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The Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Çoban Köpegi) is the Western term used to describe the native livestock guardian dogs from the regions of Turkey. These dogs have been bred for thousands of years to guard flocks living in the Anatolian area, and are large, powerfully built dogs capable of great speed and strength.

The Çoban Köpegi's image has been represented on stamps in Turkey in acknowledgment of its time-honoured partnership with Turkish herdsmen to protect sheep and other livestock.
The Anatolian is a dog of great size and stamina; its hardy physical constitution reflecting that throughout its ancient lineage, these dogs were bred to work while withstanding extremes in climate and terrain.

In many countries, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are widely used in a working capacity to guard sheep, goats, chickens, alpacas, horses and are renowned for their commitment to their livestock duties, and utmost loyalty to their human companions.

They are also be found in rural environments, in the role of family guardian and companion.  Because of their breeding, these dogs will roam if not kept properly fenced area, and need stimulation (a job or play) to keep from getting bored.

Anatolians are very adaptable, strong, hardy, long-living dogs, but due to their large size, strength and independent nature, they require a home where the owners will give the young Anatolian the obedience and socialization training necessary, for it to be a happy member of the family. 

Anatolian Shepherds come in a variety of colours, from fawn with or without the black mask, pinto, white or brindle.  Their general appearance is tall, rugged and powerful livestock guardian dog; with a dense double coat, broad strong head with pendant shaped ears; well-developed muscular shoulders and hindquarters with good bone; a level top line and a long relatively high-set tail that is carried high and curled over the dog's back when alert. 

Many thanks to Takas Volkodav in Australia for the wonderful information described above.  For a more in depth history of these amazing Turkish dogs,  please visit  their website at:


The Anatolian Shepherd Guardian Dog has been serving man for thousands of years and is one of the oldest of dog breeds.  These visually stunning dogs are very independent thinkers and are DEFINITELY NOT FOR EVERYONE.

raziacres@mcsnet.ca© Annette Begin 2012