Showsight Presents The Anatolian Shepherd

“WHEN YOU HAVE CONNECTED WITH AN ANATOLIAN, YOU WILL KNOW THERE IS NO OTHER BREED LIKE IT.”

DGr: They must be large and powerful as well as agile so they can do the job they have been doing for thousands of years in Turkey. GL: When looking at an Anatolian Shepherd Dog you need to see a dog that is ruggedly built—long legged, deep chested with a high tuck-up. A dog constructed to travel long distances if necessary, but with the ability to move extremely quickly if the need arises. A dog with excel- lent muscularity, which also exudes an obvious compe- tence and authority. A dog that you, on a visceral level, recognize to be a formidable protector of livestock or its family. When looking at an Anatolian Shepherd Dog you should never doubt that it is able to do the job is have been bred to do over the past 4,000 to 6,000 years! CS: Good structure is more important than size, as long as the size is within the standard. Feet are also important. I have seen too many flat, splayed feet. 6. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? KE: Judges consistently reward dogs for baiting and demon- strating show ability. Since this breed is not as trainable as a Doberman or Boxer, they must be independent thinkers, they are eliminating many quality dogs that exhibit the proper temperament. A judge is not their flock and they are not interested in them. Judges often mistake the lack of enthusiasm for the show ring for lack of performance, which is incorrect. Also, the breed is large and rugged. They are not giant and sleek. While we do not have limits on our standard, the giant dog breaks down faster and is unable to perform in the field as long. DLG: Realize that while the majority of Anatolians aren’t “showy”, don’t penalize the ones that enjoy doing any- thing with their handlers and are showy. 7. What would you like to see judges do differently when judging the ASD? KE: Approach them without fear, but with respect. They should be approached on an angle after the owner has set them. This is not a breed that should be overly handled by either the handler or the judge. I would ask judges to run their ring and ensure that there is space between exhibitors—don’t allow handlers to run up on each other. Lastly, don’t allow the handlers to race around the ring. An Anatolian should move with little effort, but not at racing speed. Gaiting should be light and fluid. DGr: Approach from the side in a non-threatening manner. Be patient with puppies and newbies. Let the handler

show the bite. This is a serious Working breed and not necessarily flashy or showy. That being said, they should not be faulted if they are showy. GL: I would like to see judges allowing the handlers to show their dog’s bite. I would also like the judges to be sure they study our standard and understand that our breed is not a demonstrative breed. The dogs typically don’t really care about the judge—as long as he or she doesn’t appear to be threatening—they are in the ring because the owner or handler (who, in the case of handlers, the Anatolian has come to know and like) wants them to be there and they trust the judgment of their people. Anatolians are not dogs to be approached aggressively or “head on”. They do much better being approached from an angle and should never be overly handled by the judge. Remember, the dog doesn’t know you and the breed is, by nature, suspicious of people they don’t know and aloof with strangers. Additionally, judges need to remember that in our breed there are no preferences to be given based on coat length or coloration. All coats and colors are equally accepted in the breed. Likewise, eye color can range from light yellow to dark chocolate— again, with no preference given. CS: Do differently? Bigger is not necessarily better. Under- stand their topline. Head should be in balance with the body. 8. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? KE: When you have connected with an Anatolian, you will know there is no other breed like it. They are loyal, devoted and intelligent. They demand respect and offer it in return. DGr: Anatolians are a very special, intelligent and indepen- dent breed that can work with just about any kind of livestock and adjust to many different lifestyles. They are a guardian dog and their unique sense of determining an actual vs. a “perceived” threat to their charges (be it livestock or human) must be preserved. A confident, properly socialized Anatolian is the goal and excessive sharpness or overreaction with lack of confidence should not be rewarded. DLG: This is a breed that must be socialized at a young age. GL: When my wife and I first discovered the Anatolian Shepherd Dog in 1983, we immediately fell in love with the temperament, intelligence, size and overall look of the dog. Over time we learned, and came to appreciate, how truly independent minded they are and how much

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