Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International, Inc.



Reasons why NOT to have an Anatolian

This is a very brief part of the FAQ, located on this site, that pertains to reasons why Anatolians need new homes, and why they end up in rescue. Do read the rest of the FAQ if you haven't already. TIP: If you would like to read the Full FAQ, for faster loading, turn off your graphics. It is a BIG page!

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   This is not the breed for everyone, and should not become 'the breed of the month', as has happened to some breeds. This breed is, first and foremost, a guarding dog, with strong independence and dominance drives, and it requires a responsible approach to successful management. Time and effort is required to keep Anatolians socialized and well-behaved. They are very strong and can be very stubborn at times. If you are looking for a dog that will obey at the drop of a command, then this is not the dog for you. The owner should not allow commands to be given unless an effort is made to follow through should the dog elect the typical reaction of "selective deafness". Otherwise, the dog will walk all over you. This is a breed that has a lot of confidence and needs to be trained with a firm and loving hand. The Anatolian can become aggressive without proper training. One should never hit this dog in anger, as they may respond to aggressive behavior on your part with aggression of their own, or become so upset that they may refuse to work with you. It is usually recommended that this breed not be trained for protection sports or as an attack dog, for several reasons. First, the breed already has natural guardian instincts, and is very discriminating in determining real' vs. fake' threats. Second, Anatolians are rather low on prey drive (being livestock guardians) and are not good material for competitive protection work, as they lose interest rather easily and are not motivated to the same degree as are herding breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Belgian Malinois, and Australian Shepherds.

Some of the reasons that people give up on their Anatolians (in no particular order):

  • None or poorly fenced yard; dog roams.
  • Dog digs moonscape into the landscaping.
  • Dog sheds.
  • Dog too stubborn. Training makes the owner angry with the dog.
  • Barks too much, especially at night.
  • Fights with other dogs.
  • Spouse, kids or housemates are scared of dog or allergic.
  • Dog lives on chain in the yard -- just got tired of it.
  • Too big for the household (was a cute puppy though).
  • No time to train or made too many training mistakes, no longer able to control dog.
  • Boredom destruction such as dog chews things up. BIG-time.
  • Made a mistake, have too many dogs now.
  • Did not really understand what Anatolian character is. Should have done more research.
  • Bred a big litter and can't sell the puppies. Giving them to the shelter or a pet shop.
  • "_________________" <-- fill in the blank.

A new article from Marlene Johnson, about the realities that some may face:
How Could This Happen? Training article by Marlene Johnson

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