Showsight Presents The Anatolian Shepherd

CINDY STANSELL

KE: Yes. They are more consistent and definitely more sound. The type is more stable and at a Specialty, you can identify every dog as an Anatolian. DGr: I think the dogs are not the quality that I saw in the breed 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. I think people have strayed from the original purpose and inherit sound- ness and structure we inherited from the dogs from Tur- key originally. The dogs in Turkey are also not the same as they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago. We need to focus on the original purpose and form must follow function. GL: The dogs being shown today are more consistent in “Type” than they were back in the early 80s. Part of that is due to breeders becoming more discriminating when it comes to choosing which dogs they breed together (they are much more aware of good breeding practices and are, on a whole, screening their breeding dogs to eliminate genetic problems) and part, is seems to me, is that many of those who are breeding with an eye toward showing, are trying to produce a dog that pleases the judges. The reality is that only small samplings of Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are actually being shown. There are far more dogs that never leave their ranches, farms or homes then you will ever see in the show ring. Some of the very best dogs in the breed will never be shown because they are too busy doing what they have been doing for millen- nia—being guardians for the many types of livestock they share their lives with and/or the families that they live with! CS: I’ve only been judging ASD for approximately 6 months. I’ll answer this one in two years! 5. Structurally, what separates the Anatolian Shep- herd Dog breed from others? KE: The profile of the dog, when standing should show a slight drop behind the withers (not a sway back or weak- ness in the topline) with gradual arch over the loin, slop- ing slightly downward at the croup. The topline of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog will appear level when gaiting. With proper ease of movement, the head will drop, the back will remain strong (no rolling) and the tail will rise. When these three elements come together, the leveling of the topline will become evident to the viewer. “WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE ORIGINAL PURPOSE AND FORM MUST FOLLOW FUNCTION.”

I am from Clayton, NC. Besides the dogs, I keep very busy with lots of hobbies and travelling. 30+ years showing dogs. Judging 12 years. Cindy Stansell started showing Siberian Huskies in the ear- ly 1980s, American Eskimo Dogs and Finnish Spitz in the late 1980s and Bulldogs and French Bulldogs in the last few years. She currently shares her home with her husband, Robin Stan- sell, and Siberian Huskies, Finnish Spitz, Bulldogs and one Anatolian Shepherd Dog.

1. Describe the breed in three words. KE: Intelligent, devoted and independent. DGr: Intuitive, loyal and powerful.

DLG: Powerful, intelligent and territorial. But, I would also like to add that they have the amazing ability to detect and protect the injured. GL: Intelligent, independent and powerful. CS: Instinctive, natural worker. 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? KE: Temperament. For me, they have to be intelligent and independent enough to perform their job. While there must be mutual admiration and respect, they have to be smart and thoughtful. This is not a breed that jumps because you said so or plays catch for hours. They should be discerning and gentle, unless needed to protect their flock. Structurally, I want to see a sound powerful, well- muscled dog. DGr: Proper temperament, structural soundness and bal- ance, correct movement and working ability. DLG: The appearance of power, not necessarily to be the “big- gest”, but it does need to look powerful. Balance (correct angles), as in most breeds. Good feet, it’s a Working dog. GL: Temperament, soundness, proper size and strength. CS: Must haves: balance, power and size. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? KE: Personally, I do feel sometimes proper temperament is sacrificed to produce a winner in the show ring. Since judges want to see a showy dog with alert ears on a beautiful free-stack, often this breed is overlooked unless a more prey-driven temperament is exhibited. Judges are selecting dogs on showmanship in the group ring and it is slowly changing the dogs that are selected by breeders. DLG: The topline—when standing, it has a slight dip behind the shoulders; on the move the topline is level. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not?

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