Anatolian puppy at shelter, am I crazy to consider it?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bock, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I have been wanting to add a new pup to our current pack of two for a while now, and I think I almost have my parents on board. I have always deeply admired border collies, and dreamed of rescuing a BC/ lab mix. However, I know there is no way I realistically have enough time to devote to a BC right now. I am a very active person, but between sports and school, I don't think I would be able to give it the exercise and training it needs.

    On the totally opposite end of the spectrum, there are the lgd's. I would love for a dog to protect our chickens and goats, but at the same time I really want a lovable pet. If our set up was different, I am pretty sure we would already have an LGD. However, our land is very hilly and the backyard is fenced separately from our pasture. I wouldn't want the dog to be completely isolated from us like that. Plus, I wouldn't want to risk it threatening or even hurting kids and adults who come over to visit.

    Well anyway, today we went *just to look* at one of the shelters near us. There was two adult pure breed anatolians caged together, and an adorable 3 month old puppy a few cages down. The adults were very wary of people, but the puppy was such a love. She sat down and wiggled her fuzzy little butt like crazy. Then, she rolled over on her belly and started kicking her little legs, like "take me home"! We looked at the next pen, and she was still sitting there, wagging her tail as she lay upside down with a big grin on her face. Also, I thought other anatolians were adorable, until I saw her. My goodness, her fur was like sheep wool and she had such gorgeous creme fur! It was REALLY hard to leave her there! I fell in love today, and so did my mom and sister. Am I crazy to consider this? Could she double as an LGD for our livestock and a pet at other times?If I socialized her VERY well, would she be okay with strangers? I know I am pushing it and trying to turn her into something she isn't, but I can dream. I also worry about hip dysplasia with such a large breed with an unknown background. Does anyone have an anatolian as a pet?
  2. alexthechicken

    alexthechicken Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2012
    YES!!!!!!!! I DO!! i have a 3 year old and he is the most loyal sweetest dog i have ever had. We always talk to him like he is a person because he is so intelligent. LITERALLY! We have 3 chickens (chicks 13 weeks old) and we seperated the chicks from Rufus( our anatolian shepherd) because we thought he was going to eat them. The first time we put them together he tried to grab one and my family screamed NOOOOO! after that he never even touched one. they are the sweetest dogs. you will love that breed and when they are puppies, they are little puppy bears!! just be aware that when they start teething, they go after shoes. our motto was when he was a puppy is "If you don't want your shoes, put them outside." LOVE THIS DOG
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    LGD breeds need to be seriously researched. You don't want to regret your decision. It is not one to be taken lightly. They need a lot of training to be trusted with poultry, and it's better to start them off with a large livestock animal (goat, sheep, etc). They need something to bond to, and it's tough to get them to bond with poultry.
  4. kbell

    kbell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2010
    Chickamauga GA
    I have 2 Anatolian Shepherds, great dogs. I have 3 yr old in with my goats and she is wonderful. She doesn't like the Guineas though. My other is a pup still and he's learning the ropes now. I also have a Great Pyr/Anatolian sheperd and he's in the getting used to the animals period. He was a family pet when I got him so he is learning to protect and not just be a love bug. I have learned alot on the LGD Help board on Facebook, there's some great people on there and would answer any questions you have. I love my 3 and I have 2 Great Pyrenees also. Good luck!!!
    Be sure to visit the "LGD Help" board on Facebook.

  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens


    I am having the hardest time training my LGD to actually listen to my commands. It's frustrating. You have to train these dogs, and almost everything I read stated otherwise. She is now a disrespectful teenager (10 months) and I had to hire a professional trainer to train me on how to gain her respect.

    These dogs NEED guidance. You can't just stick them with livestock and expect them to be perfect right away. These dogs WILL run given the chance if not properly trained. They need to know recall. My girl does not listen when we call her name. She does not attack the poultry, but has tried to play before. Our biggest issue is respect for humans. Once we get that down, we can work on getting her a few sheep.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  6. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Thanks for the replies everyone! I have been thinking about it all night, but there are still a few things that worry me about the breed in general.

    1. How would they be with strangers, kids included? What about the lady who comes to feed our animals when we go on vacation?

    2. Are they okay with other dogs? My own chihuahua mix, Sabrina, is submissive towards people, but dominant with other dogs. Could that be an issue? Also, my grandparents often bring over their golden retriever for a few days when they visit. How about new dogs away from home?

    3.would they bark in situations such as seeing another person or dog on a walk? What about when someone comes to the door?

    4. Socialization! I plan on signing whatever dog we end up with for Petsmart training classes just to help socialize it. We live out in the country, so this can be hard otherwise. I will also bring it on walks in other more populated areas and let it meet as many dogs and people as possible. Any other thoughts on this?

    5. And the biggest one, would it be OK for her to be inside sometimes, out with the goats and chickens at other times? I feel like that is the biggest issue, and I don't know exactly how it would work. I have researched lgd training somewhat, but I need to do a lot more.

    If we did decide to get her, it would have to be after Thanksgiving. If we decided she was a good choice and got the official yes, we would have to wait all the way until Saturday. :( It is pretty stormy here, so maybe she will still be there. I don't want to keep her from the perfect home though, so I will try not to wish that she is still there Saturday.
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    LGDs are technically not supposed to leave the property at all for anything other than vet visits. You could, but it would not be wise if you want to use the dog for a livestock working dog.

    As for other dogs, as a puppy it will be good with other dogs, but you don't want it to be. Dogs are the #1 predator of poultry, and if your LGD is not conscious of strange dogs on your property, you'll have issues. She should be fine with your present dogs, and they will become part of her territory, and they will be something she protects as well. My poodle is a dominant dog as well, and until recently they got along great. Now Clementine is asserting herself with Chloe. Chloe submits Clementine when she is too hyper. I'm afraid one day Clem will hurt Chloe (who is 12 pounds).

    She can go inside, yes. It's actually good for her to come inside a few hours every night and watch you go about your business. This is a good time to kennel them for calm periods. You want her/him to watch you reading, watching TV, etc. This is what my trainer has told me.

    She will bark. It's an LGD thing, and should be addressed each time. you'll learn her different barks. She'll bark to keep predators away. She should do this every hour, for not more than a few minutes each time. If she is barking because she is lonely, this needs to be addressed. If she sees something and barks, this should be rewarded. Not sure yet how to reward that.. But it is something you want her to do.

    Clem has warned me of stray dogs so far, and a raccoon. I was very proud!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  8. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    Another poster asked about an Anatolian a few days ago, and this was my reply to her. I copied it so I did not have to type it again:

    We have an Anatolian Shepherd... Here's what I can tell you from my experience with her.

    They are a gaurd dog, as such, they do bark. A lot. Mine has different tones and barks for different threats. I can tell the difference, and I fully appreciate the job she does alerting us to what she perceives as "threats". If I had neighbors nearby, I am not sure they would appreciate it.

    She takes her job seriuosly. If she is outside, she is working. All day, and all night. The only way to ensure that she doesn't bark constantly at night is to put her inside, which she understands as "off duty". She does still bark in the barn at night, but only for something serious, something we need to attend to. She DOES NOT like to be confined. She has jumped thru windows, dug UNDER my barn foundation, and escaped every kennel my vet has put her in. At night, she is chained in the barn, with enough length to get out the open barn door. She is comfortable with that.

    She likes to roam. We haven't found a fence system yet that will contain her. She doesn't dissappear, but she considers my neighbor's property "hers" also.

    She has a lot of energy at times, but at other times, it seems like all she does is sleep. But it is amazing how I can see her sacked out asleep, yet she will jump to attention in a heartbeat if she hears/smells something threatening.

    She is great with my kids, though a bit much at times - they get knocked down a lot. She is great with my cats. She likes to eat my chickens, but we have come to an understanding about that. She will gaurd her food from the horses and cattle. She doesn't gaurd it from the cats, dogs or kids, though.

    Climate wise, she has seemed completely comfortable from 115* summer heat to -30* winter cold. She has an igloo style house stuffed with straw.

    She is an AMAZING dog, and I am glad we have her. She gives us a sense of security that we did not have before we had her. But, she has some pretty unique requirements....

    As for your questions about socialization, the other reply is correct - you do not want her to accept strange/new dogs. If she is to be a guard dog, then she will need to chase off strange dogs. My Anatolian is fine with our family dogs. At the vet, she has to be on a very short leash, and she immediately stiffens and displays dominant behavior when she sees another dog. I'm not saying she is barking and lunging at other dogs, she is silent, and stays by my side. I do, however, warn anyone near me that they CANNOT let their dog near mine - no sniffing butts/noses. When we lived in OKC, the neighbors on all sides had dogs. Lily would run our fenceline, playing with them. When she went visiting the neighbors, she was fine with the dogs, too. Never even a growl... BUT!!! Any neighbor dog that came into our pasture/on our property got a massive a**whooping and left with it's tail between it's legs. She never drew blood on any of them, but I am sure they thought they were going to die, it always scared the heck out of me, too. I have never walked her anywhere there were other dogs present, I would be afraid of what might happen. She is big - probably over 100lbs now, as she was 98lbs when she was spayed. That's a lot of dog to control if a fight breaks out.

    Yes, she barks if anyone knocks on the door. We have lived in 2 different places since we have had her - both were on dead end streets, with 5 houses on the street. Lily quickly learned the sound/smell of ALL of the neighbors vehicles (and the mail-lady!). She doesn't make a peep when they drive by. But anyone else - she raises a ruckus. She even pitched a fit yesterday when the mail-lady drove a different vehicle. She is incredibly smart.
  9. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Hmm, the strange dog friendliness is definitely a problem. Obviously it would be pointless if the LGD let dogs come kill our animals. But at the same time, I would like to be able to at least have her be okay with my grandparent's dog and dogs at the vet office, etc. It would be terrible to have a dog of that size attack another friendly dog. I guess that's where the LGD vs. pet thing really conflict.

    Our chickens used to be completely free-range, but after huge losses to coyotes, a few to raccoons, 2 to a feral cat, and possibly some to hawks, they are locked up 24-7. Never had a dog problem yet, though it doesn't mean one won't show up one day. I really miss those bright orange yolks from happy free-range hens. They seem so depressed when they are locked up, no matter how many treats I give them. An lgd would eventually mean freedom for them, as long as she didn't turn out to be a chicken killer. We also have a mid-sized pony on the side with the chickens, and we divided off about 1 acre of our pasture with hot wire for our three goats. That, of course is an other issue, since the dog would have no way to get through the hot wire. Thanks for the help, your suggestions and answers are really great! I only with I had Facebook to join the LGD group kbell suggested. [​IMG]
  10. Jubilee1111

    Jubilee1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Many of the top placing Anatolians in the conformation ring work as LGDs full time. They are plucked out of the pasture, groomed, showed and put right back in with their stock when they return home from the show.

    Check out this website:

    I know a few of these dogs and handlers personally.

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