Most ASD owners and breeders will agree the ASD is not an ideal pet for the average dog owner. They have been bred for thousands of years to do a job~guard stock. They are not meant to be penned, chained or left alone in a house or yard with no job to do.
The ASD is still very primitive in its behavior when compared to other family dogs.
They are not as homogenized as, say, the Rottweiler or German Shepherd, or even the Saint Bernard or Great Dane. The ASD's instincts and behaviors remain similar to their ancestor, the wolf. These instincts and behaviors are what make them less than perfect candidates for a pet home.
CONSIDER THESE REASONS NOT TO GET AN ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD:
An ASD can climb, dig and jump over almost any fence. They can flatten themselves into pancakes to get out. This is one of the TOP REASONS ASDs are relinquished to dog pounds.
The ASD requires extensive dedication to training and proper socialization. Obedience training is highly recommended. Socialization is needed with a young dog to avoid aggression problems later on. Even with proper training, the ASD remains stubborn and will not always respond quickly (or at all) to your commands. This dog requires an owner with patience, time and energy to spend on training and socializing.
The ASD is most active in its first 2 years of life, however, even adults require a lot of exercise. It is recommended for the pet ASD to have at least 30 minutes of exercise in the morning and again in the evening. ASD who are not properly exercised will grow bored ad destructive, not to mention overweight.
The ASD is an avid digger. They will tunnel and dig huge craters in your yard.
The ASD likes to bark. If you have a suburban ASD, be prepared to have him/her sound off each time they see the neighbors coming or going. They feel anything within their sight is theirs, and they will alert you to all of the neighborhood activity they can see. Night time is worse, as this is the time the ASD feels it needs to go to work. Be prepared to have your neighbors complaining all the time.
The ASD may or may not get along with other pets in your home. DO NOT bring a male ASD into a home with a resident male dog, regardless if it is neutered. Even neutered male will fight over the alpha ranking. The ASD has also been known to kill cats. Some dogs will get along fine with feline friends, others will not. There is no exact science to this, unfortunately. Be prepared to have the ASD chase and want to do bodily harm to your cat. Keep in mind these dogs are big enough to kill a cat or other small animals (even small dogs) with one shake of their head.
It is recommended you properly introduce any new pets slowly and with restraints.
These are huge dogs. They can reach a height of over 30" at the shoulder. This means the ASD will be able to rest his chin on your kitchen counter. He/she will weigh in excess of 100 pounds, and may reach a weight of 150 pounds. With big dogs come big $$$'s. For example, most services and treatments at your vet are figured by weight. The more weight, the more $$'s. This also applies to boarding kennels. Prices are according to the dogs weight. Also consider transporting this huge dog. If you own a compact car, a full grown ASD will probably not fit in it. Along with not fitting in compact cars, these dogs do not fit into compact homes. They need room to stretch and room to run. They are not well suited to apt. living or ay type of dwelling with little to no yard space.
This is not intended to neither discourage or encourage pet ownership with an ASD. It is only intended to be a tool for educating the potential owner prior to bringing an ASD into their home.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF RESCUED ASD's COME FROM PET HOMES
These owners probably had good intentions, but did not research the breed well enough to find out they are not well suited to suburban life. This is not to say the ASD cannot or will not make a good pet. They can and they do, BUT it requires A LOT of DEDICATION, TIME, TRAINING, and PATIENCE from the pet owner.
Please be sure you are willing to devote yourself to the proper training and exercise these dogs require. Be sure you have the proper fencing for them. Be sure of all of the things we have covered on this page. Do your research prior to becoming an owner. Subscribe to an ASD Email list, listen to other owners and their problems. Visit a local owner or breeder to actually meet an ASD in person.
Please do not make an uninformed decision that could cost a dog his/her life.
-- Carleen Conyers,
Anatolian Shepherd Rescue Network