Is The Strong Anatolian Lab Mix The Right Dog For You?

Anatolian Shepherds are strong dogs known for their calm but very protective nature. Labrador Retrievers are known as one of the friendliest dogs in the world. So mixing these two very different breeds will result in an interesting new dog.

The Anatolian Lab mix is a dog that can have either the personality of its more territorial or more friendly parent. It is a big and clever dog that requires a lot of exercise and attention. But there is more to know about this interesting crossbreed.

The Anatolian Lab Mix – History And Origin

There isn’t a lot of breed information for the history of this dog as it is relatively new in origin. However, its parent breeds have a long history.

The Anatolian Shepherd has an ancient history with its roots proposed to be from more than 4000 years ago. Its name comes from the region of Anatolia in Turkey, where the dog was originally bred to herd and protect livestock. A little after World War II, these dogs were brought to America as a secret agricultural project. They were later accepted by the AKC in 1996 and still work as livestock protectors to this day.

The Labrador Retriever has its origin beginning in Newfoundland, Canada. Their history begins somewhere in the 1700s when they were used as retrievers for local fishermen. Later, some English nobles recognized the skills of the dog and brought it to England. In the year of 1917, these dogs were officially accepted by the AKC. Starting from 1991, they remain the most popular dog in the world.

Appearance – Big And Muscular Dog

The appearance of this Anatolian Shepherd mix will largely depend on the inherited genes from its parents. The dog will look either more like an Anatolian Shepherd or more like a Labrador Retriever.

Anatolian Shepherds are noticeably big and strong dogs. Their sturdy and muscular body makes them very frightening to intruders. They have floppy ears and a tail that is carried low and curled at the tip.

Labrador Retrievers also have strong and athletic bodies. They are known for their floppy ears, otter tail, and webbed feet that help them swim.


This mixed breed can be considered to be a large one due to the size of its parent breeds. 

The Anatolian Shepherd is a very large dog, having a height of 27-29 inches, and a body weight of 80-150 pounds. 

The Labrador Retriever is a medium to large dog, that has a height of 21.5-24.5 inches, and a body weight of 55-80 pounds.

Coat And Color

The coat of the Lab Shepherd mix dog will be a combination of both its parent breeds. Anatolian Shepherds have smooth and short-length hair, while Labrador Retrievers have a short double coat.

Anatolians come in a range of colors including white, fawn, liver, brindle, blue, and gray. They also have a lot of markings like brown, black, brindle, or pinto mask, and dutch markings.

Labradors come in black, yellow, and chocolate color. They can only have white markings on their coat.

Temperament – Territorial Or Friendly?

You can expect the personality of this Anatolian Shepherd dog mix to be similar to one of its parent breeds.

The Anatolian Shepherd is an aggressive, dominant, and independent dog. It was bred to protect and herd so it developed high intelligence and vigilance. These dogs are known for their territorial and protective nature and will make perfect backyard security dogs. They will bark a lot if they see an intruder approaching. That said, these dogs will be friendly and affectionate with their family if trained well. Meeting new people and dogs will be a problem due to their protective nature.

The Labrador Retriever is not an aggressive dog and it is known for its friendly and affectionate nature. This makes meeting new people and dogs much easier. These dogs are perfect for any family, hence why they are the world’s most popular dogs. They are intelligent dogs that are eager to please which makes training easier for the owner. Their high energy requires a lot of activity during the day to prevent any destructive behavior.

How Long Do Anatolian Shepherd Lab Mix Live?

The life expectancy of the mix between the Anatolian Shepherd and Labrador Retriever is 11-13 years. These dogs have a relatively healthy lifespan, but can still be exposed to some common diseases like eye problems, hip dysplasia, and more.

  • Eye problemsEntropion is a common health problem in Anatolian Shepherds. Its caused by an inward rolling of the eyelids that cause irritation and pain to the eye. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is common in Labradors and it eventually leads to blindness.
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse – This is an inherited disease that affects Labrador Retrievers. It is a neuromuscular disease that causes symptoms after some strenuous exercise. Some signs you might notice are muscle weakness and discoordination, and it can lead to sudden death.
  • Hip dysplasia – This is an inherited musculoskeletal disease that affects both parent breeds. It attacks the ball and socket joint in the hips causing it to not fit properly. This makes walking hard for the dog and you can see it limping and showing signs of pain in the affected joint.

Taking Care Of An Anatolian Shepherd And Lab Mix

To take care of this dog you should focus on a few things. A proper diet, grooming, exercise, and training are important to keep a healthy and happy dog.


Due to its large size, this dog will need around 3-4 cups of dog food every day. This should be split into 2 or more meals during the day.

Make sure that the dog you feed is meant for large breeds and is from a reliable and trusted company. Dog food should be low in carbs and high in protein. It should also be filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fatty acids, and low in artificial ingredients.

You can also some supplements to achieve proper nutrition. Fish oil is great to keep the skin and coat healthy. Proper hydration is also important.


The Anatolian Shepherd cross bred with the Labrador Retriever is a shedding dog. But it doesn’t shed too much and it is relatively low maintenance. To keep it clean, you should brush it 2-3 times a week. This should be increased during “coat-blowing” seasons when it tends to shed more.

These dogs tend to stay clean and should be bathed once every month. Bathing too often will only damage their coat and skin. Make sure you use a shampoo made for dogs when bathing. After that, you should check and clean its ears. You should also trim the dog’s nails regularly and brush its teeth daily.

Exercise And Training

The Anatolian Shepherd Yellow Lab mix will need around 1 hour of exercise every day. Both its parent breeds are energetic dogs, which is why their puppy will also be the same. You can split the exercise into two or more sessions during the day. Take it on a walk or go running to spend that extra energy. Playing games and mental stimulation will also help to spend energy.

Training will be dependent on the authority and dominance of the owner. The Anatolian dog parent has a very territorial and stubborn nature and respects only a strong pack leader. Obedience training and socialization should start from an early age so the dog will become friendly and obedient.

Getting An Anatolian Lab Mix

If you want to get yourself this mixed breed, it won’t be simple. You need to find breeders that breed this specific mix, or ask in the rescue shelters.

Where To Buy One

Buying one of these mixed dog breeds will cost you anywhere between $1000-$2000. If the parents of the puppy are winners in dog competitions, their puppy will tend to cost much more.

Make sure you find a reliable breeder. They should give you all the information and medical documentation for the puppy. You can also ask to visit its parents and see if they have any inherited diseases. Because there are no specific breeders of Anatolian Lab mix puppies, you should ask breeders of the parent breeds.

Where To Adopt One

Adopting a dog will cost you much cheaper than buying one from a breeder. Dogs that are put up for adoption need a home and will be happy if you choose them and take them home.

You won’t always find the dog you want at the rescue shelters. Some of the puppies waiting to be rescued are older dogs. A lot of them are not purebred and are mixed with many different breeds. You can find some other interesting mixes like the half Chihuahua half Labrador. But there are cases when you will find just the right dog for you. Because there are no shelters to adopt this cross breed, you can try shelters for its parent breeds.

an Anatolian lab mix looking at the camera

Did You Like The Anatolian Lab Mix?

The Anatolian Labrador mixed breed is an interesting mix of two quite different dogs. It is made by mixing an Anatolian Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever. This results in a hybrid breed that can inherit the traits from one or the other parent.

Both parent breeds are large and strong, and thus their puppy will inherit those traits. Its coat will resemble the Anatolian or the Labrador, but its ears will always be floppy. The temperament of this dog will highly depend on the inherited genes. It can either be calm, vigilant, and territorial, or friendly, loving, and playful.

If you have developed a liking for this breed, there are two ways to get it. One would be to buy from a reputable breeder. The other would be to adopt it from a rescue shelter. Either way, you will end up with a lifelong loyal friend.


Is the Anatolian and Labrador mix hypoallergenic?

No, this is not a hypoallergenic dog breed. It sheds all throughout the year and this increases during spring and fall. The shedding of the Anatolian Shepherd Black Lab mix will be more noticeable due to the color.

Will the Anatolian and Labrador mix protect its owners?

Yes, these dogs are known to be territorial and very protective of their home and owners. Their Anatolian Shepherd parent is a strong dog with a long history of being a herd protector and carries that attitude with its family.

Is the Anatolian Lab mix a good family dog?

Yes, this mixed breed can make for an ideal family dog. It is protective, loyal, and affectionate if trained and socialized properly. It just won’t do well in families with smaller children due to its size.

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