Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd



The Anatolian Shepherd Dog (also known as Karabash Dog) is a breed of dog which originated in Anatolia (modern Turkey) 6000 years ago. Though its exact origins are unknown, experts believe it to be a mix of Mastiff and a Sighthound. This dog was originally designed to be a protector and livestock guard. The Anatolian Shepherd is best known for its ability to make decisions independently and to withstand harsh climatic conditions. Anatolian Shepherd Dog became a national emblem of Turkey.

Height: 27-29 inches  Weight: 80-150 pounds  Lifespan: 10-13 years


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a large, noble and powerful livestock guardian. He is capable of great speed and endurance. The head is large, but in good proportion with the rest of the body. The triangular, pendant ears are often black and rather small with rounded tips. In Turkey, the ears are often cropped very short. The small, deep-set eyes range from gold to brown in color. The neck is thick and muscular. The chest reaches to the elbows. The back is short relative to leg length. The front legs are straight and set well apart. When the dog is alert, the high-set tail is carried curled over the back; otherwise, it hangs low with a slightly upward curl reaching the hocks.


Deeply devoted and highly intelligent, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is calm, affectionate and brave. It jealously guards the peace of its family, the house, and grounds. Due to the very large size of this breed, it is not recommended to leave them alone in the house with small children. Although they are quite friendly to dogs and other domestic animals, they remain wary and suspicious of strangers and tend to bark very loudly. This dog breeds are a stubborn animal that will try to occupy a dominant position, so for this reason, it is not suited for inexperienced or apathetic people, and people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Anatolian Shepherd

Coat / Care:

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has a thick, double coat. The short or rough double coat is generally fawn with a black mask. The outer coat is smooth and the length may vary greatly depending on the season and the dog’s lineage – it is longer around the collar and tail. The color is usually light brown with a black mask. There are other colors such as brown striped, speckled or white. Shedding is seasonal and quite intense. Generally, Anatolian Shepherds are easy to groom but need special attention when shedding. Bathe your pet only if it is really necessary.

Health Problems:

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is generally healthy dog breed, but like all breeds, they can be prone to Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Demodectic Mange, Hypothyroidism, and Entropion. It also can exhibit dermatologic and musculoskeletal issues. The Anatolian Shepherd has a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years.

Weight / Height

The male Anatolian Shepherd dog breed’s height is around 28 – 29 inches and weighs around 110 and 150 pounds. Female Anatolian Shepherd dogs can reach a size from 27 – 18 inches and weighs between 80 and 120 pounds. Male dogs are generally larger than females.


Anatolian Shepherds require early socialization and obedience training. They do not respond to harsh or oppressive methods of education. The education must be based on firmness, fairness, patience, consistency and, of course, respect and love. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog requires a dominant owner since it might choose not to obey.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is intelligent and easy to train, calm, steadfast and brave, but not aggressive, is independent, very watchful, proud and self-assured. The Karabash Dog is possessive with respect to its property and will not allow anyone into the property if the owner is not there. This breed is patient and protective with children as well. The dog does not require any additional protection training, it already has very strong protective instincts. The dog will attempt to drive the danger away and will only attack as the last resort. In Turkey, the Anatolian Shepherds wear spiked collars to protect their throats in battles with predators.


The Anatolian Shepherd needs a significant physical and mental exertion. These dogs were designed for farm work in rural areas, where they have plenty of room to move, therefore, the Anatolian Shepherd is absolutely not suitable for the maintenance in a city apartment or urban townhouse.

Quick Information

Other Names:Karabash Dog, Coban Kopegi, Anatolischer Hirtenhund
Origin:Republic of Turkey
Average size: Large Size Dog Breed
Color:Fawn with a Black Mask
Energy Level:Active dog breed
Trainability:This dog is easy to train
Barking Level:Low – When Necessary
Intelligence:Good – Can learn quickly
Personality:Loyal, Independent, Reserved
AKC Dog Ranking:84th – Not Very Popular
Good family dog:Yes, Very good with socialization
Good with other dogs:Yes, good with socialization
Good with children:Yes – but socialization is essential
Good with strangers:Medium –  They are wary around strangers
Good apartment dog:Low – this is not an apartment dog

Anatolian Shepherd

Photo Credit: Matthew and Heather/Flickr; Chris vT/Flickr; JasonBechtel/Flickr

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