About the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Sporting a thick weather-proof coat, these dogs are thin and agile but also strong. The male Anatolian stands from 74 to 91 cm in height, while the females range from 69 to 79 cm. These large, powerful dogs weigh between 41 to 70 kg, with males on the heavier side.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Since Babylonian times, there have been writings that make mention of huge, broad headed mastiff-type dogs. These quick and powerful animals would guard sheep on the Turkish Anatolian Plateau and were even used during war to dismount enemy riders from their horses.

Today’s Anatolians are descendants of these and the practice whereby local shepherds use them to guard their livestock against predators, such as bears and wolves continues today in rural Turkey. In their home country the breed is known as Çoban Köpeği (cho-bawn ko-pay), which means “shepherd’s dog”.

In the 1930’s this breed was first exported from Turkey to America and today, several thousands of these dogs are defending America's pastures. Their involvement with Africa began in the early 1990’s when Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), in Namibia, started the Livestock Guarding Dog program. This is a successful, innovative program that has been helping to save the wild cheetah in Namibia since 1994.

Based on the success of the project in Namibia, breeding programs were started in South Africa, in 2005, by De Wildt's Wild Cheetah Management Project (WCMP) and Cheetah Outreach. Since 2008, we have established our own breeding program, in the Namaqua National Park and in future we aim to export to this breeding project other national parks too.