Happy Anatolian Shepherds
In order to live a happy, fulfilled life, your Anatolian Shepherd dog will require more than your affection and attention. This breed is a working dog, built and bred to be watchful, confront perceived threats, and protect what is theirs (livestock/property for LGDs and YOU if you keep an Anatolian as a family guardian/companion).
Anatolians require a purpose– whether that is living with and protecting a herd of 300 goats, or sleeping on the porch and running their own neighborhood watch program is up (at least partially) to you.
As the human adult responsible for a working breed, you have the distinct honor of deciding how you will direct the drive of your dog towards work. And you must decide what “job” your dog will have, lest they decide for themselves (this is where nuisance barking, digging, general property and peace destruction tend to ensue- a dog without direction or purpose coming from their human).
Our dogs are certainly a reflection of us. If you enjoy the keeping of livestock, but have predators that enjoy them more- an Anatolian Shepherd or two can be very helpful and live happily with your stock, keeping other predators at bay and addressing them as needed.
If you are an avid hiker, cross country skier, 5k-every-weekend, or just enjoy a brisk walk around the block- an Anatolian can be a great partner in these activities, so long as you do not force exercise when they are too young.
Anatolian Shepherds also require consistency from leadership (you!). They have a deep seeded sense of fairness and equity. If they decide that you are in some way unreliable towards them or their interests, your bond can suffer greatly. This is another instance of when the humans must step up for our dogs and be stable leaders in their lives.
If you are not in a place where this level of responsibility is possible or attainable for you, perhaps waiting to purchase a dog until you are in such a place would benefit both you and your future dog. There’s nothing quite like being called on your own nonsense by a dog. Who needs that kind of pressure?