Keeping Our Anatolians Safe

You think of your Anatolians protecting YOU, but you really have to protect them too. Here are some tips from the Legislative Committee to help you keep you and your dog out of trouble. Some of the tips will be for “country life” and some for “city life”, and some will apply to both!Keep license and rabies up to date: Make sure you Follow your county/city licensing guidelines and keep your rabies shots up to date. Always keep the paper rabies certificates in a place you can easily find them.

  1. Be a good neighbor: Always be mindful of your neighbors, even in rural situations. I live next to large parcels of land, but the house on one side isn’t far from my property line, so I am mindful of noise.
    • Keep your property cleaned up of feces.
    • Bring dogs in that bark excessively. Know your noise laws – this is a growing problem in rural counties that have seen a lot of influx for residential use. Know whether the “noise offenses” are criminal or civil. For suburban folks, when considering fencing a 6′ fence privacy fence is often better than chain link. Dogs will tend to bark less when they do not see every movement from the neighbors on the other side. (There is also a bigger reaction from someone that hops your fence in an attempt to steal something.
    • If you use an electric hotwire on your fence, put signs up saying “Caution, electric fence”.
    • Meet your neighbors and explain to them that you have livestock guardians and their job is to bark and warn off predators. Ask them to let you know if the dogs bother them. (Often times, if you explain a situation, such as your dog is driving away coyotes that could eat your neighbor’s little Chihuahua, the neighbor thinks twice before complaining.
    • If your neighbor has dogs that run loose, try to have the best fencing you can to keep their dogs out and yours in. (My neighbor’s dogs run loose, and if they have been out gallivanting, when they come home they usually go along the side of the road and they will cross the road and the ditch before they get to my property to make a wide berth. My dogs don’t even have to be around to bark – the neighbor’s dogs just respect the entire property.)
  2. Watch what comes over your fence. I have had neighbors bring bags of grass clippings to “feed my horses a treat”. They meant well but didn’t know they could colic my horses. Use those opportunities to teach neighbors and especially children:
    • Don’t feed the dogs anything – not gum, candy, bones etc.
    • Don’t come over the fence to retrieve a ball – you will return it to them
    • Don’t stick your fingers through the fence or hang around the fence and certainly don’t climb on the fence – the electric wire usually does the trick and they do it once if at all
    • Don’t dare your little brother to touch the electric wire, and lastly
    • Check your fences often to ensure they are still intact and functioning.
  3. Gates: Keep your gate secured with the addition of a chain and a lock if necessary. Note the dates your utility company reads your meter. They do not always care if they shut your gates. Before I got Anatolians, I had come home from work one day, and realized the gate and latch was not how I left it, I walked the barn and went into the side horse pasture and found a rope tied into a lasso that did not belong to me. A padlocked gate went up at the road after that. Unfortunately, at this property, the house was way off the road, and you couldn’t see much from the road, so I was driving out to go to work one morning and someone had abandoned their broken down car in my driveway thinking no one used the driveway much. Sigh.
  4. Signs: Don’t use “Beware of Dog” signs, as this implies you have dangerous dogs, which will also be noted by your insurance company when they come out for inspections. Use “Livestock Guardian Dog on Duty – Do not Disturb” or “Dogs on Premises – Please keep gates shut” and also use “NO Trespassing” signs. Put the “NO Trespassing” signs along each boundary of your property and put the signs within sight of each other. My neighbor was having trouble with the neighbor on the other side and we noticed the new NO Trespassing signs up along our property lines – He came over and explained it wasn’t meant for us, but for the other neighbor. We thanked him, but said we knew you had to mark all boundary lines and we would keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. Teenagers were four wheeling through his fields.
  5. Understand behavior “At Home” vs “Away from Home”: Understanding behavior is critical in order to avoid any incidents that will eventually involve Animal Control or someone filing a complaint against you or your dog. Behavior on property can be quite different than out in public on leash. ASD’s are very protective at home and off property they can be quiet and more tolerant. Yet some can also be just as “guardy” on leash and off property. Some Anatolians do not want strangers approaching and petting them, while others are happy to greet new people. If you have socialized your puppy continually in public places they will often tolerate way more than one who has not had the benefit of lots of socialization.
  6. Keep your ASD on a leash when off your property. Don’t assume that your dogs will be reliable off leash. False security on your part can become a disaster once your dog reaches maturity at 3 or 4 years old.
  7. Don’t assume other dogs want your dog in their face and certainly don’t assume that your ASD wants another dog in their face. Respect a dog’s personal space and demand respect for your own dog.
  8. If you have an ASD that’s uncomfortable around strangers, inform people how to behave. People should approach without staring at the dog, don’t address the dog – tell them to talk and look at you and to ignore the dog at first until you know your dog is comfortable. Remember, the tighter you hold a leash the more the dog pulls, if you have fears, you will communicate them to the dog through the leash.
  9. Plants and People Food: While it probably won’t land you in court, it is good to know which indoor and outdoor plants are toxic and non-toxic. We have placed these lists on the Health Section of the ASDCA website.