuddles once in a while. But they prefer their alone time and independence more.

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