The Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Turkish: Anadolu çoban köpeği) is a breed of dog which originated in the Anatolia region of central Turkey. It is rugged, large and very strong, with good sight and hearing that allow it to protect livestock. With its high speed and agility it is able to run down a predator with great efficiency. The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom classifies it as a shepherd dog and Fédération Cynologique Internationale classifies it as molossus/mountain dog #331 (group 2 part 2.2)
The Karabaş (Blackhead) is descended from ancient livestock guardian dog types that migrated with the transhumance, guarding flocks of sheep from wolves, bears, lions, tigers, leopards, jackals, and even cheetahs. It is probable that dogs of this type existed 6,000 years ago in what is now Turkey. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are members of a very old breed, probably descended from powerful hunting dogs from Mesopotamia. This mountain dog breed was developed over time to meet a specific set of circumstances. The most formative were climate (very hot, dry summers and very cold winters), lifestyle (sedentary, semi-nomadic and nomadic) and duties (guarding flocks moving great distances on the Central Anatolian Plateau).
Anatolian Shepherds are still used to guard livestock. This dog is guarding a goat herd in rural USA. In the 1970s, breeders in the West became interested in these dogs and began developing the landrace natural breeds as modern breeds by documenting their descent from particular ancestors and writing breed standards. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was imported from central Turkey into the United Kingdom by author and archaeologist Charmian Hussey. Although the first pair of dogs brought in by Roger Fanti Sr. were Karabakh (aka Kangal) dogs, other types of dogs were brought in later and cross bred under the definition of an Anatolian Shepherd dog. Many Turkish breeders believe that the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a cross of the Kangal dog and the Akbash dog. [Source: Wikipedia]
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