Choosing your Anatolian Shepherd puppy might be a daunting task – so much so that the stress and frustration may drown out your excitement of getting a dog of such a rare and dignified breed. This breed is descended from Turkey, and was only seen abroad at the turn of the 20th century. They are a temperamental breed, and even experienced dog-owners may have some difficulty at first, but with a lot of patience and adjustment, they can make wonderfully loyal and affectionate family companions. Here are some things that you should keep in mind when choosing your Anatolian shepherd puppy.
- Know if the Anatolian shepherd is right for you. Before you even begin looking for a breeder, you should know as much about the dog as possible. Research into the dog’s habits and temperament, and see if it’s suited to your setting. The Anatolian shepherd is a dominant breed that it slightly unused to being around humans – they have a very strong territorial instinct that you will have to adjust before they become good family companions. Look online for forums and threads discussing this breed, and air your concerns – other dog-breeders will be more than happy to give you their opinion.
- Search for a reputable breeder of puppies. You can look for references for a breeder of Anatolian puppies. Check if the breed lines are working lines, or show lines. The former will be more independent and aggressive, as they are still meant for sheepherding and guarding the flock from unwanted predators. Those bred for shows may have a gentler temperament more suitable to the family setting. This is recommended for the first-time Anatolian owner.
- Always satisfy your curiosity. When you meet the breeder, ask a lot of questions. Inquire about the health status of the parent dogs, and ask for a genetic history. There are specific concerns you might want to clarify, and making sure that there is no history of genetic illnesses or congenital diseases is important. Make sure that the parent dogs have health clearances given from reputable sources.
- Get to know your breeder. Since Anatolian pups are rare, you might have some time to get to know your breeder. Take the opportunity to establish cordial relations – he will be the one you will run to for advice in raising this temperamental breed. Visit the dogs he will use as parents for the litter of pups – inquire as to any awards or titles these dogs have won in shows or competitions. Awarded dogs are more likely to be healthy and free from any illnesses.
After you pick out your new pet, immediately place it in a kennel for the ride home. Some dogs may get carsick quickly, and minimizing the movements in the car will make the journey easier for both of you. Make sure that your Anatolian gets seen by the vet as early as possible (ideally within 72 hours upon arrival), to make sure that it gets the proper vaccines and de-worming treatment. A professional evaluation will screen out any health concerns you may have, and you should strictly adhere to the veterinarian’s advice for the first few days with your puppy.