Anatolian Shepherd: Dog Breed Profile

Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a very large dog, which impresses with its powerful build. Vigorous and robust, it is nonetheless fast and elegant.

The Kangal, or Anatolian Shepherd dog, is a wonderful life companion, guarantor of the protection of the home of its master. It’s gentle, loyal, faithful and full of goodwill.

Its remarkable intelligence will make It a wonderful companion dog. It’ss sometimes stubborn and Its education must be taken seriously.

History of the breed

The Anatolian Shepherd is a very old breed of herding guard dog that originated in Turkey, appreciated for its ability to deter any attempt at intrusion or attack from predators, but also for its ability to cover great distances on the Anatolian plateaus (present-day Turkey).

It would be a descendant of the hunting dogs of Mesopotamia, particularly strong and fast.

The quintessential working dog, the Kangal has a characteristic specific to its breed. Since it evolves according to certain circumstances.

Indeed, the Kangal will not be the same depending on the climate in which it evolves. It will also be different depending on Its lifestyle (sedentary or nomadic). Finally, the work required will make it evolve.

The breed was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale on June 6, 1989.

Physical features

  • Its coat: short or mid-long, dense and associated with a fairly thick undercoat. Longer and even denser in the neck, shoulders and thighs. The length is more important in winter.
  • Its color: generally sand, with or without mask, but all colors are allowed.
  • Its head: strong, fairly broad (in the male even more than in the female), proportionate to the rest of the body. The skull is slightly domed.
  • Its ears: medium in size, triangular in shape, with rounded ends, falling against the cheeks.
  • Its eyes :small in size compared to the skull, set apart, golden to brown in color depending on that of the hair. The conjunctiva is not visible, the edge of the eyelids is black, except in subjects with a liver-colored coat.
  • Its body: powerfully built, with well-developed musculature and never flat ribs. The top line is horizontal, the back rather short, the kidney slightly harped, the chest well let down to the height of the elbows and the belly is well tucked in.
  • Its tail: of good length, reaching the hock, set high, carried low and slightly curved at rest, higher and curled over the back when the dog is attentive.

Behavior With Others

Very cheerful and playful, It’s endowed with great intelligence. It remains faithful and attached to Its master. Patient and courageous, It’s also a protective dog with children.

With a fairly flexible temperament, It’s nonetheless lively and quite domineering. Affectionate and naturally peaceful, It needs to exercise every day.

It’s unfailingly devoted to Its owner. It is a very sensitive animal, who appreciates congratulations after a good deed.

It’s a very athletic and very playful dog. It is an easy dog on a daily basis as long as you are careful with it.

If It’s very grateful for the time spent with It and the love received, It may feel abandoned, if you don’t show care towards it.

Behavior with others

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a balanced dog, as affectionate and loyal to Its master and Its family as It’ss wary of strangers. It has a very developed protective instinct. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog also asserts Its intelligence, independence, calm, loyalty, and self-confidence both at home and at work.

Excellent companion dog, the Kangal of a watch of total gentleness, and unfailing kindness. It’s never aggressive, even if It does not appreciate the presence of strangers nearby. It will defend Its owner body and soul. As a bonus, Its master’s home will be well protected.


The Anatolian Shepherd can tend to be stubborn.  Obeying its Master and making him happy will be obvious to the dog, who also appreciates expressions of affection.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog must also be socialized extensively and from an early age. Emphasis should be placed on socializing so that it accepts or tolerates the presence of strangers. It will not hesitate to return the love given. It must also learn not to bark unnecessarily.

Living Conditions

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is clearly not made to live in an apartment, primarily because of Its size, but also because of its personality: independent and powerful, It needs large spaces to be balanced and happy. It’s aimed at people who know how to be firm and able to offer long daily activities. It’s robust and withstands all temperatures. The weather does not scare it. It needs to exercise outdoors, to run, to feel happy. Its well-being goes through a fairly large exterior.

Health & Maintenance

The Anatolian Shepherd is a hardy dog, with a robust build and health. Its double, well-supplied coat protects it from cold and hot climates. As in all large breeds, the risk of hip dysplasia should be monitored, but it should be noted that it is relatively less affected by this problem due to its size at the withers which reduces the impact on its body mass.

It has no known hereditary disease.

The life expectancy of an Anatolian Shepherd Dog is, on average, between 10 years and 13 years.

The Anatolian Shepherd remains subject to 2 annual seasonal moults during which It loses a lot of hair. Outside of these periods, Its hair loss is minimal. Its rustic dress requires only simple regular maintenance.

The only difficulty in maintaining this dog lies in its diet, which must be both sufficient in quantity and quality to meet its needs and not too excessive to avoid the consequences of overweight.

It is recommended to brush the dog every week and to examine it systematically after outings in the wilderness, in order to prevent deposits of debris. During the moult, brushing should be daily.

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About Jessica Vanclap

Passionate about animals, but also about health, I did not hesitate for long in choosing my studies. Veterinary assistant by training, I worked in a veterinary clinic for several years. I then made the choice to share my knowledge and experiences by joining the training team of a school of Veterinary Assistant and Grooming.

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