The Anatolian Shepherd is very loyal and is commonly used as a guardian dog. Highly intelligent and easy to train, these dogs are very quick at picking up new skills and are generally not a suitable fit for beginners. These dogs need an owner who is a natural leader and can control and guide the dog to appropriate behaviors as needed.
These dogs are naturally calm, brave, watchful, independent, and self-assured; they are not aggressive, but can be suspicious of strangers. They are often very affectionate with their own family, but strangers, will need to be formally introduced to be accepted.
Since the Anatolian Shepherd is naturally guarded, they can also become very possessive. In a home or property setting, that allows them to keep careful watch on the grounds will ensure that the family knows when a stranger is in the area. The dogs are friendly with people in general, unless they have reason to be otherwise. The dog is demanding of itself, and can sometimes be dominant or stubborn.
Obedience training is important to begin as early as possible using motivational training methods on a consistent basis. A loving approach fares well with these dogs and they are more likely to correct bad behavior in a safe, secure, and loving environment. A fully-grown dog can become too strong to be corrected and may not listen to the owner’s requests if dog obedience training is not consistent.
These dogs are very sensitive to reprimands but they are always eager to receive affection. They are patient and protective of their owners, children, and loyal to their families. They are natural protectors and do not require extra protection training. They can get along with many types of animals but tend to take a dominant role with other dogs.
Obedience training at a young age is very important for these dogs, since they will generally follow the patterns of behavior they learn in the earliest years. They can become a pleasant and docile companion with simple steps and strategies in the younger years. They are naturally reserved with strangers, but can learn to warm up to new people easily. They do have an obstinate personality at times, so it is important for owners to learn how to overcome challenges throughout their growth. Exposure to small animals at a young age will help these dogs overcome their natural chasing instinct.
Socialization is important to these dogs as they tend to mature slowly. They reach full adulthood at four years old, and many are trained to become flock guards. This often means that they live their entire lives with a flock, and may become under-socialized as a result. These dogs are best suited to guard, not herd, livestock. They can often be found patrolling a particular area and making sure, they have careful watch over their territory.