Image of Shepherds Rest Anatolians Shepherds Rest Anatolians and Oberhasli Goats


Adolescent Behavior  •  Aggression  •  Airline Kennels  •  ASD Breed Standard
ASD's with Special Needs Children  •  Barking  •  Coat  •  Collars  •  Evil Eye (nazar boncuğu)
Feeding  •  Kepenek  •  NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free)  •  Off Leash  •  Spike Collars  •  Training

Airline Kennels

Appropriate crate size to fit two eight-week old ASD puppies:
Petco Vari Kennel Ultra, size X-Large - Available at Petco. 39" (length) x 26" (width) x 30" (height). Note that shipping can cost more than the kennel itself! It takes 5 to 10 business days for delivery by USPS. This kennel is approved for international travel.

Appropriate crate size to fit an adult ASD:
Petmate Traditional Vari Kennel Portable Kennel, size Giant - Available at Pet Smart and Petco and their stores online. 48" (length) x 32" (width) x 35" (height), 51.5 lbs. Note that shipping can cost more than $100. It takes 3 to 6 business days for delivery. This kennel does not have holes in the back, which is required for international travel, so holes must be drilled.

Airline Travel Kit: Includes food and water bowls, required stickers, and a cardboard liner for inside bottom of kennel.

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Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed Standard

Below is the AKC breed standard taken from ASDCA website, (Click to enter site, click on “About ASDCA,” then click to enter the AKC page in the top box.)

Working Group

General Appearance
Large, rugged, powerful and impressive, possessing great endurance and agility. Developed through a set of very demanding circumstances for a purely utilitarian purpose; he is a working guard dog without equal, with a unique ability to protect livestock. General impression - Appears bold, but calm, unless challenged. He possesses size, good bone, a well-muscled torso with a strong head. Reserve out of its territory is acceptable. Fluid movement and even temperament is desirable.

Size, Proportion, Substance
General balance is more important than absolute size. Dogs should be from 29 inches and weighing from 110 to 150 pounds proportionate to size and structure. Bitches should be from 27 inches, weighing from 80 to 120 pounds, proportionate to size and structure. Neither dog nor bitch appear fat. Both dog and bitch should be rectangular, in direct proportion to height. Measurements and weights apply at age 2 or older.

Expression should be intelligent. Eyes are medium size, set apart, almond shaped and dark brown to light amber in color. Blue eyes or eyes of two different colors are a disqualification. Eye rims will be black or brown and without sag or looseness of haw. Incomplete pigment is a serious fault. Ears should be set on no higher than the plane of the head. V-shaped, rounded apex, measuring about four inches at the base to six inches in length. The tip should be just long enough to reach the outside corner of the eyelid. Ears dropped to sides. Erect ears are a disqualification. Skull is large but in proportion to the body. There is a slight centerline furrow, fore and aft, from apparent stop to moderate occiput. Broader in dogs than in bitches. Muzzle is blockier and stronger for the dog, but neither dog nor bitch would have a snipey head or muzzle. Nose and flews must be solid black or brown. Seasonal fading is not to be penalized. Incomplete pigment is a serious fault. Flews are normally dry but pronounced enough to contribute to "squaring" the overall muzzle appearance. Teeth and gums strong and healthy. Scissors bite preferred, level bite acceptable. Broken teeth are not to be faulted. Overshot, undershot or wry bite are disqualifications.

Neck, Topline, Body
Neck slightly arched, powerful, and muscular, moderate in length with more skin and fur than elsewhere on the body, forming a protective ruff. The dewlap should not be pendulous and excessive. Topline will appear level when gaiting. Back will be powerful, muscular, and level, with drop behind withers and gradual arch over loin, sloping slightly downward at the croup. Body well proportioned, functional, without exaggeration. Never fat or soft. Chest is deep (to the elbow) and well-sprung with a distinct tuck up at the loin. Tail should be long and reaching to the hocks. Set on rather high. When relaxed, it is carried low with the end curled upwards. When alert, the tail is carried high, making a "wheel." Both low and wheel carriage are acceptable, when gaiting. "Wheel" carriage preferred. The tail will not necessarily uncurl totally.

Shoulders should be muscular and well developed, blades long, broad and sloping. Elbows should be neither in nor out. Forelegs should be relatively long, well-boned and set straight with strong pasterns. The feet are strong and compact with well-arched toes, oval in shape. They should have stout nails with pads thick and tough. Dewclaws may be removed.

Strong, with broad thighs and heavily muscled. Angulation at the stifle and hock are in proportion to the forequarters. As seen from behind, the legs are parallel. The feet are strong and compact with well-arched toes, oval in shape. Double dewclaws may exist. Dewclaws may be removed.

Short (one inch minimum, not tight) to Rough (approximately 4 inches in length) with neck hair slightly longer. Somewhat longer and thicker at the neck and mane. A thick undercoat is common to all. Feathering may occur on the ear fringes, legs, breeching, and tail.

All color patterns and markings are equally acceptable.

At the trot, the gait is powerful yet fluid. When viewed from the front or rear, the legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. With increased speed, footfall converges toward the center line of gravity. When viewed from the side, the front legs should reach out smoothly with no obvious pounding. The withers and backline should stay nearly level with little rise or fall. The rear assembly should push out smoothly with hocks doing their share of the work and flexing well.

Alert and intelligent, calm and observant. Instinctively protective, he is courageous and highly adaptable. He is very loyal and responsive. Highly territorial, he is a natural guard. Reserve around strangers and off its territory is acceptable. Responsiveness with animation is not characteristic of the breed. Overhandling would be discouraged.

Blue eyes or eyes of two different colors.
Erect ears.
Overshot, undershot, or wry bite.

Approved: June 1995
Effective: June 1, 1996

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ASD's with Special Needs Children

The following is an excerpt from an email sent 1-26-07 to a couple doing a home ministry in Zimbabwe, AFRICA, for traumatized, abandoned, abused, and destitute children. At the time of my writing to them, they had just brought home a little orphan with HIV, parasites, scabies, and kwashiorkor! They inquired about whether the Anatolian Shepherd would be a good fit for them in terms of protecting the children.

Yes, the ASD can be a very loyal guardian and can be very good with children. However, there are a number of issues to be aware of:

1)       These dogs are a huge breed. They need to be supervised closely around the children at all times.
2)       Not all ASDs have the same temperament. Some are more active, others are more passive. Some are more possessive or jealous. Some are more laid-back and calm.
3)       These dogs are also very independent-minded. They have been bred over thousands of years for just such work: guarding the flocks, determining what is and isn't a threat, and taking care of any threats swiftly and efficiently. If they perceive a threat, they will decide and react according to their own instincts, and may not listen to their owners/trainers. Sometimes their perceptions of a threat are not accurate. For example, if you have a troubled child and that child throws a tantrum or has a flashback to a trauma, an adult may need to contain the child so s/he doesn't cause self-injury. How will the dog perceive that? It is possible that a dog could intervene, in misperception, between a caregiver and a child. The same could be true about fights between the children. ASDs might guard one child from another child, or one group of children from another group. Furthermore, if a person is injured and needs attention, will the dog let other people attend to the injured person, or will the dog protect the injured person from all others?
4)       The children would need to be trained on how to interact with the ASD, and then supervised at all times to ensure that both they and the ASD are safe around each other at all times.
5)       It would not be a setup for success to use people who do not have experience and understanding of ASDs, to manage the ASD, to introduce the ASD to the children, or to train the children about the dog. (This was specifically speaking to people in Africa who were not able to be in close touch with the breeder in order to work together on the dog-children adjustment issues.)
6)       There would need to be appropriate containment for the dog, such as five foot high fencing and gates that are escape-proof. This would only be a temporary containment. ASDs do not do well when contained or chained.
7)       There is no guarantee of success in using an ASD as a guardian of the children. Since there is the possibility that the dog will not be successful in that setting, we cannot recommend the use of an ASD for this situation and setting. (Again this was specific to Africa and the lack of connection to the breeder who will work together with dog-owner for the life of the dog.)

With that said, the dangers to the children from outsiders (speaking to those in a war-torn country) may far outweigh the possible dangers of a dog misreading a situation between people the dog knows. There are also positives to the idea of using an ASD to guard the children. Just the presence of an ASD is likely to discourage strangers from bothering the children and staff. The children who cannot trust people might be able to make a special connection with the ASD and thus heal faster from their issues.

In regard to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog's use as a therapy dog, there is no history of the dog being used in that way in its native land, Turkey. Although some Anatolians have reportedly been used successfully in the USA in this manner, it has mainly been on leash in convalescent centers, retirement centers, or homes for the disabled. That may not be a good comparison for your situation.

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Prevent collar accidents! If possible, leave your dogs collar-free in the pasture. If your dog must wear a collar at home or on the farm when unsupervised, consider getting a Breakaway Collar (Chinook Collar). Here is the resource: A 13 1/2 inch collar just fits an Anatolian Shepherd puppy at 7 weeks of age. An excellent article on collar accidents can be found at: Please note, the Breakaway Collar, since it is designed to break open under the right amount of pressure (even if the leash is fastened through both D rings), is not appropriate to contain an Anatolian Shepherd Dog in public. When taking an ASD in public, use an appropriate collar or choke chain that will give you complete control of your dog.

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Evil Eye (nazar boncuğu)

Keeps evil away.
See a picture from our trip to Turkey in 2007.

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Spike Collars

Spike collars are worn by shepherd dogs in Turkey to protect their necks during fights with predators, especially wolves and stray dogs. Some shepherds use spike collars on their shepherd dogs and some do not. Some collars are worn with a felt backing (see spike collar from Urfa), and some are worn without. Spike collars are called different names in different regions. For example, people in the Zile area call a spike collar "tok," while those in the Sivas area call it "tork." People in the Kars and Erzurum area call a spike collar "hlş or hlnç." In the Giresun area, a spike collar is called "çengel."

Spike Collars
From the Denizli area, TURKEY
Spike Collars
Made in Kizilcahamam, in the Ankara region of TURKEY
Spike Collars
From Urfa, TURKEY, 20 years old
Spike Collars
From the country of Macedonia

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