Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd


The Anatolian shepherd has a personality that reflects their looks. They are confident, strong, and independent. They are also very loyal to their owners. If they think you are in immediate danger, though, they will ignore commands in order to protect you.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile


Male: 29
Female: 27



Male: 110-150
Female: 80-120


Life Span





Hip Dysplasia

of dogs

What is it?

A malformation of the ball and socket in the hip or elbow that causes it to grind together instead of working together smoothly.

Clinical signs:

Limping/stiffness, avoiding stairs or jumping, small range of motion or activity, thigh muscle mass loss, shoulder muscle gain, hind end lameness, grating in the affected joint, swaying, pain.


Glucosamine, weight loss, restricting exercise, supplements, anti-inflammatory medication, joint fluid modifiers, surgery.

Other risks:

Loss of function in joint due to deterioration, complications during surgery.

Average vet bill for Hip Dysplasia


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.



of dogs

What is it?

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid hormone deficiency, causing the thyroid gland to not produce enough of the hormone necessary to keep them healthy and active.

Clinical signs:

Reproductive issues, obesity, sleepiness, coat and skin problems, heat-seeking, sometimes heart problems, muscle issues, or behavioral changes.


Lifelong medication

Average vet bill for Hypothyroidism


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.



The Anatolian shepherd has a personality that reflects their looks.


They are also very loyal to their owners.


Since they are very independent, it may seem that your Anatolian shepherd doesn’t love you as much. This is the opposite of the truth.


They love their families, but they may not be as affectionate as a pup like the Golden Retriever. If you’re looking for a family dog, they might not be your best option.


Be consistent with rules and giving them firm commands.


If they think you are in immediate danger they will ignore commands in order to protect you.

Lifetime Care


Anatolians have short double coats that can be either smooth or rough. The thick undercoat means they’re well-suited to spending time outside.


Gray fawn, blue fawn, red fawn, fawn, brindle, white, biscuit and white, liver.


No, Anatolian sShepherds are not hypoallergenic.


While an Anatolian’s coat is short, it still requires regular brushing for maintenance. Aim to brush their coat weekly.


Both obedience training and early socialization are necessary for an Anatolian shepherd.

Lifetime Care Cost:

Approximately $25,910

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed Information Guide 2022

One of the large dog breeds, Anatolian shepherds shepherds are working dogs, although they aren’t herders. They may have been called the shepherd’s dog, but they primarily guarded livestock against predators instead of helping herd sheep. If you’re considering adopting an Anatolian, it’s essential to understand them, so you two can have a wonderful life together.

Meet the Anatolian shepherd

A watchdog from the Anatolian region of Turkey, Anatolian shepherds are independent, calm, and intelligent. They aren’t really suited to be pets in the same way that a dog like the Golden Retriever is. They are working dogs, so they have very specific needs when it comes to lifestyle and training.

Anatolian shepherds require even more of their owners because they were bred as guardian dogs, which means they need someone who can properly direct this instinct. If you need a dog to help you on the farm or even just keep an eye on your house, the Anatolian shepherd would be a great choice. They are very loyal to their family, and they love to work.

Where do Anatolian shepherds come from?

The Anatolian shepherd breed is thousands of years old. They are descendants of Tibetan mastiffs and Roman war dogs that wound up in Turkey. Nomadic shepherds would use this large breed to protect their flocks of sheep from wolves and bears.

As time went on, this Turkish breed became one with the herd. They were able to live independently, protecting the herd from any threats. They could take the shepherd’s place if they passed away while bringing the herd to new pastures.

In the mid-1900s, these sheepdogs made their way to the United States, and they continued their job as protectors of the herds, although this time, their main enemies were coyotes. A couple of decades later, Anatolian shepherds began to gain popularity among the general public, and a breed club was formed.

In 1996, the American Kennel Club (AKC) added the Anatolian shepherd to their list of officially recognized breeds. They were initially part of the Miscellaneous class but are currently classified as working dogs.

Today, they are still herding dogs. In Namibia, they are given to local farmers and ranchers as livestock guardians from cheetahs to aid in the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

What are the potential health conditions for Anatolian shepherds?

With any breed comes the risk of hereditary disease, so it’s best to go over the possibilities with your vet. However, reputable breeders will attempt to screen their dogs to prevent possible genetic disorders, so as time goes on, there is less of a likelihood that puppies will have them.

Some purebred Anatolian shepherd puppies will have difficulty building up immunity to the parvovirus, so breeders will usually follow a vaccination plan to help them overcome this. Many Anatolian shepherds also have a sensitivity to barbiturate anesthesia, so if your pup needs to have a procedure, you should make sure your vet is aware of this issue.

How good are Anatolians as guard dogs?

Anatolians are very aware of their surroundings, even in their sleep. When they would guard livestock, danger could come from any direction, so they always needed to be on the alert.

Are Anatolian shepherds aggressive?

Anatolians are usually level-headed and laid back. They are reserved dogs, so although they aren’t bothered by strangers, they aren’t overly friendly towards them. As protectors of the herd, Anatolian shepherds had to be fairly calm. After all, if they startled the herd, it would scatter them. They will only react negatively if there is something out of the ordinary. Well-trained Anatolians will usually respond to potential danger with a warning bark, escalating their bark until the threat leaves or they find it necessary to attack.

Do Anatolians adapt well to new routines?

Anatolians do better with a routine. Although they adapt to certain weather conditions, they become more alert when there is a disruption in the routine since it would usually mean a threat.

Will an Anatolian shepherd be a fun dog to have around?

Unlike other dog breeds, Anatolian shepherds are more serious. They can be great protectors and, to some extent, companions, but they aren’t as playful or affectionate as other dogs.

They need to have a job to do, whether guarding you and your family against harm or guarding your livestock if you live on the farm. They aren’t very good family pets since they have a natural instinct to work, but they are determined and hardworking. They’re also not necessarily the best option for first-time dog owners since they require lots of training.

Are Anatolian shepherds good with children?

If you have children or children visit you with their parents, you might be concerned about how well the Anatolian shepherd interacts with them. Anatolian shepherds aren’t very playful, but they will protect any member of their family, including children. They will be gentle with kids, but you should keep an eye on any children interacting with your pup.

How are they with other dogs?

If you are already a pup parent, you have to think of your other dogs before bringing another into the mix. Anatolians are reserved dogs, and this trait applies to their relationships with other dogs as well. Although well-trained Anatolian shepherds are polite towards other dogs in public, some of them will not welcome strange dogs into their territory. An Anatolian pup might do better being brought up with other dogs, but it isn’t guaranteed that they will get along.

How to be the best pet parent for an Anatolian shepherd?

Any good pet parent knows that different dog breeds require different standards of care and even different types of dog training. Just like we humans get along better with certain kinds of people, some breeds are more suited to a particular owner than others. At Spot Pet Insurance, we understand the importance of compatibility between pets and their owners. If you’re looking for more information on being a good pet parent, you can check out our informational Blog

How much does an Anatolian shepherd dog or puppy cost?

Adoption fee: $250-$2,500

[Expense: first year, following years]

  • Food: $310-$615, $205-$675

  • Water/food bowls: $10-$40, N/A

  • Treats: $125-$715, $125-$715

  • Collars: $10-$40, $0-$40

  • Leashes: $10-$30, $0-$30

  • Dog bed and crate: $80-$275, N/A

  • Toys: $50-$155, $0-$155

Vaccines and routine care: $440-$1,755, $475-$1,025

  • Microchip: $25-$50, N/A

Heartworm and flea prevention: $175-$270, $350-$600

  • Total: $1,235-$3,945, $1,235-$3,515

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your Anatolian shepherd

Most dog breeds have their own learning style. Some are quick learners, and others are slower. What is the learning style of the Anatolian? Here is some advice to help you figure out how to teach your pup.

Since they are independent dogs, you will need to establish yourself as the leader when they are young. Obedience training will help you and your pup learn to work with each other. If left to themselves, they can get bored, and they may also have difficulty discerning between a real threat and a false one or may escalate too soon.

They aren’t very big fans of repetitive training, so it would be good to switch things up every so often. They tend to learn quickly, though, and respond well to positive reinforcement. It’s also good to help them recognize your routine. If they can understand what’s normal, it’ll be easier for them to recognize potential problems to warn you about.

Although commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” are good to teach any pup, Anatolian shepherds should be kept on a leash when they’re out. If they perceive a big enough threat, they might begin to ignore commands.

What type of foods should an Anatolian never eat?

Although Anatolians don’t have any foods specifically toxic to them, some dogs (like some humans) can have allergies to certain foods, so if you notice any digestive issues, you may need to check for those. Listed below we have some foods that are toxic for dogs in general:

There are many other foods that dogs can and can’t have. We’ve provided some resources about those best foods.

Exercising tips to keep your dog staying fit and healthy

Anatolian shepherds have a fairly low energy level. They guarded herds, but they did not spend their time trying to keep them in line. Thus, these dogs need relatively little exercise compared to other large breeds.

A long walk or short run should take care of all their exercise needs. Since they’re part of the working group, they don’t play much. They should always be kept on a leash when they are out with you. Even trained Anatolians have a tendency to wander.

Anatolian shepherd life stages

Puppy: 0 - 1 year | Adult: 1 - 8 years | Senior: 8 - 13 years