Anatolian Shepherd Dog Image

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Anadolu çoban köpeği in the Turkish language) also called Turkish Kangal dog is a shepherd’s guard dog and a livestock guardian of ancient lineage probably descended from the large hunting dogs existing in Mesopotamia.

Over the ages, the Anatolian Shepherd breed has evolved to suit a specific set of circumstances; guarding flocks traveling great distances on the Central Anatolian Plateau; surviving harsh hot and cold weather conditions.

Anatolian Shepherd dog is an active breed of dog originally used as a guard dog for sheep; hard-working; capable of surviving in extreme heat and cold.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog on duty
Photo of Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Turkish Kangal Dog) livestock guardian on duty

Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Turkish Kangal Dog) FAQ Frequently Asked Questions:

Let us seek some answers related to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog breed. Is this a good or the best herding breed? Are they hypoallergenic or do they shed a lot? Do they bark a lot? Are they good guard dogs? Are they good family dogs? Good with children? and many more questions that a potential dog owner may be concerned about.

Is Anatolian Shepherd a good herding dog breed?

The Anatolian Shepherd, despite his name, is not a herding dog! The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a livestock guardian dog, meaning he is in charge of watching over a flock and protecting the defenseless animals from predators. In modern-day Turkey, where the breed originated, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are still used to guard flocks and property against predators. Though they work with livestock as well, herding dogs are an altogether different type of dog. If you are interested in herding dogs, here is a list of herding breeds.

What is a livestock guardian dog? Which other breeds are comparable with the Anatolian Shepherd Dog?

Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) is a type of dog specifically bred for the purpose of protecting livestock from predators. Livestock guardian dogs stay with the group of animals they protect as a full-time member of the flock or herd. Their ability to guard their herd is mainly instinctive as the dog is raised with the herd. Livestock Guarding Dogs are aggressive. Komondor, Kuvasz, Polish Tatra Sheepdog, Pyrenean Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, Tibetan Mastiff are all livestock guardian dog (LGD) breeds.

What is the difference between herding dog breeds and livestock guardian dogs?

Herding Dogs vs Livestock Guardian Dogs: Herding dogs are smarter, more agile but less powerful (and intimidating) than livestock guardian dogs. Herding dogs control the movement of livestock, LGDs blend in with them, watching for intruders within the flock. The mere presence of a livestock guardian dog is usually enough to ward off some predators. Livestock guardian dogs will confront predators by vocal intimidation, barking, and displaying very aggressive behavior. The dog may attack or fight with a predator to death if it is unable to drive the predator away.

How many livestock guardian dogs are needed to protect livestock?

There answer depends on terrain, quality of the dog, type of predators expected, type of livestock to be guarded, etc. As a general rule – One pair of dogs for the first 100 livestock in about 15 acres area. An additional guardian/herding dog as needed. All livestock guardian dogs should wear a protective spiked collar.

Anatolian Shepherd collar
Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Turkish Kangal Dog) spiked collars

Can LGDs work with herding dogs?

Yes – Livestock guardian dogs and Herding dogs often work together. Usually, both types of dogs are raised with each other and also with the livestock they are guarding/herding. They develop a tolerance for each other as they are raised together. Introducing adults to an established pack can lead to fights initially until the pecking order is re-drawn.

Is an Anatolian Shepherd Dog a good family dog?

Yes and No. The Anatolian Shepherd should be aggressive towards strangers (animals and humans) but affectionate and protective with immediate family including kids with whom they were raised. Some dogs may be friendly with strangers due to early socialization but this is not the purpose of the breed. This is a large and powerful breed, so they require an owner who can manage them on a leash and keep them safely contained on their property.

Are Anatolian Shepherd Dogs good with kids?

Though protective, the Anatolian Shepherd is calm, friendly, and affectionate with his immediate family including children when socialized. They may instinctively consider kids to be livestock and protect them. However, if the kids do not listen, the Anatolian Shepherd dog can be rough.

How much do Anatolian Shepherd Dogs cost? How much is an Anatolian Shepherd Dog puppy?

The cost for Anatolian Shepherd puppies for sale in the USA is about $1000 to $1200.

Are Kangals and Anatolian Shepherds the same or different dog breeds? 

They are the same. Both names refer to the same kind of dog. Kangal is a town and a district of Sivas Province in Turkey located right in the middle of the Anatolian peninsula, which is famous for breeding purebred Anatolian Shepherd dogs. As a matter of fact, Anatolian Shepherd’s name is given to these dogs by foreigners. For the people of Turkey, they were always called Kangal shepherd dogs.

Does the Anatolian Shepherd Dog shed? Is it hypoallergenic?

Not hypoallergenic. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog will shed its coat twice a year in spring and summer. If your dog is indoors rather than outdoors with his flock, you’ll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, and carpeting. If you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog breed, here is a list of large hypoallergenic dogs.

Do Anatolian Shepherds bark a lot?

Anatolian Shepherds have a deep, booming bark which they use freely, especially at night when they are most vigilant.

How long does the Anatolian Shepherd Dog live?

The average lifespan for Anatolian Shepherds is 13 to 14 years.


Ok, so let’s assume you have chosen the Anatolian Shepherd Dog as the best breed suitable for yourself. You have decided to find yourself a puppy as your next family member. How will you choose the best pup? Let us look at some standard characteristics of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog breed which will help you select the right puppy, keep reading.

Choosing a good Anatolian Shepherd puppy

The definition of the best Anatolian Shepherd puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult Anatolian Shepherd Dog can be broadly categorized as follows: Working dog, a livestock guardian; Confirmation for show or breeding; obedience; smart guard dog; companion; homely pet.

Although it is tempting to look for all these qualities in one puppy you are planning to buy, it is almost never possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your Anatolian Shepherd puppy to grow up to be a champion in the show ring, you should look for confirmation to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog breed standards. We have put together a general guideline for selecting an all-around good puppy for you. Our guideline not just includes breed standards, but also gives importance to temperament, appearance, physical details, gait, health issues, grooming needs, and maintenance. Look for the following characteristics while choosing an Anatolian Shepherd puppy.

Anatolian Shepherd dog’s General Appearance

The Anatolian Shepherd dog should be a large, upstanding, tall, powerfully built, livestock guarding dog with a broad strong head and dense double coat. Must have size and stamina. Capable of great speed. Foreface slightly shorter than the skull.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Turkish Kangal Dog)

Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s Temperament

The Anatolian Shepherd dog should be steady and bold without aggression, naturally independent, very intelligent and tractable. Proud and confident. Loyal and affectionate to owners, but wary of strangers when mature.

Anatolian Shepherd’s Size

Height: Dogs 74-81 cm (29-32 inches) at the shoulders Bitches 71-79 cm (28-31 inches) at the shoulders Weight: Mature dogs 50-65 kg (110-145 lbs) Mature bitches 40-55 kg (85-120 lbs).

Anatolian Shepherd’s Coat & Colour

Coat Hair: Short or mid-length, dense, with a thick undercoat. Great variations in length according to climate. Longer and thicker at neck, shoulders, and thighs. The coat tends to be longer in winter. Colour: All colors acceptable.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s Head

Skull: Large, but in proportion to the body, broad between ears, slightly domed, with a slight stop. Mature males have broader heads than females. Foreface: Seen from above almost rectangular. Profile blunt, tapering very slightly to end. Nose: Black, except in livers, where it is brown. Lips: Very slightly pendulous, black-edged. Edge of upper lip not lower than the profile of the underjaw. Tight lip-corners. Eyes: Rather small in proportion to the size of the skull, set well apart, deep-set, showing no haw. Golden to brown in color according to coat color. Eye rims black except in livers. Ears: Medium-sized, triangular in shape, rounded at tip, pendant with front edge close to cheek, higher when alert. Mouth: Teeth strong, with a perfect scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaw. Complete dentition. Neck: Slightly arched, powerful, muscular, moderate in length, rather thick. Slight dewlap.

Anatolian Shepherd’s Forequarters

Shoulders: Well muscled, oblique. Forelegs: Set well apart, straight and well boned; of good length. Elbows: Close to sides, free moving. Pasterns: Strong, slightly sloping when viewed from the side. The Anatolian Shepherd’s body should be powerful, well-muscled, never fat. Topline: Rather short in proportion to leg length, horizontal, slightly arched over loins. Underline: With the belly well tucked up. Chest: Deep to point of the elbow, ribs well sprung, ribcage sufficiently long.

Anatolian Shepherd’s Hindquarters

The Anatolian Shepherd dog’s hindquarters should be powerful, but not overloaded with muscles. Hindlegs should be vertical when seen from the rear. Thighs: Long. Stifle, good turn of stifle. Feet: Strong, with thick pads and well-arched toes. Nails short. Tail: Long, reaching to hock, set on rather high, when relaxed carried low with slight curl; when alert carried high and curled over back, especially by males.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s Gait

Very noticeable level line of the body, head, and neck when walking; movement even, supple and long-reaching, giving an impression of stalking, with great power. Pacing acceptable at slow speed. Mincing or hackney action highly undesirable.

Faults observed in the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog puppy
Anatolian Shepherd (Turkish Kangal Dog) puppy on the farm

Anatolian Shepherd Videos


We hope you enjoyed reading about the Anatolian Shepherd Dog dog breed. You may consider sharing your views in the comments section below. Inputs and priceless experiences from dog owners, Anatolian Shepherd Dog breeders, and dog lovers, in general, help us better understand our most loyal guardians. Thank you for your interest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *