The Anatolian Shepherd originated in Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia. This region refers specifically to the peninsula containing the Asian portion of modern-day Turkey. Their ancestors date back over 6,000 years to the Bronze Age of early civilization.
This makes today’s Anatolian Shepherd a descendent of some of the oldest known canine bloodlines, at least of the domesticated lines. Anatolian Shepherds were developed to protect and guard flocks of sheep and goats in harsh weather conditions year-round.
They came to the United States just before World War II as part of a project run by the Department of Agriculture to determine the best sheepdogs. The war slowed things down regarding the project, but the Anatolian Shepherd started to make way with U.S. ranchers in 1950s postwar America.By the 1970s, the breed took hold in the United States and started soaring in popularity as a valuable livestock protector. The AKC recognized the Anatolian Shepherd as a member of the Working Group in 1996. Anatolian Shepherds can still be found working as ranch dogs today and guarding flocks and herds of all types of animals. They have even been known to protect ostriches!