I have a 2 year old Anatolian Shepherd. came from shelter in kentucky. Dog has progressed well with famly, but does not come when called. Will get about 5-6 feet away from you and just stop sit and stare. We can't let it it out alone off leash in back yard for fear it will not come in. Had bad experience with that exact situation shortly after getting dog. Is this commmon with Anatolians, and any training suggestions to help with this.
Thank you for rescuing an individual of my beloved breed ! I have a 7 yr old Anatolian female named Scout and a 14 yr old female named Salty. I have to say that this is par for the course with them. I know I can NEVER allow my dogs off leash, they will (and Have) run away until they are good and ready to come back. I got salty as a rescue at 9 yrs of age but Scout I have had as a pup and she has gone through extensive obedience training, Rally training, Therapy dog training and Agility training and still the word obey is not in her vocabulary. These dogs were bred to guard sheep, sometimes for days, all alone with no help from man. They had to think and assess situations on their own and react appropriately given the situation. So they are very independent dogs who can reason and think and decide for themselves what they need to do. So often they think they know best and what you want only comes if they feel like it. I'll give you an example of one of the many things I have been through with Scout. It is my favorite example to use because it seems to be so typical.
We had been taking agility lessons for awhile. Scout absolutely LOVES agility and she is pretty good at it as this breed is fast and agile. Well we sent her around to do the course and 1/2 way through she decided to run the course the way SHE wanted to. She took obstacles she had never learned, the whole while both the trainer and myself were calling her to come. Well, when she decided she had had enough fun, she ran straight towards our trainer. But instead of running to her, our trainer was standing next to the A-FRame, Scout ran up the A-frame til she was eye level with the trainer and proceeded to kiss her. Of course by then everyone in class was laughing their butts off, including me, not so much the trainer though lol.
So besides not having the greatest obedience skills in the world, they also have a wonderful sense of humor !!I think if you can resign yourself to the fact that you may never have a 100% reliably obedient dog, you will see that their personality and temperament MORE than makes up for it.
I suggest you read up on the following websites for more breed info and even join the Anatolian dog disscussion forum. It is an email forum, not one like Terrific Pets, solely dedicated to this breed. It is an active forum and many of the members are breeders, and longtime owners and they will have tons of advice on everythinhg to do with this wonderful breed.
Here is an excerpt taken from the Anatolian dog website:
IN WHAT INSTANCES DO YOU NOT RECOMMEND AN ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD? This is not the breed for everyone, and should not become 'the breed of the month', as has happened to some breeds. This breed is, first and foremost, a guarding dog, with strong independence and dominance drives, and it requires a responsible approach to successful management. Time and effort is required to keep Anatolians socialized and well-behaved. They are very strong and can be very stubborn at times. If you are looking for a dog that will obey at the drop of a command, then this is not the dog for you. The owner should not allow commands to be given unless an effort is made to follow through should the dog elect the typical reaction of "selective deafness". Otherwise, the dog will walk all over you. This is a breed that has a lot of confidence and needs to be trained with a firm and loving hand. The Anatolian can become aggressive without proper training. One should never hit this dog in anger, as they may respond to aggressive behavior on your part with aggression of their own, or become so upset that they may refuse to work with you. It is usually recommended that this breed not be trained for protection sports or as an attack dog, for several reasons. First, the breed already has natural guardian instincts, and is very discriminating in determining real' vs. fake' threats. Second, Anatolians are rather low on prey drive (being livestock guardians) and are not good material for competitive protection work, as they lose interest rather easily and are not motivated to the same degree as are herding breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Belgian Malinois, and Australian Shepherds.
Some of the reasons that people give up on their Anatolians (in no particular order):
None or poorly fenced yard; dog roams. Dog digs moonscape into the landscaping. Dog sheds. Dog too stubborn. Training makes the owner angry with the dog. Barks too much, especially at night. Fights with other dogs. Spouse, kids or housemates are scared of dog or allergic. Dog lives on chain in the yard -- just got tired of it. Too big for the household (was a cute puppy though). No time to train or made too many training mistakes, no longer able to control dog. Boredom destruction such as dog chews things up. BIG-time. Made a mistake, have too many dogs now. Did not really understand what Anatolian character is. Should have done more research. Bred a big litter and can't sell the puppies. Giving them to the shelter or a pet shop. "_________________" <-- fill in the blank.
***Edited By: scout1 on 4/20/2010 9:01:16 PM*** Reason: ..
I was also thinking that maybe this dog just doesn't know what the word come means. You adopted him as an adult so I am sure you don't know a lot about his previous life. It is possible that he has never been taught that command. You may want to try using another word, such as here, and start the training all over again. Sometimes when dogs learn a word and the behavior that goes along with it, and then they aren't made to follow that command, it is easier to just teach them a whole new word for that same behavior instead of trying to enforce the current command word.