Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is an ancient flock protecting dog (they do not herd) found throughout rural Turkey that is known by the Turkish Shepherd’s as Çoban Kőpeği which translates as Shepherd Dog. In more recent times these dogs are being referred to by some as Kangal, which is a newly created name favouring dogs from the Kangal/Sivas area that are fawn with a black mask. This modern name excludes many excellent dogs from any other region.

The Turkish Shepherd's throughout time have continually selected dogs purely for their working ability, allowing only the best dogs to continue their lines regardless of colour, with form and function being their only criteria.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog can be seen in Turkey in a variety of colours, as can be seen from these pictures of working Anatolians taken in July 2005, ranging from white through to red, whole coloured or even tri-colour. The coat is short to rough with neck hair slightly longer and thicker at neck and mane. A thick undercoat is common to all. Feathering on ear fringes, legs, breeching and tail may be seen with rough coats. The Breed standard in the UK was amended in May 2004 and is now more in line with the FCI and the American Kennel Club whereby accepting all colours as depicted in these photographs.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is large and powerfully built and is a formidable animal and with a presence unlike many other breeds. Although they are normally, a very calm dog they can spring into action without any warning. When alert the tail is normally curled over reaching the dogs back. This is not a breed for the faint hearted. They are strong willed and a thinking dog and will try to outwit you on occasion.

This breed gets under your skin and once they have allowed you to live with them you will find it hard to live without them.

Although the Anatolian here in the UK is predominantly a pet or show dog socialisation is essential to help its behaviour. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog does not always tolerate other dogs.

The Anatolian is easy maintenance. They require very little grooming although daily grooming will help to reduce hair shedding throughout the home and a heavier shedding should be expected from the rougher coated Anatolians for several weeks during the moulting period. They are self-cleaning and bathing is not a necessary requirement. Exercise whilst growing should be restricted. They do like to play and run loose although a secured area is essential, as sometimes they may not see the need to return to its master when running free.
Furthermore, this breed is not the type that will fetch a ball all day! You may find yourself doing your own retrieving.

This breed does not suffer from any major health issues and this is monitored through Breed Clubs via health check questionnaires in conjunction with the Kennel Club. The Anatolian is also generally long lived for a large breed.

Breed Standard

  • Large, upstanding, tall, powerfully built, with broad, heavy head and short dense coat. Must have size, stamina and speed.
  • Active breed used originally as a guard dog for sheep; hard working; capable of enduring extremes of heat and cold.
  • Steady and bold without aggression, naturally independent, very intelligent. Proud and confident.
  • Skull large, broad and flat between ears. Slight furrow between eyes and slight stop. Mature males have broader head than females. Foreface one- third of total head length. Slightly pendulous black lips. Square profile. Nose black.
  • Eyes - Rather small in proportion to size of skull, set well apart and deep, showing no haw. Golden to brown in colour. Eye rims black.
  • Ears - Medium-sized, triangular in shape, rounded at tip, carried flat to skull and pendant, higher when alert.
  • Mouth - Teeth strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips black.
  • Neck - Slightly arched, powerful, muscular, moderate in length, rather thick. Slight dewlap.
  • Forequarters -Shoulders well muscled and sloping. Forelegs set well apart, straight and well boned; of good length; strong pasterns, slightly sloping when viewed from side. Elbows close to sides.
  • Body -Chest deep to point of elbow, ribs well sprung. Body powerful, well muscled, never fat. Level back. Body in proportion to leg length, slightly arched over loins, with good tuck-up.
  • Hindquarters - Powerful, lighter than forequarters; moderate turn of stifle.
  • Feet - strong with well arched toes. Nails short.
  • Tail -Long, reaching at least to hock. Set on rather high. When relaxed carried low with slight curl, when alert carried high with end curled over back, especially by males.
  • Gait/Movement -Relaxed even gait, with impression of latent power, very supple movement. Noticeable straight line of head, neck and body, giving impression of stalking in some dogs. Great drive when viewed from side.
  • Coat - Short, dense with thick undercoat. Flat, close-lying, neither fluffy nor wavy. S lightly longer and thicker at neck, shoulders and tail; no feathering on ears or legs.
  • Colour - All colours acceptable, with or without black mask and black ears.
  • Size - Height: dogs: 74-81 cms (29-32 ins) at the shoulders; bitches: 71-79 cms (28-31 ins). Weight: mature dogs: 50-64 kgs (110-141 lbs); bitches: 41-59 kgs (90-130 lbs).
    vFaults - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Note - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

    (photos to follow)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Welcome to the blog page of Anne Yates and John Field who are Asalet Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.

We have owned Anatolian Shepherd Dogs for the last 12 years and Ravak pictured above was our first Anatolian. He was a red male with a lot of spirit from the Hisar Kennel of the late Natalka Czartoryska. Sadly, Ravak is no longer with us although he is still missed.

Some months later Ravak was joined by Hisar Ana (pictured below) a rough coated bitch who was and is a different temperament altogether than Ravak. Although Ana is now very stiff she is still, thankfully, going strong.

Ravak and Ana have been extensively shown at many of the Championship Shows over their years before being retired.

Carrying on the good work done by both Ravak and Ana is our two young females Ugarit and Ulli who although not litter sisters are both 3.5 years old and French imports from the kennels of Ms Sophie Licari.

The two girls (pictured below) are inseparable which means when one of them gets into trouble then they both do.