Anatolian Shepherd Dog


More guard dog than herder, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog has origins in ancient Turkey, with probable ties to the Tibetan Mastiff and Roman Mallosian war dogs. The dogs served as staunch defenders of livestock and are still valued for their hardiness, loyalty, and independence. The breed became more widely known and appreciated by the 1980s; the AKC accepted it in 1996.


Giant; females from 27 inches, 80 to 120 pounds; males from 29 inches, 110 to 150 pounds.


Fawn, brindle, tricolor, white, black mask.


Serious about its job as protector, yet calm and easygoing. Intelligent, adaptable, and territorial; may perceive children as part of flock to be guarded.

Energy level:

Low (except when a threat is perceived).

Best owner:

Strong owner in a rural or suburban home.


A job (guard, patrol, slipper fetcher) and socialization from an early age; daily exercise and securely fenced yard.

Life expectancy:

10 to 13 years.