Radio interview source: Gary Jakobi, Past President, Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America
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It's impossible to keep a watchful eye on your livestock 24-7 so having a trusted dog to guard them is an asset. Gary Jakobi is a past president of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America. He says Anatolians are excellent flock guardians. They aren't herding dogs, but will protect livestock such as sheep, goats, and horses.
"The dogs are very nurturing with them, they will help ewes and lick babies clean, the same thing with horses if the horse allows it," Jakobi says. "They will protect the little ones as soon as they're born and they will not leave animals that are hurt or injured. If the herd wanders off, they will stay with them."
Jakobi says Anatolians are not outwardly aggressive. If an intruder shows up, the dog's first line of defense is to scare it away with a deep, warning bark. Anatolians won't normally start a fight, but will end it with an attack to keep the flock safe.
Anatolian females weigh up to 120-pounds and the males up to 150-pounds.
This is an intelligent and assertive breed, so starting in puppyhood, you must train the dog to understand that you are a dominant leader, and all humans in the family must be obeyed. Jakobi says, "You can't be a passive milk toast-type person and be able to own one of these dogs, they'll walk all over you. This is a dog that by nature is very dominant. They are strong-willed, they are powerful, they are extremely fast and very intelligent. They will learn anything very quickly. I've owned a lot of different dogs and animals in my life, and this is the most intelligent animal I've ever had."
An Anatolian Shepherd is protective of children and loving with them, but not a pooch they can romp and play with.
Anatolian puppies cost $500 to $2,000.