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Anatolian Shepherd Dog

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Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Anatolian with a white coat.
Anatolian with a white coat.
Alternative names
Coban K÷pegi
Karabas or Karabash
Kangal Dog
Country of origin
Anatolia (Turkey)
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is an ancient breed of dog developed in Anatolia (central Turkey) for guarding flocks of sheep from wolves, bears, and jackals.


The coat can be any color. The Anatolian is a muscular breed, with thick neck, broad head, and sturdy body. Its lips are somewhat pendulous and it has triangular drop ears. It stands 27 to 32 inches (69 to 81 cm) at the withers and weighs between 80 and 150 pounds (36 to 68 kg), with bitches on the smaller side and males on the larger side.


The Anatolian was developed to be independent and forceful, responsible on its own for guarding its master's sheep. These traits make it more challenging as a pet; owners of dogs of this breed must determinedly socialize the dogs to turn them into appropriate companions. They are intelligent and can learn quickly but might choose not to obey; this is not generally a dog for a beginning or shy owner. They become very protective of other animals in the household, and will treat them as their "herd".


The Anatolian is somewhat more long-lived than some giant breeds of dogs, with a life expectancy of 10 or 11 years. They reach full maturity, like many large breeds, at around 4 years. They are very sensitive to processed dog food tending to develop allergic reactions very easily. This can be avoided by feeding them a diet of lamb and rice.


The breed's ancestors most likely migrated to the area now known as Turkey about 1000 AD with Turkic-speaking people, although it is probable that dogs similar to this existed at least 6,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Over the centuries, slight regional variations began to develop, although the dogs were collectively known as coban kopegi. In the 1970s, breeders began focusing on specific regions and working on developing standard breeds for each of the regions; the Anatolian is one of those breeds, coming from central Turkey.

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are one of the larger breeds; this 7-month-old Anatolian might not yet be full size. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are one of the larger breeds; this 7-month-old Anatolian might not yet be full size.

Famous Anatolian Shepherd Dogs

  • Butch from Cats & Dogs

See also


  • Fogle, Bruce, DVM (2000). The new Encyclopedia of the Dog. Doring Kindersley (DK). ISBN 0-7894-6130-7.

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