Anatolian Shepherd breeders can be found on our Network

Alternative Name

Coban Köpegi,/ Karabas or Karabash (The Wolf Hunter)

Basic Info

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 or length. The Anatolian is a muscular breed, with thick neck, broad head, and sturdy body. Its lips are tight to its muzzle 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 Shepherd is somewhat more long-lived than some large breeds of dogs, with a life expectancy of 14 or 17 years. Since they are primarily working dogs, the present life expectancy statistics include those killed by predators while defending their flocks. Anatolians must be anesthetized like sight hounds, being very lean they need a 10th of the anesthesia a Rottweiler of the same weight would need. They reach full maturity, like many large breeds, at around 4 years. Some are sensitive to beef which processed dog food is full of thus tending to develop allergic reactions such as ear infections. This can be avoided by feeding them a diet of lamb and rice or chicken & rice supplemented with salmon. They also thrive on the "BARF" or rawfood diets.



The Anatolian was developed to be independent and forceful, responsible on its own for guarding its master's flocks. 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 "flock".


Anatolia (Turkey)


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, i.e. "shepherd dog". 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.