A breed of ancient lineage, this fiercely loyal guard dog is used to protect sheep in its country of origin, Turkey. The reliable Anatolian is possessive toward family, property and livestock but is quick to learn and gentle with close friends and children. Strangers should be properly introduced, and socialization from an early age is important. Although this breed is primarily a family and livestock protector, it is versatile, performing well in military sentry duty, search and rescue, obedience, therapy work and as assistance dogs. Anatolians are athletic and have been clocked at speeds faster than 35 mph, so a large, fenced yard is a requirement for ownership. The Anatolian is large and strong, with males standing at least 29 inches at the shoulder, females at least 27 inches, and weighing a minimum of 100 pounds and 80 pounds respectively. All colors, patterns and markings are acceptable. Minimal grooming is needed, except during seasonal shedding, when thorough brushing is required.