Turkish canine authorities see the Anatolian Shepherd Dog as an unpure breed, created in the West by crossing specimens belonging to the native Turkish Coban Kopegi population and the common street dogs of Turkey with Yoruk Sheepdogs, Kurdish Shepherd Dogs and the Akbash, as well as the Great Pyrenees, Kuvasz and other popular livestock breeds of Europe. In America, most fanciers of this breed still believe that the Coban Kopegi comes from Turkey, where it has supposedly been developed as a very hard working herder and guardian centuries ago. Contrary to popular belief and the claims made by some of the breed's overly zealous fanciers, this is NOT the same thing as the Kangal. These are two separate and very different breeds, only one of them being truly Turkish.
Despite its origin, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog was granted official recognition by the United Kennel Club in 1993, angering many Turks and Molosser enthusiasts worldwide. Although its heritage and authenticity is questionable, the Anatolian Shepherd is in fact a very good working dog, steadily growing in popularity and commonly found as a prized livestock guardian on American ranches, British farms and even in Namibia, where it is employed alongside Kangals as an effective weapon against cheetahs.
This is a very fast dog, reportedly capable of reaching speeds of over 35 mph. More aggressive than the Kangal Kopegi and the Akbash, this large rugged breed needs proper early socialization and responsible handling. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a good watchdog, due to its observant nature and strong protective instincts. Naturally suspicious of strangers, this aloof breed is definetely not a people-pleaser like the Kangal Kopegi. Although a stubborn dog, the Anatolian Coban Kopegi makes a loving companion, willing to obey its master. Lean, muscular and well-boned, this is a resilient and strong worker.
The short harsh top-coat has a dense undercoat which needs reasonable care. Unlike the Turkish Kangal Kopegi, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog comes in all colourings, solid or multicolour. Average height is around 28 inches.