Apex Anatolians is a family of dogs over a decade in the making located in Western Montana working to protect a mixed herd of livestock and a small family from large apex predators daily. The dogs here function in pack sets to live and work together with Katahdin sheep, Kunekune pigs, a free ranging Icelandic chicken flock, Cotton Patch Geese, multiple barn cats, a couple cows, and the semi-feral farm boys.
Predators in our immediate area include (dogs have directly interacted with bold species):
*And lesser threats: Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Mink, and more.
Since 2010, livestock guardian dogs have worked this property to keep both livestock and humans secure by deterring predators from seeing opportunity here, and addressing any intruders appropriately.
The mission at Apex Anatolians is to preserve the purpose-driven temperament and health of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog to support families and herds alike. Our puppies/dogs are evaluated on multiple criteria prior to going home with their families or being considered for breeding here. We view each dog’s evaluation from a holistic perspective, because owning a beautiful dog won’t make up for a poor temperament or failed health over their lifetime!
Temperament: evaluate both fixed and fluid characteristics in scale ratings.
Work Aptitude: evaluate proximity and attitude towards stock, drive with threatening stimuli, temperament transfer to work, and multiple species preference.
Conformation: pups are evaluated for their overall conformation to the AKC Anatolian Shepherd Dog breed standard.
All of the above, in addition to official hip and elbow evaluation by OFA and/or PennHIP per the CHIC requirements for the Anatolian Shepherd breed. Passing health testing is not a guarantee of breeding quality, rather it is a prerequisite to being considered as a breeding dog. Our goal is to breed up and improve generation over generation.
Family drives us here at Apex. We raise animals to feed our family, friends and clients. When our animals are stressed by predator pressure, they do not produce the same quantity or quality of offspring, milk, eggs, etc. Losing a lamb or piglet to a predator would be a great loss to our program and our family. This is why we raise Anatolian Shepherds to prevent these stresses and losses to our herd.
By raising our dogs alongside our children, the boys and dogs share a great bond! We know that our kids are safe when they are outside, even with our predator load. That feeling of security on our property is priceless. Running livestock guardian dogs since before our kids came to our family, we have come to realize the often overlooked value the Anatolian Shepherd has to offer rural families.
These dogs require a purpose, and even without livestock, a family on some land in a predator-rich environment can provide a life-long purpose for an Anatolian to watch over and protect the property and children. The dogs can see, hear, and smell so much more than we can, after all. What sets the Anatolian apart from another dog watching over a home with children is the temperament to address threats when necessary in a measured and appropriate way. Our dogs have positioned themselves between our family members and both animal and human threats, willing to risk their lives for us.
Being raised by our human family, our pups are comfortable with men, women and children before they go to their new homes. For more information on how our puppies are prepared for the rest of their lives before leaving Apex, please visit our PUPPIES page.
The placement of our puppies is a BIG DEAL! Here are some of the ideal placements we look for:
- Small family ranches and farms
- Rural families prioritizing safety
- Herds who need protection
- Ranches without an “acceptable loss” column
- Where the puppy will be given both opportunity and direction
- Veterinarian knowledgeable on large breed working dogs
- Proper feeding through growth and maintenance stages
- Owners interested in the health and longevity of their dog
- Members of the ASDCA/ASDI breed club organizations.
In the interest of your time, let’s have a quick list of some things you will not find here:
- Bite work prospects
- “Easy” puppies
- Range dogs
- Hands-off rearing
- Littermate pairs placed together
- Apartment pets
- RV/Semi truck companions