Ozark Anatolians

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The Anatolian Shepherd is a flock guardian with a superior sense of sight and hearing. It is not a herding dog. 

It is very loyal, alert and capable of great speed and endurance. 

It is intelligent, alert and easy to train, but is not a dog for beginners. 

It needs a handler who naturally radiates leadership. Independent, calm, unwavering and brave, but not aggressive. 

They tend to bark at night and if they are living indoors with you, you need to correct this behavior if it is unwanted. 

Since the Anatolian Shepherd is a born flock guard it will be very watchful and can become possessive if not kept in its rightful place below the humans.

If it sees itself above the family it may act affectionate with them but very suspicious of strangers to a point where it is a problem. 

This is an issue that is particularly worrisome after the dog reaches adulthood. 

This is why it is very important that the dog sees the humans as boss. 

Being a flock guard, it will always have an instinct to protect and this cannot be bred out or raised out of it, however a dog that accepts the humans as its leader will also accept the strangers that the humans formally introduce to them. 

It will also look to the humans as the ones who make the decisions. 

You do not want a dog of this size and strength living in your home making all of the calls. 

The Anatolian Shepherd will still be possessive with the home and property, not allowing anyone in if the owner is not home, unless it has had frequent contact with the person. Friends of the family will be welcomed. 

This proud dog is demanding of itself, and can be stubborn and dominant if it sees itself as a leader of the home. When training the Anatolian Shepherd, the best results are achieved by motivational training methods with a determined, firm, confident, consistent and loving approach. 

This is not a dog for the passive owner or an owner who does not understand canine instinct

It is very important to begin training as early as possible, because a fully grown dog may be too strong and too big to be corrected by the average person. 

Owners who do not display natural, very strong, but even tempered, authority over the dog will find the dog to have his own ideas and will not obey known commands if it does not wish to do so. 

Sensitive to reprimands and eager to receive affection, this breed is patient and protective with children of the family, but may accidentally knock them down. 

Children should always be supervised and properly introduced. 

Confident, the Anatolian Shepherd does not require any additional protection training. 

It already has very strong protection instincts which will get stronger as the dog matures. 

These instincts will peak at around one and a half years of age. 

They will generally get along with other animals provided they have been introduced to them when they are still young. 

They can be rather dominant towards other dogs and it is important to socialize them while they are still young. 

These dogs mature slowly, reaching full adulthood at about four years old.

Dogs that are going to work as flock guards should not be family pets or they will prefer the family over the animals they are supposed to be guarding. 

They need to be socialized with humans coming into the field so it is possible for them to receive veterinary care and any necessary grooming, but should live their entire life with the flock and not brought inside the home with the humans. 

This socialization should take place while the dog is a puppy. 

Anatolians will walk the border of their territory every night, then find a high place to lie down to watch over their charges. 

Every few hours they will get up and walk around their flock again just to make sure all is safe. 

If they detect danger they will give off a deep warning bark. If that does not scare away the threat they will deepen their bark, making themselves sound more serious and alerting the flock to gather behind them. If the danger persists and approaches the flock the Anatolian will attack, but this is always saved as a last resort. 

Extensive early socialization, obedience training and consistent dominant leadership are very important when owning an Anatolian Shepherd.


Transitional Period: Week Two-to-Four

The second week of life brings great changes for the puppy. Ears and eyes sealed since birth begin to open during this period, ears at about two weeks and eyelids between ten to 16 days. This gives the furry babies a new sense of their world. They learn what their mother and other dogs look and sound like, and begin to expand their own vocabulary from grunts and mews to yelps, whines and barks. Puppies generally stand by day 15 and take their first wobbly walk by day 21.

By age three weeks, puppy development advances from the neonatal period to the transitional period. This is a time of rapid physical and sensory development, during which the puppies go from total dependence on Mom to a bit of independence. They begin to play with their littermates, learn about their environment and canine society, and begin sampling food from Mom's bowl. Puppy teeth begin to erupt until all the baby teeth are in by about five to six weeks of age. Puppies can control their need to potty by this age, and begin moving away from sleeping quarters to eliminate.

Socialization Period: Week Four-to-Twelve

Following the transitional phase, puppies enter the socialization period at the end of the third week of life; it lasts until about week ten. It is during this socialization period that interaction with others increases, and puppies form attachments they will remember the rest of their life. The most critical period--age six to eight weeks--is when puppies most easily learn to accept others as a part of their family. Refer to the article on how to socialize puppies.

Beginning at four weeks of age, the bitch's milk production begins to slow down just as the puppies' energy needs increase. As the mother dog slowly weans her babies from nursing, they beginsampling solid food in earnest.

The environmental stimulation impacts your puppy's rate of mental development during this time. The puppy brain waves look that of an adult dog by about the 50th day, but he's not yet programmed--that's your job, and the job of his mom and siblings. Weaning typically is complete by week eight.

Week Eight-to-Twelve

Puppies often go through a "fear period" during this time. Instead of meeting new or familiar people and objects with curiosity, they react with fearfulness. Anything that frightens them at this age may have a lasting impact so take care that the baby isn't overstimulated with too many changes or challenges at one time. That doesn't mean your pup will grow up to be a scaredy-cat; it's simply a normal part of development where pups learn to be more cautious. Careful socialization during this period helps counter fear reactions.

Puppies may be placed in new homes once they are eating well on their own. However, they will be better adjusted and make better pets by staying and interacting with littermates and the Mom-dog until they are at least eight weeks old--older generally is better. Interacting with siblings and Mom help teach bite inhibition, how to understand and react to normal canine communication, and their place in doggy society. Puppies tend to make transitions from one environment to another more easily at this age, too.

Your puppy still has lots of growing to do. He won't be considered an adult until he goes through several more developmental periods and reaches one to two years of age.