The Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog may have come from the Himalayas when the Turks migrated from central Asia to what is now Turkey. Depictions of similar dogs dating back to 2000 bc can be seen in bas reliefs from Assyria. Because of their isolated existence, the breed has changed little over the centuries. The Anatolian, known in Turkey as Coban Kopegi, is a livestock guardian dog par excellence.
A fiercely loyal guard dog, the Anatolian adopts a possessive attitude toward family, property and livestock. He is calm, intelligent, confident and alert. Most Anatolians are slightly suspicious of strangers and reserved when in public. Owners stress that the dogs must be socialized from puppyhood. Though they may be patient and protective of children, they should always be supervised around youngsters because of their propensity for rough-and-tumble play.
Reputed to be an energy-efficient breed, the Anatolian may remain motionless for hours while keeping an eye on the flocks, but can accelerate to an astounding burst of speed when necessary.
Imposing in size and stature, adult Anatolians stand at least 29 in (74 cm) at the shoulder and may weigh from 110-150 lb (49.5-67.5 kg) at maturity (which may take up to four years to achieve).
The coat ranges in length from short to rough – approximately 4 in (10 cm) in length – and is usually longer and thicker at the neck and mane. The breed carries a thick and soft undercoat beneath the coarser outer coat.
All colour patterns and markings are accepted. The colour most often seen is fawn with a dark mask.
The coat requires little care except during the twice-yearly shedding when a thorough brushing is needed.