The Anatolian shepherd is well-known for its great looks and also fierce loyalty. Learn much more about this outstanding (and impressively large) breed.

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1. They COME from TURKEY.

The Anatolian shepherd hails from, not surprisingly, central Anatolia in Turkey. Likely the mix the a mastiff and a sighthound, the stocky each other is both muscular and also agile. Anatolia"s climate have the right to be harsh: summers are very dry, and also winters are very cold. The Anatolian shepherd was bred particularly to endure these extreme conditions. It’s thought that the dog first emerged around 6000 years ago. The dogs room still work in Turkey by contemporary shepherds; there, they’re referred to as Coban Kopegi, which equates to "Shepherd"s Dog.”

2. Lamb ARE IN great HANDS with THEM AROUND.


Anatolian shepherds" popular took turn off in America many thanks to ranchers and also working dog lovers in the 1950s, but the ones imported then weren’t the very first of the each other to arrive. Two years prior, a pair of Anatolian shepherds were detailed to the U.S. Government by the Turkish element minister.

At the time, Secretary of farming Henry A. Wallace was functioning on a federal job aimed at finding the world"s best sheepdog. In the 1930s, fabricated clothing materials had actually yet to be invented, so wool was really important commodity. Wallace hope to hone in top top the dog breed the would ideal protect the animals producing said commodity. Wallace discussed his task to the Turkish prime Minister throughout a White house dinner; the element minister said he think about the Anatolian shepherd, and promised come send him a pair.

When the dogs arrived, however, the female was pregnant and sick with a parasite. After ~ an massive amount of problem caring because that the dog and helping her with labor, a litter that 12 healthy puppies to be born—which conveniently grew and also ate the facility the end of house and home. In the middle of the good Depression, the government couldn"t afford to keep the project going and the totality thing to be shut down. The pack of huge shepherds was discreetly marketed to a buyer from the Virgin Islands. After ~ that, no one knows what occurred to the 14 substantial dogs, but Wallace was glad because that the totality thing to be over.

5. THEY"RE not THE just TURKISH flock DOG.

The Anatolian shepherd we know today is a distinct breed that was sleek in the unified States and also Britain. In Turkey, there space three other unique flock-guardians the look very similar, but have their own traits and ancestry. Each group is designated by its origin location: the Akbash, the Kangal, and also the Kars. The Akbash is an every white dog through a curled fluffy tail from western Turkey. The Kangal is a stocky breed v a cut tail indigenous Sivas, Turkey. Finally, the Kars has a brownish coat and comes indigenous Northeastern Turkey.

6. THEY’VE took pleasure in SOME display TIME.

These gigantic dogs room no Jack Russells, but they have controlled to land some coveted roles. Butch, the leader in the movie Cats & Dogs, to be played by an Anatolian shepherd. The each other was additionally seen in Friends v Benefits and also Kate & Leopold. The 2014 Turkish movie Sivas focused on one Anatolian shepherd and also its bond through a young boy. The foreign film was submitted as the Turkish entry for the finest Foreign Language film at the Oscars, however didn’t acquire the nomination.


In Namibia, cheetahs are thought about a substantial threat to area farmers. The powerful cats can easily take the end dozens of sheep at a time. Cheetahs are a defended species, but due to the fact that they deserve to endanger the food supply, shepherds are permitted to trap and kill the predators. In an initiative to safeguard both the cheetahs and also their prey, U.S. Biologist Dr. Laurie marker proposed bringing in Anatolian shepherds.

Since 1994 the livestock Guarding Dog Program has actually been bringing dog to Namibia and training lock to safeguard sheep. Cheetahs room deathly afraid of the enormous dogs, therefore they avoid locations patrolled by the canines, making the a win-win: the cats escape uninjured and also the farmers gain to store their livestock. You could remember this story from the time a cheetah hopped up on David Letterman"s workdesk on The so late Show.

8. Castle CAN get (REALLY) BIG.

Great Danes room on average the tallest breed, so it renders sense the the tallest dog in the civilization was a an excellent Dane called Zeus, that was 44 inches tall from paws to withers. Lagging not much behind is cut the Anatolian shepherd who is 40 inches native paw to shoulder. Right now in the running for Britain’s greatest dog, the enormous pet weighs about 11 stone (154 pounds). His owner, Tracy Buckingham, spends around £100 a month on his diet of raw meat and bones.

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Just prefer in Namibia, officials everywhere the people are making use of Anatolian shepherds to save both predators and livestock safe. One brand-new place adopting the an approach is Yellowstone national Park. Park officials room hoping that the protective dogs will keep people and also predators—such as wolves and bears—separate and also safe native harm. "We send these dogs to various countries about the world. They offer nature. Public official are highly satisfied by their skills," Muhammet Karakoyun, president of the Turkish Shepherd Dog Research, production and advent Center, told Daily Sabah. "I to be proud of them."