Hailing from the Anatolia region in Turkey, Anatolian Shepherds are one of the most ancient dog breeds.
According to some sources, their blood lineage dates back 6,000 years, all the way to Bronze Age.
These imposing and fearless dogs served as protectors of livestock and their owners’ households for centuries.
They’re fiercely loyal to their humans and willing to do anything to protect them. To this day, it’s one of the main reasons for owning an Anatolian Shepherd.
However, sharing a home with a dog this big is not always a breeze.
Potential owners should be prepared to invest some significant work and time in their maintenance.
That’s why it’s important to be properly informed before getting into the adventure of owning this breed, no matter how rewarding it can be.
Below, you’ll learn do Anatolian Shepherds shed and all other basic information regarding their coat and grooming.
Do Anatolian Shepherds Shed?
Anatolian Shepherds don’t have the long and abundant fur often characteristic of livestock guardians.
Still, this breed is more than capable of putting you to work when it comes to cleaning up their hair behind them.
They shed medium to a high amount, so be prepared for a lot of hair around the house, especially if they live inside.
They will shed smaller amounts of hair all year round. In addition, they have two heavy shedding periods when they “blow their coats.”
Depending on the weather, this seasonal shedding commonly occurs in spring or summer for the first time, and in the fall or early winter.
Plus, female Anatolian Shepherds will also shed more heavily after their heat cycle.
During shedding season, you can expect large tufts of hair to fall out, making mess all over the house floor and furniture. The heavy shedding periods last for several weeks.
What Kind of Coat Does an Anatolian Shepherd Have?
Just like most herding breeds, Anatolian Shepherds feature a double coat.
Its role is to protect them from adverse weather conditions, both in freezing temperatures and during the heat of the summer.
The Anatolians’ topcoat comes in two variants: short and rough. The short upper coat is about 1 inch long while the rough type is longer, at about 4 inches.
In addition, the hair length can vary depending on the bloodline of a particular dog and the season.
All dogs, both those with rough and short topcoats, have a thick and relatively soft undercoat.
The hair around the neck and mane is always slightly longer. Also, they may have featherings on their legs, tail, and ears.
Anatolian Shepherd Coat Color
The coat of Anatolian Shepherds comes in a range of colors and patterns.
All color markings and patterns are equally acceptable, per standard. Still, some patterns are more common than others.
The most likely combination includes fawn with the black masks.
Here the fawn can include a wide range of shades, from almost white or pale champagne, all the way to golden, red, or badger.
Other frequent colorations are pintos (which may or may not include black masks), black, white, cream with liver mask, and blue with black mask.
On the other hand, you’re least likely to see a brindle or liver Anatolian Shepherd.
How Do You De-shed a Double-Coated Anatolian Shepherd?
As I already said, Anatolian Shepherds can shed profusely, especially when they’re blowing their double coats.
Of course, this means that there will be a lot of hair around the house to pick up.
Some double-coated dog owners clip their pets, assuming that it will result in less cleaning work.
However, this doesn’t reduce shedding and, in fact, makes cleaning even more tiresome as short hair is more difficult to pick up.
Potential owners should know that there’s no way to prevent or stop the shedding of a double coated dog.
However, there is something you can do to keep it under control and make cleaning easier.
What is De-shedding?
Simply said, de-shedding is the process of removing the dead and loose hair of your dog’s undercoat.
By doing so, you get rid of the excess hair before it even has a chance to fall onto carpet or furniture and make your job much harder.
De-shedding helps the removal of hair that is left after the regular brushing or combing as these techniques mainly deal with the top layer of the dog’s coat.
In addition, de-shedding will also make your dog feel more comfortable and reduce the allergy potential with sensitive persons.
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To perform de-shedding, you’ll need some special tools, like an undercoat rake or a specifically designed de-shedding brush.
A regular brush is not of much use here.
The dead undercoat hair should be removed using steady, slow, and smooth strokes.
It’s important to be patient and get through all the fur and remove all the loose hair. This can take some time, particularly with a dog as big as Anatolian Shepherd.
However, speeding things up with faster strokes and more pressure applied can do more harm than good.
Doing this could hurt your dog and damage its skin.
It’s always a good idea to de-shed your dog at least once a week.
During the heavy shedding period, this should be even more frequent and you may have to de-shed your pooch daily.
Are Anatolian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately for more sensitive and allergy-prone owners, Anatolian Shepherds are not hypoallergenic.
As noted above, they shed a lot, which means that there probably will be hair everywhere.
This results in plenty of dog dander around your household, and dander is the leading cause of dog allergies.
Still, you can minimize the amount of dander in the house by regularly brushing your dog and frequent vacuuming.
As you can see, Anatolian Shepherds can be rather demanding, especially when it comes to cleaning after them.
They shed a fair amount of hair, particularly during their heavy shedding periods.
They’re not among the breeds with the longest hair but, nevertheless, prepare for a lot of vacuuming.
Still, this shouldn’t discourage you from owning an Anatolian Shepherd.
Although they can be a lot of work, they are an awesome breed, fiercely loyal, smart, and extremely protective.
Besides, regular care and grooming will significantly decrease the amount of work ahead of you.
Proper maintenance will not only keep your house cleaner but also make the dog itself happier and healthier.