The Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd appeared over 6,000 years ago in a region of Turkey called Anatolia. His duties were to defend and protect his nomadic shepherds and their flocks or sheep from any predators. In Turkey, the Anatolian is known as the Coban Kopegi (cho-bawn ko-pay), which translates to “shepherd dog.”

The Anatolian Shepherd was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 80 to 150 lbs.
  • Height: 27 to 29 inches
  • Coat: Double and thick coat
  • Color: Color ranges vary from white, fawn, brindle with a black mask
  • Life expectancy: 11 to 13 years

What’s the Anatolian Shepherd like?
Anatolian Shepherds are an easygoing, yet alert, breed. An Anatolian will guard his family, including other pets and is great with children, but may get wary with other people’s children and strangers. If your children have play dates make sure those dates are always supervised.

The Anatolian needs plenty of daily exercise whether it’s on a nice walk with you or letting him run free in a securely fenced in yard, just so long as he can burn off excess energy.

The Anatolian needs firm and consistent training along with a leader who’s not afraid to offer guidance. Keep training sessions short because he will tend to get a bit bored and take out his frustration on your furniture. Early socialization is also very important for this breed.

Because the Anatolian sheds so heavily, you’ll need to brush him regularly to remove any dead hair or mats.

The Anatolian Shepherd is generally a healthy breed with a few concerns to watch for:


Hip Dysplasia

  • One of the most common diseases seen in dogs, with larger breeds being the most affected. It is ultimately a malfunction of the hip joints and can over time deteriorate, resulting in a loss of function in those joints.

Elbow Dysplasia

  • A condition that basically means the development of arthritis in the elbow joint.

Gastric Torsion (bloat)

  • A condition in which a dog's stomach rotates and twists and in some cases results in cellular damage or organ death.


Carpal Laxity Syndrome

Takeaway points

  • The Anatolian Shepherd can make a great watchdog.
  • The Anatolian Shepherd needs daily exercise.
  • The Anatolian Shepherd is great with children.
  • The Anatolian Shepherd is a heavy shedder.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.