Cape Town -Anatolian  Shepherd Dogs

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs
Cape Town - South Africa

The Anatolian Shepherd Dogs featured in this website were to be seen at the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch but have now been moved to an unknown destination. Turtle SA has no links to breeders so kindly do not contact us if you are looking for puppies. Here is a South African website where you can find out more about
South African bred Anatolian Shepherd dogs

 Anatolian shepherd dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

In Namibia where cheetahs still roam free they often come into contact with farmer's livestock. When this happens and the cheetah is hungry it will take a sheep or goat for a meal. This annoys the farmer and he will hunt down the cheetah and kill it to save his livestock. The killing of a cheetah is a most unsatisfactory solution as cheetahs are on the endangered list with only a few hundred still surviving worldwide.


A cheetah, the anatolian shepherd dog's biggest enemy in Namibia

There is however an easier solution to the problem of cheetahs and livestock and that is the introduction of Anatolian shepherd dogs into the pens with the livestock. The dogs are well suited for this duty especially if introduced as puppies or young dogs.

An Anatolian shepherd dog is firstly a guard dog which is loyal and fiercely possessive and protective of its family and surroundings. It is not an outgoing dog like a labrador and will not greet you if you are unknown to it. The dog is normally aloof and suspicious of anyone or thing entering its territory that it does not recognise. Once you have been introduced to the dog by its owner it will approach you of its own accord and after smelling your hand might allow you to scratch its chin. It does not like being scratched on the head by a stranger.

Anatolian shepherd dogs are unlike sheep dogs that herd sheep or livestock according to instructions from their owners. They have been bred to work independently with little interference from man. Sheep dogs have a strongly developed prey drive but with the Anatolian this is not the case. It's bonding and family drive allows it to bond possessively with animals and people and thereafter to protect them within an area it considers to be its home range. This protective drive is so strong in this breed that it has difficulty sharing its herd or family with another guard dog.


Anatolian shepherd dog resting in the shade

When on duty the Anatolian shepherd dog will walk along the boundaries of what it considers to be its domain a number of times per day and will mark out its territory while doing this. In the process of patrolling its turf it will establish two zones based on the amount of territory it can see and listen over. The first, its inner zone will be its protective area while the outer zone will be its buffer zone. After establishing its zones it will find a number of good vantage points from where it can see and hear what is going on and will then settle down in one of them to relax and to appear to be doing nothing.

By following its daily routine it soon establishes what is normal and what is not in its chosen domain.

What happens if something or someone enter the dog's domain? Its first action is to bark to announce that it has become aware of the intruder. Should this bark not deter the intruder the dog's bark will become more aggressive with an an alarm bark and then change to a snarl type bark if the intruder continues to threaten the dog or its domain.

If the barking fails to stop the intruder, the dog may attack silently in an effort to chase off the intruder and protect its domain. A dog living near a homestead with people will bark on the arrival of guests and will expect to meet the guests and greet them formally. Once it has done this it will go and lie down and keep an eye on them. If however one of the guests decides to walk unescorted to the homestead or away from where the owner is situated the dog will block its path until such time as the owner arrives to escort the guest. It may even bark to attract the owner's attention. These are great dogs to own especially if you are a farmer and have livestock that roams wild and needs protection.

Here in Cape Town on a farm in the Stellenbosch area they have a cheetah outreach program where cheetahs are raised to become ambassadors for the dieing cheetah population. One of the aims of this foundation is to protect the cheetah in the wild. To further this aim the Outreach program has begun training young Anatolian shepherd dogs which it then places with farmers whose livestock is threatened by wild animals such as the cheetah. Once the dog has been properly bonded with the farmer's livestock it then takes over the guarding of the flocks and will either scare off the intruder or attack it if needs be. This creates a win win situation for both cheetahs and the farmers. The cheetah if it were to kill the farmer's livestock would be hunted and killed by the farmer whereas now it is scared off by the dog and the farmer loses non of his livestock and the cheetah does not lose its life.

As Cheetahs are considered to be dangerous and pretty strong why would they be scared of a dog whose buddies are sheep and goats? The reason is that Anatolians are large, rugged and impressive looking dogs and are both tall and powerful. Males grow up to 81 centimetres in height and can weigh up to 65 kilograms in weight while females reach 79 centimetres and can weigh up to 55 kilograms. No cheetah in its right mind will take on a formidable looking dog of this size.

Both Anatolians and cheetahs can be seen on a visit to the winelands of the Cape.

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Cape Town - Anatolian Shepherd dogs