Training for Anatolian Shepherd Dogs - Introduction


At the bottom of this page are a set of obedience exercises for you to use in order to have a dog that is a comfortable addition to your lifestyle. Please read this page first before going to the exercises.

The purpose of this page is to provide training guidelines/lessons to help you train your puppy/dog in basic obedience.

However, it is strongly recommended that if at all possible, you participate in a dog obedience class with your puppy.

In addition to the training, the class provides socialization with other dogs and people and teaches your puppy to pay attention to you when there are other people and dogs around. Most basic obedience classes want puppies to be six months old, large breed puppies are allowed in class at four months. Don’t wait. It’s much easier to teach your Anatolian puppy at four months! It takes about one year to effectively train your dog, repetition and consistency provide the basis for retaining the lessons in the long term memory.

In addition to the training technique presented here, you should also consider clicker training. Clicker training allows your dog to train itself and is very effective with the Anatolian.

Dogs learn from the Alpha member of their pack. It is very important for your puppy to learn that every human member of their pack is above them in the pecking order. You will also have to learn to understand the signals that your dog will give you. Dog obedience is not simple and how well you learn to communicate with your dog will determine how well you will do ultimately.

Would you like a dog who:

1. Comes when he is called - the first time you call him?

2. Will Stand still while you give him a bath or brush him?

3. Will allow people to pet him without jumping up on them?

4. Will sit and stay when told to do so? - and not get up until told?

5. Will lie down and stay while you eat your meals?

6. Will walk at your side instead of pulling you down the street?

7. Will not bolt out of the door of your home or car?

You can have these responses from your dog if you work with the dog consistently, with sensitivity, and listen to instructions. Dog training is a sport which requires the handler to think. With an Anatolian, if you don’t think - he will! Everything that is done in the process of training a dog is done for a reason. Dog training demands concentration, discipline and commitment.

The experience of training your dog will enable you to build a close relationship with your dog and achieve a measure of control over him which will make him a joy to live with instead of a problem.

In my opinion, working with your dog effectively includes the following:

A. You must have a sincere desire to work with your dog and have the ability to get into a positive mood for training. Dogs reflect their handler’s attitudes.

B. It is necessary to have the determination to stick with the job and train your dog daily. At first, it will only take a few minutes (10 - 15) a day, but later on it will take up to one half hour. As in many other undertakings, you will reap benefits from training equal to the effort you put into it.

C. Each dog and handler team is unique. No one method will work for every team, but you will learn methods that work for most people. If it is not working after you have given each step a fair and honest try, other methods should be tried and with good communication with your dog, the right one should be found. If you continue to have problems, you can contact me via email and we can work together to sort the issues out and find solutions.

D. Most corrections are done with the snap of the wrist causing the lead to jerk, but physical strength is a factor in training very large dogs. Start your Anatolian puppy in obedience training by four months! Don’t wait until it takes strength.

E. Coaxing a dog that prefers to do his “own thing” is really reinforcing him to be the pack leader. It is up to you to decide who will be the boss. However, there are some dogs who “fall apart” when they suddenly lose leadership after being boss for a long time. It will be necessary, on occasion, to work through this using a different method. You must decide if you really want to be the boss. You may not fluctuate from this decision – it is an always or never situation – not sometimes!

F. The success or failure in training your dog depends on you. There are very few stupid dogs. In fact, most of them are excellent at understanding us and manipulating us.

G. Dogs are creatures of habit.

H. In order for the dog to pay attention to you . . . YOU must pay attention to your dog!

There are four basic tools for training in the most effective manner - the collar, the lead, your voice and treats.

Realize from the beginning that PRAISE and REWARD are the KEYS to successful training. Using inducive methods means stress free training.

Consistency is equally important.

Realize that Discipline, administered fairly and quickly, will teach the dog what he is allowed to do and what he is not allowed to do and will make him much more confident.

Learn to “read your dog” and find the appropriate level of correction and praise to accomplish the job with your particular dog. Remember, correction/discipline is only to the minimum degree necessary to elicit the required response. Before correction can be effective, you have to be certain that your dog understands your command and THEN, use the minimum correction only. Any discipline/corection has to be administered immediately to be effective. NEVER PUNISH YOUR DOG!

Have a good training collar. The metal choker collar is normally the collar of choice, but they come in all weights and sizes. You want a heavy, WELDED collar ... your dog could snap one of the lighter ones. There is a collar at PetSmart that is a nylon collar, but has the martingale aspect in a chain. They won’t rub the neck hair and are very nice for training provided your dog doesn’t fight you. IF you have a dog that wants to fight you, the TEMPORARY use of a pronged/pinch collar is acceptable, but take the time to learn how to use it effectively and be sure it fits properly. Your lead should be 6-8 foot long - DO NOT USE A RETRACTABLE LEAD WHILE TRAINING!

Treats - Anatolians may or may not be responsive to food. Usually they are IF the treat is something they only get when you’re training and it’s special. I have some recipes for home made treats at the end of this document. Whatever treat you use.... give very small pieces - not much bigger than the end of your pinky finger! When you are through with your training session, you can give a bigger piece as a reward, but during the lesson, only a small taste will keep your Anatolian interested.


1. Read through all the lessons and special training issues so that you know where we are headed before you get there with your dog. You don’t want to correct a behavior that will be acceptable later. You will want your dog to understand the difference.

2. Dog training is a progressive learning experience. You cannot expect your dog to learn if he misses one of the necessary steps. Each level of training builds on the previous lessons.

3. Wear comfortable clothing and flat, crepe or rubber soled shoes (such as gym shoes). For your safety, do not wear sandals, thongs, heels or wedges, etc. Training requires your physical involvement. If your dog is large, strong or rambunctious, you may want to wear gloves to protect your hands for the first few weeks.

4. Do not feed your dog just prior to a training session. As your lessons get longer, be sure to take breaks to allow your dog a drink and potty occasionally. Each lesson should be emphasized daily for about a week before adding a new lesson. Spend no more than 10-15 minutes at a time, but repeat each day and reinforce throughout the day. Each week more commands and exercises will be added to your training routine.