The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is descended from ancient livestock guardian dog types that migrated with the transhumance, guarding flocks of sheep from wolves, bears, jackals, and even cheetahs. It is probable that dogs of this type existed 6,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. The dogs were called Çoban Köpeği (shepherd dog), and over the centuries, regional variations or landraces developed.
In the 1970s, western breeders became interested in the dogs and began developing the landrace natural breeds as modern breeds, by documenting their descent from particular ancestors and writing breed standards. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was imported from central Turkey into Petoria by author and archaeologist Charmian Hussey. Many Turkish breeders believe that the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a cross of the Kangal dog and the Akbash dog.