Anatolian Shepherd - Fierce Dog With The Strongest Bite

Anatolian Shepherd - Fierce Dog With The Strongest Bite

Author WDF Staff


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is an ancient Turkish dog breed who worked alongside Turkish shepherds guarding sheep and cattle against some of the most dangerous predators. These mighty dogs are considered best at what they do - guarding. You don’t want to face one of these dogs while they are patroling, especially since this is a breed whose bite force is stronger than that of a wild wolf.

There is a bit of confusion surrounding the Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and the Kangal Shepherd breed, and people interested in these two breeds can get confused about them. We will try and explain as best we can the subtle difference and tell you everything you need to know about the Anatolian Shepherd.

Anatolian Shepherd vs. Kangal

The original name of the Kangal breed was the Anatolian Shepherd. All dogs of that type have been a part of that breed until 2013, when the governing cynology body (FCI) made an announcement that all Anatolian Shepherd Dogs will be classified as the Kangal Shepherd Dog.

The first motion for this fuzing of the breeds was made by the Anatolian Shepherd’s native country of Turkey. This breed is under their patronage, and their native Kennel Club decided to issue pedigrees with the new name. Since these dogs were different a bit, the new standard included different types of Kangal dogs. The aim is to have a unique breed with standardized characteristics.

However, individual cynology associations did not accept the new name or even the new standard. They have kept the original name of the Anatolian Shepherd and have accepted the Kangal as a separate breed, or didn’t accept it at all. 

anatolian shepherd on duty

What does the Anatolian Shepherd look like?

If you ever encountered an Anatolian Shepherd Dog, you will certainly remember them for the rest of your life. They are one of the most impressive breeds in the world. These large, powerful dogs have a strong, robust built that enables them to fight off predators such as wolves, bears, and cheetahs.

The Anatolian Shepherds give an appearance of a calm, confident dog. Their physique is very indicative of their immense physical capabilities. They possess incredible stamina and endurance, agility, and alertness only a couple of other breeds in the world have.

They are huge dogs capable of reaching 31 inches and 150 pounds. They have a short, thick, double coat that kept them well insulated from harsh Anatolian weather.

What is their character like?

As you can imagine, this is an extremely protective and territorial dog. The Anatolian Shepherd has a working dog temperament, and that is precisely what you should expect of them. They are alert, careful, and always ready to jump into action. They are the best at what they do, and they have been doing it for over 4.000 years.

These dogs consider themselves protectors of their flock, and if you have an Anatolian as a pet, you and your family will become the flock they need to protect. These dogs consider to be always on duty; they will never stop looking after their family. Guarding and protecting are deeply rooted in their genes.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog can be challenging to raise as a pet. They weren’t meant for that role, and they will require a lot of training and socialization to learn how to act like a pet. They are very intelligent, but not in an obedient way you can expect from a Border Collie or a Golden Retriever. These dogs are independent thinkers capable of making decisions, a trait that all guard dogs should have.

anatolian shepherd profile

They should be properly socialized from a young age, and you should take your Anatolian Shepherd puppy to busy parks and crowded places where they can learn to adapt to different situations. It is also vital that they understand when their protective instincts are needed and when they can relax and act like a pet.

Anatolian Shepherds have the strongest bites. To avoid any problems while your dog is in training, get them a Dog Muzzle and Dog Leash that makes training safe.

How are they with kids and other pets?

The Anatolian Shepherd will accept children as a part of the flock they are protecting. It would be best if they are raised together, so the dog is used to children from the beginning. They can be gentle and patient, but it is unlikely they will accept them as their leader. The interaction between your Anatolian and kids must be monitored by an adult.

If your dog was raised with other pets, they will accept them as part of the family and include them in their protective circle. They must get used to other pets as soon as possible because it can be challenging to predict how they will react when they reach maturity. If they were used to interacting with other pets and were adequately socialized, they may accept them or be indifferent towards them.

Are Anatolian Shepherds healthy?

The Anatolian Shepherd is generally considered a healthy breed with a 12 - 15 years lifespan, which is quite a lot for such a large breed. Like all dog breeds, they can be prone to specific health issues. That doesn’t mean they will necessarily develop any of these problems, but if you are thinking about getting one of these dogs, you might want to learn a thing or two about them. Health concerns that can bother these dogs are:

  • Hip dysplasia - An inherited problem that causes the improper formation of the hip joint. It can affect all dog breeds, no matter how large or small.
  • Hypothyroidism - A health problem caused by the hyperproduction of hormones from the thyroid gland.
  • Entropion - A defect causing the eyelid to roll inward.
  • Von Willebrand's Disease - Problem with blood clotting, can affect humans and dogs.


Where can I get Anatolian Shepherd puppies?

This is a working breed, and if you are looking for a guard dog that will perform protective duties, you can be sure that the Anatolian Shepherd puppy is the right choice. Finding a good Anatolian Shepherd breeder is the first step. Make sure you find a reputable and responsible breeder because you wouldn’t want to end up with an unstable large dog with behavioral problems.

Anatolian Shepherd puppies will cost you on average $700, but a puppy with an excellent pedigree and working lineage can cost anywhere from $1.500 to $5.000. A good Anatolian puppy might cost a bit more, but you can be sure that you will end up with a superior working dog with a stable and balanced character.

You can find reputable breeders right here on World Dog Finder, or you can contact your national Kennel Club that can refer you to registered breeders. There are also different breeding clubs dedicated to this breed, so looking into that might be a wise first step.

World Dog Finder team

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