The Anatolian Shepherd comes from a long history of origins as an ancient guardian. The breed most likely comes from the Tibetan mastiff and Roman Mollosian war dogs that came to Turkey over four thousand years ago. They were proved important as great defenders of livestock against frightening predators like wolves and bears. They escorted the nomadic shepherds and grew throughout a large region which explains the breed’s wide variety of size, color, and coat type. However, there were some traits of the Anatolian Shepherd that seemed to be consistent throughout all types: faithfulness, independence, and toughness. While the breed is called a Shepherd, it is somewhat misleading because the Anatolian Shepherd was never a herder. This breed of dog came to America in the 1950’s. Even though it was praised for its talent in guarding livestock against coyotes and other intimidating predators, it remained quite unknown to most dog enthusiasts. It was not until the late 1970s and 1980s that the Anatolian Shepherd began to gain more recognition and appreciation. Owners valued the dog’s utilitarian traits as opposed to its appearance. The Anatolian Shepherd grew in popularity as it slowly began to show that owners desired a loyal companion and faithful guardian more than a dog based on appearance. It was not until 1996 that the Anatolian Shepherd was accepted into the AKC Miscellaneous class. Soon after this, it was acknowledged in the Working Group. Now, enthusiasts of the breed are most proud of their Anatolian Shepherd’s working attributes that are superior to many other dog breeds.