Performance Booster

Can judging for type serve working dogs?

By | Posted: Fri May 13 00:00:00 PDT 2005

Page 5 of 7

Tail high and still signals movement across a territory lacking danger.


Tail relaxed (droops and curls up slightly) signals calmness and relaxation (goats ignore the dog).

Tail between legs signals strong apprehension and a willingness to comply completely (goats ignore tail signal but respond to body posture).

RGB: In keeping with the overall picture of strength and seriousness, the balanced Anatolian head denotes power, but not at the risk of coarseness. The unobtrusive ears of moderate size are set close to the head. The tip of the ear is just long enough to reach the corner of the eye. Moderate stop with a moderate centerline furrow from stop to occiput. No weakness to the jaw or dentition.

Disqualifications: blue eyes or eyes of two different colors. Erect ears. Overshot, undershot or wry bite.

EC: After reviewing numerous old pictures of Anatolians with their flocks in Turkey and of early Turkish imports, I realized many of them had narrow heads compared to the heads of some Anatolians being bred in the U.S. today. However, the slope of the stop is dictated by working necessity. Working Anatolians must have a nicely sloped stop to reduce the chance of injury should they receive a kick to the head from a cow or a horse. I learned how important the slope of the skull is when my young female Anatolian interceded to slow down my mare's dash through the goat herd. As the Anatolian threw herself between the mare and her goats, the mare whirled and kicked out viciously and with great force, her hoof sliding across the top of the Anatolian's head from the tip of the dog's nose, along the top of her muzzl e, and across her right eye. The blow was delivered with such extreme force that her hair and some skin were peeled off as the hoof slid across her head. However, due to her nicely sloped skull, the hoof slid off without fracturing bone. A dog with a deep stop might have been killed from such a blow.

Good ear placement and shape are important traits at dog shows but are unimportant traits in working Anatolians. As you know, in Turkey the ears are cut off, since they are easily torn in fights and bleed excessively.

(It might be said here that the standard's description of the Anatolian ear ["Set no higher than the plane of the head, just long enough to reach the outside corner of the eyelid and erect ears a disqualification"] does seem to pay some small tribute to the country of origin practice of ear removal. - RGB.)

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