The Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Chien de berger d'Anatolie
Coban Kogegi

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Dog breed info
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Coban Kogegi Karabash Dog
Kara bas Kangal Dog
Weight: Male: 110 — 150 lbs
Weight. Female: 80 — 110 lbs
Height:Male: 29” — 30”
Height Female: 27” — 28”
AKC Rank 2008 #108
Lifespan 10—13 yrs

  • Breeders And Rescue Groups
  • Dog Health, Dog Illness, Medical Problems

    Dog Breed Info - Anatolian Shepherd

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    Breed Overview

    AKC:Working Group dog from Turkey, Ancient times. Original purpose:Flock guarding. Today: Flock guard, security. Colors: Most common is fawn with black muzzle/mask.

    The Anatolian Shepherd is an ancient breed dating back some five or six thousand years with roots possibly in the Tibetan Mastiff and the Mollosian War dogs that came to Turkey more than five thousand years ago. These sturdy, dependable dogs proved highly valuable as defenders of livestock against formidable predators such as bear and wolves. This is one of the most efficient and effective guard dogs on earth, according to many owners. The name “shepherd” is incorrect, as this dog was never used for herding. It's a guard dog only. The Turkish name is “koban copek” meaning “shepherd’s dog.” This is a tough, durable dog, built to handle the rough climate and terrain of Turkey and does well with an outdoor life as long as it has a job to do.

    The first of the breed came to America in the 1950’s. The dog proved to be an effective livestock guard against coyote and other predators. The Anatolian was a bit slow to catch on with dog lovers but steadily gained favor. By the 1970’s and 80’s, the breed became more appreciated in the USA. And was finally registered by the AKC in the working class group.

    Anatolian Shepherd Dog
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    Anatolian’s take time to train. The Anatolian must start training very young and continue throughout his life. The dog needs a firm but kind trainer and clicker training with positive reinforcement is the best method for strong, independent, dominant dogs with guarding instincts. Training is not needed for guarding as that comes by instinct. As long as this dog can sense you are the leader and in charge, he’ll remain obedient and responsive to commands.

    Crate Training

    Want to crate train your Anatolian Shepherd puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save some headaches.

    Potty Training

    Anatolian Shepherd puppies generally are easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

    If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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    This is a serious, territorial dog that is fiercely loyal to his family, property and any livestock he may be guarding. He’s highly alert, independent and bold. At the same time, the Anatolian Shepherd is somewhat laid-back and easy-going, playful and affectionate with his family members, but not strangers. They are good with older, well-mannered children but may not be playful enough to meet their interests. This is basically a peaceful dog around the house unless strangers approach the property. The Anatolian must be treated kindly and with a gentle but firm hand and never yelled at or treated harshly.

    For the experienced dog owner, this is a good house pet and excellent protector. They tend to bark and dig for fun. The Anatolian must have something to guard or protect to be content — that is, a job to do.

    If you happen to get an Anatolian Shepherd with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

    Friendly Toward Other Dogs

    Prefers to not have other dogs around. They can become aggressive. This is an intense defender of his space and other dogs are considered intruders. If raised with the other dogs, that’s different and okay.

    Friendly Toward Other Pets

    Maybe —- Best if raised with other cats and dogs as part of the family.

    Friendly Toward Strangers

    Suspicious of strangers, always on guard and will refuse entry of unknown people to his property unless his master is present. Once adequately acquainted, the Anatolian Shepherd is reasonably friendly with the (previous) stranger.


    Manages to be a bit playful. While a serious guardian, the Anatolian does manage to romp, fetch a ball and chase with the kids. He’s just laid back and calm enough to enjoy life.


    Moderately affectionate. He bonds well with his family of humans and that’s where his affection shows up. Handled right, this can be a fine family house pet but not for ALL families.

    Good with children

    Yes, good with older kids and certainly protective of the children but may not be playful enough. The kids need to be well mannered and at least 6 or 7 years of age to fully appreciate this big dog.

    NOT a good choice for very young children.

    Good with Seniors over 65?

    No. Needs too much walking, jogging. Dog is too large.

    Living environment

    House with a large fenced yard or a farm or ranch. The Anatolian needs space and is truly a guardian of flock so he needs room to roam. This dog needs indoor contact with humans. He needs lots of socialization to stimulate his brain. He can NOT be left alone in a yard.

    Energy level

    Low energy. A quiet dog when not disturbed.

    Exercise needs, daily

    Modest exercise needs. A LONG walk or some running each day will do it. Take the Anatolian jogging. He must have plenty of physical stimulation. He ALSO needs the long walk for mental stimulation.


    Excellent watchdog. Will bark at any strange occurrence or approaching person or animal.

    Guard dog

    Excellent. Guarding is the Anatolian’s primary job.


    Sheds a lot in season.


    Use a medium to stiff bristle brush. Brush once a week to remove dead hair, especially when shedding. Your dog will appreciate the extra attention.



    Suggested Reading For - Anatolian Shepherd
    Click on the cover photos for more book information and editor reviews.

    • 2nd book from left - "A Dog Who's Always Welcome" is a great book on training your dog way beyond normal obedience as if he were to be a therapy dog. Read the editors comments at Amazon.

    • 3rd book from left provides 101 dog tricks to keep your dog mentally stimulated and have fun too. There are things for a dog to do in that book I had never thought of!

    • Book on far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. I've used mine on occasion in working on this website.

    Anatolian Shepherd Breeders

    In the event you decide to go looking for Anatolian Shepherd puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that REALLY know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. It's not often that Anatolian puppies turn up in dog pounds and shelters.
    Anatolian Shepherd Breeders with puppies for sale.

    Anatolian Shepherd Rescue

    In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for an Anatolian Shepherd Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
    Petfinder - Anatolian Shepherd Rescue As I write this, Petfinder is showing only 301 Anatolian's available for adoption. That number can change, of course, but it is an indication of just how hard this breed is to find in the USA. If you do find one, try to check for previous dog health issues on the new dog.
    Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you will likely want to search the web for Anatolian Shepherd Rescue groups and try shelters, foster homes or kennels too.

    Dog Health Issues For The Anatolian Shepherd
    Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Anatolian by various vets.

    This is basically a healthy breed. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

    The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

    • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Cocker Spaniel great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

    • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

    • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
      Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

    • Entropion—Eye problems - Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

    Other health problems could occur with your Anatolian Shepherd Dog. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide


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