Home Petopia The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix: A Superior Livestock Guardian Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix: A Superior Livestock Guardian Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix

The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix combines two legendary livestock guardian breeds into one powerful and intelligent dog. With the protectiveness of the Anatolian Shepherd and the gentle devotion of the Great Pyrenees, these hybrid dogs excel at defending flocks while bonding closely with their families.

In this in-depth guide, we will cover everything you need to know about this unique crossbreed, including:

Whether you need a tireless working dog or a loyal family guardian, the Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix could be an excellent choice. Read on to learn what makes these dogs special.

Origin and History of Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mixes

Crossbreeding dogs with complementary abilities has long been utilized by shepherds and ranchers seeking to produce superior working dogs. By combining old Turkish herding breeds like the Anatolian Shepherd and French Pyrenees mountain dog, hybrid vigor and the best qualities of both lines can be achieved.

While not an officially standardized breed, purposeful crosses between the Anatolian Shepherd and Great Pyrenees likely have occurred for decades. But only recently has this mix gained notoriety as owners recognize their capabilities both on the farm and as family companions.

They excel at livestock guardian duties, combining the imposing strength and protective nature of the Anatolian with the affectionate devotion the Great Pyrenees shows its flock. Let’s take a closer look at the histories of the parent breeds.

Anatolian Shepherd History

As their name suggests, Anatolian Shepherds originated as rugged livestock guardians in the Anatolia region of Turkey, where they were treasured by shepherds for thousands of years.

Primarily tasked with guarding sheep and goat herds from predators, these dogs were bred for intelligence, strength, speed, and sharp instincts. Anatolian Shepherds work with fierce independence, patrolling territory and repelling intruders.

The first Anatolian Shepherds were imported to America in the 1950s as working dogs. The breed was then further developed and refined to produce today’s powerfully-built, loyal guardians.

Great Pyrenees History

Also known as the Pyrenean Mountain dog, the Great Pyrenees is an ancient working breed that originated centuries ago in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.

Used to defend flocks from predators like bears and wolves in the high mountain pastures, they are both powerfully built and incredibly agile. Known for their serene, patient nature and loyalty.

The Great Pyrenees became popular with European nobility in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 1930s, the first Pyrenees dogs arrived in America, where they solidified their status as both majestic household companions and stalwart working dogs.

Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix Temperament and Personality

Intelligent, protective, independent and devoted, Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mixes make both capable working dogs and affectionate family guardians when properly trained and socialized.

They combine the more serious nature of the Anatolian Shepherd with the gentle, patient temperament of the Pyrenees. Let’s look closer at some of their key personality traits:


With thousands of years of guardian breeding behind them, protecting their family and flock comes first for this mix. They are always alert and on watch for potential threats. Their loud, deep barks will warn off intruders and deter predators.


Once bonded with their family, both parent breeds are known for their steadfast loyalty. This mix will be utterly devoted to their people. They aim to both guard and please their owners. Proper care and leadership will earn their unwavering allegiance.


The Anatolian Shepherd and Great Pyrenees are working dogs bred to problem solve and make decisions independently while guarding flocks. This mix has substantial intelligence and often tries to outthink their owner. They need mental stimulation.


Bred to work on their own guarding livestock in rough terrain, these dogs can be quite independent in nature. Their training must start early and leadership must be firm but benevolent. They are not naturally submissive dogs.

Instinct Driven

With their heritage as working guardian breeds, instincts guide much of this mix’s behavior. They have deeply ingrained abilities to patrol territory, recognize threats, and protect their charges. Giving them a job to do is important.

Wary of Strangers

They tend to be quite distrustful of new people, which is part of their excellent guarding talent. However, this wariness must be tempered with proper socialization at an early age to prevent overaggressive behavior.


When raised with proper socialization and care, most Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mixes display a very affectionate and nurturing side with their own family, children, and even other pets. This gentle demeanor helps balance their protective instincts.

Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix Size, Appearance and Coat

With two powerfully built guardian breeds as parents, Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mixes are large, athletic dogs with thick protective coats that add to their imposing presence.

Size and Weight

These dogs stand 25-32 inches tall at the shoulder once fully grown. Weight ranges from 80-120+ pounds depending on whether they take after the slightly smaller Anatolian Shepherd or the larger Pyrenees parent.

Males are typically larger than females. Proper nutrition and avoiding obesity is key to support their musculoskeletal development.

Physical Build

A robust yet agile frame allows this mix to both deter predators and swiftly react in defense of their territory or flock. They have substantial bone, well-developed muscles, and a balanced sturdy body.

Their necks and heads are powerful, with dark almond-shaped eyes that convey an intelligent intensity. Erect ears and a proud carriage completes their bold look.

Coat Appearance

The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix has a dense, weather resistant double coat. The soft undercoat is topped by a medium length outer coat that can be straight or slightly wavy.

Coat colors vary widely but typically include tan, fawn, cream, white, and various black/grey markings. Merle color patterns are sometimes seen as well. The coat forms a mane around the neck and feathering on the legs, tail, and ears.

Shedding and Maintenance

Expect year-round moderate to heavy shedding from this double-coated breed. Daily brushing when they are actively shedding helps manage loose hair. Bathing only when necessary to avoid damaging their protective coat oils.

Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix: A Superior Livestock Guardian Dog 1

Training and Exercise Requirements

Both parent breeds are working dogs developed for life as independent thinkers guarding livestock in harsh conditions. So while highly intelligent, Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mixes can be strong-willed when it comes to training.

Let’s look at some training and exercise considerations for this mix.


Early socialization and obedience training is vital for this mix. Their guardian breed instincts make them natural protectors, which must be directed appropriately to avoid over-protective behavior.

Positively reinforcing desired behaviors and establishing yourself as a consistent pack leader is key to working successfully with these intelligent yet headstrong dogs. They respond best to respectful but firm guidance.

Exercise Needs

This energetic working breed mix needs at least an hour of vigorous activity daily. Long walks or hikes, chasing games, and outdoor play in a securely fenced area are good outlets for their stamina.

In addition to physical exercise, providing them with a job to do or rules to enforce will satisfy their guardian instincts. For example, assign them to patrol your property boundaries on walks.

Mental stimulation through obedience training, food puzzles, and interactive toys is also important to prevent boredom and unwanted behaviors.

Ideal Home

Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mixes thrive when they have plenty of room to move. Apartment living does not suit them well. A home with a large securely fenced yard is ideal.

For working dogs, a ranch or farm where they can help guard livestock while bonding deeply with their owner is the ultimate environment for this mix to thrive.

Health and Care

Typically quite hardy, the Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix tends to enjoy good health when properly cared for, with a lifespan of 10-14 years. But like any large breed dog, they are prone to certain conditions.


Plan to brush their thick coat at least weekly to manage shedding and keep their skin and coat healthy. Check and clean their facial folds, ears, and teeth regularly as well.


A high-quality dog food formulated for large breeds and plenty of clean water is essential to fuel their active lifestyle and keep them in peak condition.

Veterinary Care

Keep up with routine veterinary exams, vaccinations, monthly flea/tick and heartworm prevention, and recommended health screens for potential inherited disorders.

Common Health Issues

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Osteosarcoma

Life Expectancy

10-14 years with proper care and nutrition.

Finding Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix Puppies

Planning to welcome one of these exceptional guardian dogs into your family? Take time finding a responsible breeder committed to the health and temperament of their dogs.

Choosing a Breeder

A quality breeder focuses on producing healthy, well-socialized puppies. They perform health screens and temperament tests on parent dogs. They raise puppies in enriched environments to promote sound development.

Steer clear of breeders who seem focused on profits over puppy wellbeing, have multiple litters available, or sell through pet stores.

Questions to Ask

Be sure to ask any potential breeder:

  • What health and temperament testing was performed on the parents? Can I see documentation?
  • What is the temperament of the parents like?
  • How are the puppies being socialized and handled?
  • Do you have references from past puppy buyers?
  • Are you involved in any breed clubs or organizations?
  • Will you provide support and take the puppy back if needed?


From a quality breeder, expect to pay $800-$1500 or more for an Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix puppy. Anything substantially lower could indicate a careless breeder.

Adoption is another excellent option if you want to skip the puppy phase. Check with local shelters and rescue organizations.

Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix
The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix: A Superior Livestock Guardian Dog 2

Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix Ownership Costs

While enriching, owning this large guardian breed is a substantial investment in terms of time, training, and financial resources. Be prepared for costs including:

One Time Expenses

  • Adoption fee/purchase price: $800-$1500
  • Supplies: $500+ for crate, bed, bowls, collar/leash, toys
  • Puppy-proofing home: $200+ for fencing, gates, securing hazards
  • Initial medical: $300+ for exam, vaccines, spay/neuter, microchip
  • Training: $100-$500+ for professional training

Recurring Expenses

  • Quality food: $100-$150+/month
  • Preventatives/treatments: $50-$100/month
  • Toys and miscellaneous: $30-$50/month
  • Vet visits: $100-$300/year
  • Licensing fee: $25-$100/year

Total First Year: $2000+

Be prepared to invest plenty of time and money in raising and caring for an Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix. But their companionship is extremely rewarding!

Frequently Asked Questions About Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mixes

Interested in this unique guardian breed cross? Here are answers to some common questions about the Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix.

What is the personality of an Anatolian Shepherd and Great Pyrenees mix?

This hybrid combines the protective nature of the Anatolian with the great devotion and gentleness of the Pyrenees. Properly socialized dogs are intensely loyal and make attentive guardians while bonding closely with their families. But supervision is still required with their independent spirit and guardian instincts.

Is an Anatolian Shepherd bigger than a Great Pyrenees?

The Anatolian Shepherd is slightly smaller on average than a Great Pyrenees. Anatolian Shepherd males stand 29-31 inches tall and females 28-30 inches. Great Pyrenees males are 32 inches or more and females 29 inches or taller. But there is overlap in size ranges between the two breeds.

How big is a Great Pyrenees mix?

As a large to giant breed cross, most Great Pyrenees mixes weigh 80-120+ pounds and stand 25-32 inches tall once fully grown. The exact size depends on whether they take after the Pyrenees or the other parent breed more. Proper nutrition and exercise will ensure they reach their maximum growth potential.

Is Anatolian Shepherd a big dog?

Yes, the Anatolian Shepherd is classified as a giant breed. Males stand 29-31 inches tall and females 28-30 inches. Healthy adult Anatolian Shepherds typically weigh between 110-150 pounds. They are substantially larger than the average dog.

Are Anatolians aggressive dogs?

Anatolian Shepherds are highly protective livestock guardian dogs bred to confront predators. Without proper training and socialization, their wariness of strangers combined with their size and power can lead to aggression issues. However, well-managed Anatolians bond closely with their own family.

Is Anatolian Shepherd the strongest dog?

Anatolian Shepherds are undoubtedly one of the strongest dog breeds in terms of their physical power and protective drive. However, no single breed is considered the absolute strongest. Other contenders for physically powerful breeds include the Kangal, Caucasian Shepherd, Saint Bernard, and Rottweiler.

Is An Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix Right for You?

The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix combines the legendary guardian breeds from Turkey and France into an intelligent and imposing protector. They demand experienced owners able to provide extensive training, activity, socialization, and jobs for them to thrive.

If you can meet their substantial needs and appreciate their protective talents, you’ll find your life greatly enriched by the steadfast devotion and companionship these dogs provide. The Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix truly embodies the best qualities of both its parent breeds.

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