Description and Requirements-
We would love to place an Anatolian Shepherd Dog with you but want you to make a fully informed decision about this wonderful breed. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are native to Turkey. It is thought that they have been in Turkey for 3,000 years as a livestock guardian. There are about 4,500 registered Anatolian Shepherd Dogs in the USA. ASD's come in various coat lengths and a variety of colors.
They are between 29" and 36" tall at the shoulder and weigh from 90 to 160 pounds. The bitches are smaller then the dogs, averaging 30" and 100 pounds. Anatolians are fierce, loyal and independent guardians of their "family", be it livestock and/or people. They are usually very reserved with new people and need a formal introduction to strangers. If their low warning rumble is not heeded they can become very assertive.
This breed is not for everyone! If not kept in a large range-guarding environment they need the following:
1. An excellent fence, at least 5-6 ft. with a secure gate.
2. Intense socialization especially if they will be expected to greet new people or other dogs.
3. Obedience training and a strong ALPHA personality in charge of them.
They take a lot of time and energy to train.
4. Supervision when with small children. Their size alone may cause them to knock down children when
they mean no harm.
5. Lots of space to stretch and run.
IN WHAT INSTANCES DO YOU NOT RECOMMEND AN ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD?
This is not the breed for everyone, and should not become 'the breed of the month', as has happened to some breeds. This breed is, first and foremost, a livestock guarding dog, with strong independence and dominance drives, and it requires a responsible approach to successful management. Time and effort is required to keep Anatolians socialized and well behaved. They are very strong and can be very stubborn at times. If you are looking for a dog that will obey at the drop of a command, then this is not the dog for you. The owner should not allow commands to be given unless an effort is made to follow through should the dog elect the typical reaction of "selective deafness". Otherwise, the dog will walk all over you. This is a breed that has a lot of confidence and needs to be trained with a firm and loving hand. The Anatolian can become aggressive without proper training. One should never hit this dog in anger, as they may respond to aggressive behavior on your part with aggression of their own, or become so upset that they may refuse to work with you. It is usually recommended that this breed not be trained for protection sports or as an attack dog, for several reasons. First, the breed already has natural guardian instincts, and is very discriminating in determining real' vs. fake' threats. Second, Anatolians are rather low on prey drive (being livestock guardians, unless a threat is perceived by them) and are not good material for competitive protection work, as they lose interest rather easily and are not motivated to the same degree as are herding breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Belgian Malinois, and Australian Shepherds.
Some of the reasons that people give up on
their Anatolians (in no particular order):
• None or poorly fenced yard; dog roams.
•Dog digs moonscape into the landscaping.
•Dog too stubborn.
Training makes the owner angry with the dog.
•Barks too much, especially at night.
•Fights with other dogs.
•Spouse, kids or housemates are scared of dog or allergic.
•Dog lives on chain in the yard -- just got tired of it.
•Too big for the household (was a cute puppy though).
•No time to train or made too many training mistakes,
no longer able to control dog.
•Boredom destruction such as dog chews things up. BIG-time.
•Made a mistake, have too many dogs now.
•Did not really understand what Anatolian character is. Should have done more research.
•Bred a big litter and can't sell the puppies. Giving them to the shelter or a pet shop.
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