We feel very fortunate to employ fantastic Anatolian Shepherds at Ewawki River!
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is named for his homeland of Anatolia in the central part of Turkey, where he is still a point of pride (and has even been honored on a national postage stamp). It's thought that the working ancestors of the breed date back 6,000 years.
Wandering tribes from central Asia probably brought the first mastiff-type dogs into the area that is now Turkey, and sight hound breeds from southern regions contributed to the Anatolian's agility, long legs, and aloof character. Due to the climate and terrain of the area, the local population developed a nomadic way of life, dependent on flocks of sheep and goats. The protection of those flocks, and of the shepherds themselves, was the job of the large dogs who traveled with them. The dogs became known as coban kopegi, Turkish for "shepherd dog." The dogs stayed with the animals night and day, and they had to be swift enough to move quickly from one end of a widely scattered flock to the other. They also had to be large and strong enough to stand up to predators.
Anatolian Shepherds got their most enthusiastic introduction in the U.S. in the 1970s, although prior to that the Turkish government had given Anatolians to the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a gift, for experimental work as guardians of flocks. But in 1970, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America was formed at the urging of Robert Ballard, a U.S. naval officer who had become fascinated by the dogs while in Turkey, and who began to breed them once back in California. The breed entered the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1996. It moved to the Working Group in August 1998. (Source: Anatolian Shepherd Dog)
For more information, check out Anatolian Shepherd Dog International.
The Anatolian Shepherd is a big and agile dog capable of thwarting even the largest of predators. Our Livestock Guardian Dogs are professionals of perimeter security and handle every infringing predator from mice to coyotes. They are also a wonderful alarm system and will warn you when something is out of the ordinary.
Anatolians usually have a short coat (although there are rough coats that are longer)! They are easily incorporated into high-temperature climates but are also able to develop a dense undercoat for cold seasons. Iowa is well-known for temperature extremes with hot, humid summers and frigid, windy winters. Anatolians are perfectly adapted to handle the wide variance of weather. And best of all? No hair mats, tangles, or extra grooming requirements!
Anatolian Shepherds, in general, tend to be more stranger-wary than other LGD breeds. They will typically alert to strangers and visitors unless properly introduced. For this reason, as well as their strong guardian instincts, we normally recommend against using them as companion-only pets in which livestock are not present. In the absence of livestock, the dog considers their human family to be their "herd" and be overprotective without regular socialization, stimulation, and training. However, there are exceptions to this based on individual puppy personalities and family requirements, and we have successfully placed a small percentage of our more human-oriented puppies in pet-only homes that are familiar with the breed and have adequate space/fencing to maintain a happy, healthy Anatolian.
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