Unlike the “shepherd” breeds of the West, the Turkish shepherd dogs do not usually herd sheep or move them from one area to another by biting, chasing, or barking at them. Instead, they are usually left alone with the sheep and almost always act independently of a handler.
They are discouraged from biting, chasing, and barking at sheep. They must be able to act independently and react instinctively while protecting the flock against predators, while being attentive to sheep and not harm them.
Most of these breeds are very intelligent, alert, and confident. Similarly to the herding dogs described by ancient Roman writers, most of these dogs are white in color. The white coat color made that de dog was more easily accepted by the sheep and could not be mistaken for a darker colored predator by the shepherd. Darker colored dogs were more usefull at night as property guards, because they were hard to see and could surprise human intruders. For the same reason darker colored dogs were also predominantly used by the military.
At our zoo you’ll find the dogs hanging out at the camel exhibit during the day. At night they are free to roam the zoo and protect the animals.