Anatolian Shepherds- A Working Livestock Dog
Anatolian Shepherds come with an inherent ability to guard that which they bond to. They should prefer to be with the flock rather than in the home with people. This is a unique trait in these types of breeds. Part of this comes from genetics and instinct, and the rest comes from being raised from a puppy to live outside with the livestock. The dog generally considers itself to be a member of the flock/herd and does not require much training to protect its mates. The protective instinct should be natural, but you may need to invest time in correcting other behaviors that are undesirable.
Anatolian Shepherd dogs are going to be naturally independent, stubborn, and strong-willed. They are assertive with strange animals and strange people. They are not affectionate and tend to be aloof even with their human family. Do not expect this to be a dog that will rush up to greet you or roll around for a belly rub. They are devoted to their guarding jobs.
When you bring your puppy home be prepared for him/her to spend the night where you expect him/her to spend the nights as an adult. With the livestock. Not in your house. Your puppy will need to spend time with the animals that he/she is to bond with. Keeping the puppy in the same pen or near the livestock is important for bonding, but always remember that this is a puppy. You want to make sure your puppy is safe from predators, livestock that can injure the puppy, or baby animals that the puppy can injure if play becomes too rough. Keeping them on a chain with the animals or behind a fence can kept them from developing any bad habits of chasing the livestock.
NEVER throw your puppy in with your livestock and expect him to naturally take on the role of a Livestock Guardian Dog.
Over the next several months supervise your puppy and discipline any unwanted action toward the animals such as chasing, chewing, and biting. Do not hit or kick a livestock guardian dog. This can ruin a dog and they will NEVER trust you. They respond very well to a firm voice. That is all they need.
Feed the puppy when he is with the livestock. Do not take the puppy up to the house for food and attention.
Be clear in teaching the pup what you expect from it, including staying within its territory. If the pup strays from the flock, or follows you to the house, return it to the livestock.
Give the dog the benefit of training and experience. Train the pup to a few commands, to wear a collar, walk on a leash, be tethered on a cable, and be held in a crate or kennel. Walk the pup into buildings and stock trailers, take it for rides in the farm truck, and let the pup learn what it feels like to be examined, brushed, and restrained. Introduce the pup to other farm animals (including other species of livestock, herding dogs, chickens, etc.) it will need to know as it goes about its business.
AKC has a great website with all the information you need for the health of your new dog- AKC First Year
Don't forget heart worm prevention, flea and tick control, wormings, and rabies shots. I use Joe's Pet Meds.
Good food and extra food when it's cold.
Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires...anything could happen. A good collar with current ID is very important. All of my dogs and puppies are also micro-chipped. A responsible breeder will always want their dog to get to its owner. I pre-pay for the micro-chip to guarantee the return of your dog.
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