St. Bernard vs Anatolian Shepherd - Breed Comparison

St. Bernard vs Anatolian ShepherdSt. Bernard is originated from Switzerland but Anatolian Shepherd is originated from Turkey. Both St. Bernard and Anatolian Shepherd are having almost same height. St. Bernard may weigh 22 kg / 49 pounds more than Anatolian Shepherd. Both St. Bernard and Anatolian Shepherd has almost same life span. Both St. Bernard and Anatolian Shepherd has almost same litter size. St. Bernard requires High maintenance. But Anatolian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Switzerland
Turkey
Height Male:
63 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
71 - 76 cm
27 - 30 inches
Height Female:
60 - 69 cm
23 - 28 inches
66 - 71 cm
25 - 28 inches
Weight Male:
54 - 90 kg
119 - 199 pounds
45 - 68 kg
99 - 150 pounds
Weight Female:
52 - 85 kg
114 - 188 pounds
41 - 59 kg
90 - 131 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
10 - 11 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 9
5 - 10
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
St. Bernhardshund Bernhardiner Alpine Mastiff (archaic)
Karabaş (Blackhead), Anatolian Blackhead (Anadolulu Karabaş), Kangal Coban Kopegi • Perro de pastor de Anatolia • Anatolischer Hirtenhund • Chien de berger d'Anatolie • Anatolian Shepard Dog or ASD
Colors Available:
redish- Brown and white with a black mask to blond and white with black mask
fawn, brindle
Coat:
rough or smooth
Double, thick, rough
Shedding:
Constant
Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Protective, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Alert, Courageous, Detached, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn, Territorial
Grooming:
High maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

st bernardThe St Bernard breed was once called the Alpine Cattle Dogs or the Alpine Mountain Dogs. They have always been farm dogs and mountain dogs in the French and Swiss Alps. They come from the border land of Switzerland and France. They were herding dogs, hunting, search and rescue, watchdogs and draft dogs.

Their ancestors are considered to include the Sennenhunds and molosser breeds that came to the Alps with the ancient Romans. There are four Sennenhund breeds that are believed to have contributed to the original St. Bernard. These included the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund), the Appenzeller (Appenzeller Sennenhund), the Bernese Mountain Dog (Berner Sennenhund) and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebucher Sennenhund) Today the St. Bernard is considered a Molossoid breed.

The first we know of the St. Bernard in any written records was in 1707 at the Great St. Bernard Pass and Great St. Bernard Hospice run by monks. There were found paintings of the dogs dating back into the late 1600’s. It is told that Barry saved upward of 100 people in the St. Bernard pass, and it is from these stories that the dogs gained their snow rescue reputation.

The St. Bernard of that time did not look like the St. Bernard does today as there was much crossbreeding. Many dogs dies during rescues in the avalanches of the mid 1800’s and so they Saint was crossed with the Newfoundland to preserve the breed. You can today see the resemblance in the build and looks of the two breeds. This cross brought about the long haired St. Bernard whose fur was too heavy for rescues.

The St. Bernards of mountain rescue fame were only about the size of a German Shepherd dog and were short haired. After crossing with the Newfoundland and moving into clubs and dogs shows, they have been bred to be much larger. Before the stud book was closed, it is thought that many larger breeds such as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the English Mastiff, the Tibetan Mastiff, the Rottweiler, the Great Pyrenees, the English Bulldog, the Great Dane, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Boxer and the Caucasian Oycharka all contributed to today’s St. Bernard.

In 1884 The Swiss St. Bernard Club was founded and the breed entered the Swiss Stud book as its first entry in 1884. It was 1888 when the standard was approved and the breed became the national dog of Switzerland. Before the name St. Bernard came to be common, these dogs might be called, Barry Dogs, Alepnmastiff, Noble Steeds or Saint Dogs.

The dogs came to England in the early 1800s and to the United States soon after. They were recognized by the European kennel clubs first and by the early 1900’s they were the most popular breed in the AKC.

anatolian shepherdUp in the mountains of central Turkey, in the region called Anatolia, a large, strong and rugged dog breed was born and is honored today on a postal stamp. This was the Anatolian Shepard – keeper of the flocks with strength, agility and speed. The Anatolian Shepard is able to pursue and catch any predator that threatens his livestock and they are his livestock. His keen sense of hearing and his excellent sight only add to his prowess as a protector.

The Anatolian is a giant dog, classified as a shepherd by the UKC – Kennel Club of the United Kingdom, while he is classified as a mountain dog or molossus by the Federation Cynologique International. When the breed was created, they were a gift to the farmers in the mountains to guard the livestock from cheetahs. This helped the cheetahs to stop attacking the livestock and prevented the farmers from wiping out the cheetah population by shooting them.

The Anatolian Shepard does have some controversy in his lineage as in some areas he is considered to be either the most closely related or the same breed as the Turkish Kangal Dog. The Anatolian is considered to have a blood line that goes back at least 6000 years.

They are direct descendants of mastiffs and mountain dogs. Yet they have the long legs, agility and aloofness of the sight hounds that are also in their bloodline. Originally called the “Coban Kopegi” or shepherd dog by their Turkish farmers, they were eventually separated into the breed called the Anatolian Shepard. When the breed was first brought into the United Kingdom the line of the Kangal dog was first. Then they were crossed with dogs called Anatolian Shepherds. Many breeders believe that the Anatolian Shepherd is a category that includes the Kangal, Coban Kopegi, Aksaray Malaklisi and the Akbash dog.

So as of January 2012, the Australian National Kennel Club no longer considers the Anatolian Shepard and the Kangal as separate breeds. The UK Kennel Club now recognizes the Kangal and the Anatolian as the same breed. For others they are still clearly separate and distinct breeds with the ASD being their own breed. In fact, the government of Turkey recognizes them as separate breeds and the Kangal Dog as the National Dog of Turkey.

The Anatolian Shepard was already in the United States in when the Anatolian Shepard Club of America came into being because of a young naval officer who had met the dogs in Turkey. They were allowed into the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club in 1996 after this naval officer had been breeding them in California for years. By 1998 they had moved to the Working Group where they reside today.

Description

st bernard puppyToday’s St. Bernard is not a large dog, he is a giant dog. Weighing in at 140-200 pounds and standing 28 to 35 inches tall, he is a lot of dog. Bred with mastiffs and large mountain dogs, they have proportional and powerful build. They are strong, sturdy and well muscled. They have either a smooth or rough (short or long) coat. Their eyes are brown or occasionally blue. They have tight lids, and square heads and muzzles.

There are two coat types called smooth and rough, or short and long. The smooth shorter coat is tough, flat and close against the body and the long, rough coat is dense, wavy and heavy around the legs, neck and ruff. Both types have long tails that hang low and are heavy. Saints are known to slobber, drool and snore.

anatolian shepherd puppyComing from the mountains and guarding their flock against cheetahs has led the Anatolian Shepherd to be a muscular dog with broad heads and thick necks and sturdy, strong bodies. Their ears drop and are triangular in shape, while their muzzles are rectangular with tight lips. Their double coat is thick and warm fitting for life in the mountain regions. They do blow their coats with excessive shedding twice a year. The fur on their throat is extra thick for their protection.

Muscular, thin, their rib cage is large while their stomach is small. Their tails can be intact or docked. The Anatolian Shepherd is much like the Kuvasz or the Great Pyrenees in their size, shape and responsibilities. He is more agile and slenderer than those two dogs. Their bite is scissors or level, while their eyes are almonds, set apart in their heads.

Health Problems

st bernard dogThe first problem this breed faces is how fast they grow and gain weight. This can lead to serious health issues if not controlled. Their bones can be damaged by this excessively fast rate of growth. Other issues facing the breed include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia – can cause arthritis and lameness.
  • Bloat – can be fatal if not treated immediately.
  • Bone Cancer or Osteosarcoma – tends to be fatal.
  • Entropion and Ectropion – eyelids turn in or out and can be corrected.
  • Epilepsy – controlled by medication
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy – can be fatal.
  • Eczema – skin disease can be treated.
  • Be careful of extreme heat.

anatolian shepherd dogThis is a healthy breed without a lot of the issues that plaque other giant breeds. In one recent survey the leading cause of death among the ASD is cancer and old age. Skin issues are more prevalent than dysplasia though it does occur. They have a sensitivity to anesthesia and their immune system does take longer to mature so all young ASD should be discussed with vets before any vaccinations are given. Bloat is not as common among this breed either. They should be screened for eyelid inversion or entropion. They are susceptible to Demodectic Mange or demodicosis which is caused by a mite.

Caring The Pet

st bernard puppies1.Feeding the puppy – You want to control their growth. Do not overfeed, and make sure they exercise but not too much. Feed a high quality large breed puppy food 3-4 X a day in small amounts.

2.Feeding the adult – The problem you face with he adult St. Bernard is the potential for Bloat. Don’t over feed. Don’t feed before or after strenuous exercise. Feed 2-3 X a day in smaller amounts to prevent Bloat. Feed a high quality breed specific food if possible or an extra large breed formula.

3.Points for Good Health stamina and strength in cooler weather.

4. Games and Exercises They need exercise but not as much as you might think. The St. Bernard is a laid back lumbering character so don’t over exercise her. They enjoy weight and cart pulling but they are not athletes who enjoy frisbee or agility. Search and rescue trials and tracking trials are perfect athletic endeavors for them.

Feeding

anatolian shepherd puppiesFeed your Anatolian Shepherd a measured amount twice a day and keep him from becoming overweight. It is recommended that you feed her from 4-6 cups of dry, high quality food for the entire day. The more active your dog is, the more she will need to eat. Using treats in training is appropriate but don’t give her too many as these will add to the waist line.

Health issues

As mentioned previously this is a very healthy breed especially when compared with other giant and/or mountain dog breeds. However, they are susceptible but not prone to:

Hip Dysplasia

Should be tested for this condition in which the bones don’t fit well into the joint. Elbow Dysplasia – the same as above except it is the arm bone does not fit well into the joint. Both these conditions can cause arthritis or lameness.

Demodectic Mange

Caused by mites and a weakened immune system it can result in patches of scaly, red skin and hair loss. A generalized version can cover the entire body and can be fatal.

Hypothyroidism

This can result if obesity, hair loss, epilepsy, lethargy and other skin condition. It is easily treatable.

Entropion

Mentioned previously it causes the eyelid to roll inward and requires surgery.

Exercise and games

Your Anatolian Shepherd does not need a lot of exercise despite his size. A large yard with a good fence will do for him as long as he gets a walk daily. If they can run free in a large yard they will be happy. If not, you will need to take them to a dog park, preferable when other dogs are NOT present. You can’t assume he will be ok with other dogs. Never walk them off leash as they love to wander. They need a job to do.

Characteristics

1Children friendliness excellent

2.Special talents tracking

st bernard dogs3.Adaptability no - these are giant dogs that need a lot of room. A large fenced yard or farm is best. They won’t do well in an apartment. They need exercise every day and loping around a yard is very good for them. They love to play in the snow, carry a backpack or pull a cart. They love to have a “job”

4.Learning ability – They are smart and highly trainable if motivated. They may appear lazy but they are just laid back and need a motivation.

anatolian shepherd dogsThis breed is independent, stubborn and strong. They are great protectors of their flocks and people, but they are incredibly challenging to own. They are intelligent, loyal dogs who learn quickly when they want to. They key being “when they want to”. The Anatolian Shepard was bred to be nomadic, following the herd and hunting for the herd’s predators. Microchip your ASD because they will roam if they get the chance.

If you want your Anatolian to get along with other dogs, cats or other animals, socialize them together when the ASD is a puppy. If the animal or child is part of his flock the ASD will protect them with his life. Though he is loving, quiet and calm, the Anatolian is just as demanding and dominating. Never let your Anatolian Shepherd believe that he is above the humans in the pack or you will have a major problem controlling him. He will be especially leery of strangers and will not accept your word that the stranger is part of the family. However, if she understands that humans are above her and you are the leader, she will accept any person you accept.

Even if they accept strangers, they will not allow anyone other than the family into the home when the owner is not there. This is a proud, proud dog that can be stubborn, demanding and bossy. Being such a large dog, you need to be in control. This is not a dog for everyone. Be firm, confident, be loving and consistent when training an Anatolian Shepherd. Do not offer your ASD any additional training in protection. He doesn’t need it and it could be detrimental. They will protect children, but they do not respect them. Therefore, supervise their interactions with children.

Comparison with other breeds

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