The Anatolian was once used for hunting lions and horses, now they are used for guarding flocks of sheep and goats in Turkey. They are an ancient breed that is regarded as a national emblem in Turkey.



The Karabash is a large powerfully built mastiff type dog. They are best known for their distinctive facial markings, cream to fawn with a black mask and ears. They have a short dense coat which is relatively easy to keep. As a breed they are slow to mature, males can be 4 years old and females can be 3 before they are fully mature.


Size Giant

The Karabash comes in a variety of colours including fawn, brindle and white.

Coat Length Short Medium
Weight/Height Range Dogs measure between 74-81cms at the withers, bitches are between 71-79cms at the withers. Dogs weigh between 50-64kgs and bitches weigh between 41-59kgs.
Ailments The Karabash has been bred over many centuries and because of this is virtually free from hereditary health problems. They can have wry mouths and bad temperaments. Owners should insist on screening for temperament and physical traits, including hips and eyes.
Breed Classification

The Karabash belongs to the Working Dog group. Today it is still used by the shepherds of Turkey to guard flocks of sheep and goats.

Feeding & Ownership


As these dogs are so large they do need a lot of feeding, especially as young dogs, and this can be quite expensive. The adult dog will not eat a vast amount of food once it is fully grown.


Food Cost More than $20
Other Expenses This is a hardy breed, so veterinary costs should not be too high.



Anatolian Shepherd dogs are territorial. They are natural guard dogs, independent and very intelligent. They must be socialised from a very early age as their guarding instinct is very strong. They are gentle with children, but must be watched due to their size. They can be aggressive (especially the males) to same sexed dogs in the same household and, because of their susceptibility to fleas, should not live with cats or other household pets. This is not a suitable breed for novice dog owners.


Intelligence A very intelligent and strong willed dog. They have been bred to use their initiative, making training quite hard. They require a great deal of patience when training and, even then, success cannot be guaranteed.
Energy High
Suitability for Children Medium
Tendency to Bark Low
Overall Exercise Requirement The Karabash needs a lot of exercise, lots of long walks. This dog is very active and can endure extremes of heat and cold conditions. They need a large, enclosed and safe area for running around off the lead and so do not do well in cities and towns.
Suitability as a Guard Dog High
Ease of Transportation Low
Level of Aggression High
Other Animal Compatibility Low



The grooming of this dog is relatively easy. The coat is short and dense with a thick undercoat and will only need brushing once a week. They will shed heavily during the moulting seasons.


Grooming Requirements Once a week
Amount of Hair Shed Heavy

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