The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is an ancient breed of dog developed in Anatolia (central Turkey) for guarding flocks of sheep from wolves, bears, and jackals.
The breed's ancestors most likely migrated to the area now known as Turkey about 1000 AD with Turkic-speaking people, although it is probable that dogs similar to this existed at least 6,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Over the centuries, slight regional variations began to develop, although the dogs were collectively known as coban kopegi. In the 1970s, breeders began focusing on specific regions and working on developing standard breeds for each of the regions; the Anatolian is one of those breeds, coming from central Turkey.
The Anatolian was developed to be independent and forceful, responsible on its own for guarding its master's sheep. These traits make it more challenging as a pet; owners of dogs of this breed must determinedly socialize the dogs to turn them into appropriate companions. They are intelligent and can learn quickly but might choose not to obey; this is not generally a dog for a beginning or shy owner.