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Kangal Dog is an ancient flock-guarding breed, thought to be
related to the early mastiff-type dogs depicted in Assyrian
art. The breed is named for the Kangal District of Sivas Province
in Central Turkey where it probably originated. Although the
breed has long been associated with the family of the Aga of
Kangal, large landholders and chieftains, the majority are bred
by villagers who take great pride in the dogs' ability to guard
their flocks of sheep and goats from such traditional predators
as the wolf, bear, and jackal. The relative isolation of the
Sivas-Kangal region has kept the Kangal Dog free of cross-breeding
and has resulted in a natural breed of remarkable uniformity
in appearance, disposition, and behaviour. Despite its regional
origin, many Turks consider the Kangal Dog as their national
dog. Turkish government and academic institutions operate breeding
kennels where Kangal Dogs are bred and pedigrees are carefully
maintained. The Kangal Dog has even appeared on a Turkish postage
typical Kangal Dog is first and foremost a stock guardian dog
and possesses a temperament typical of such dogs; alert, territorial,
and defensive of the domestic animals or the human family to
which it has bonded. The Kangal Dog has the strength, speed,
and courage to intercept and confront threats to the flocks
of sheep and goats that it guards both in Turkey and the New
World. Kangal Dogs prefer to intimidate predators but will take
a physical stand and even attack if necessary. Kangal Dogs have
an instinctive wariness of strange dogs but are not typically
belligerent toward people. They are somewhat reserved with strangers
but loyal and affectionate with family.
Kangal Dog needs a chance to exercise every day, either with
a long walk or brisk run. It can live outside in temperate to
cool climates. Coat care is minimal, consisting only of a weekly
brushing to remove dead hair.
Official Breed Standard
The Kangal Dog or "Kangal", is
one of the famous Turkish sheepdog breeds, or coban Kopekleri. Typical
examples come from the Sivas Kangal Region of central Turkey and
their breeding is traditionally associated with the Kangal family
of the Kangal District. They were probably bred by the sultans of
Turkey since at least the seventeenth century and were also known
as "samsun dogs".
It is renowned for its size, courage and mastiff-like appearance.
It invariably has a black mask on a massive head (karabash) and
short, dense hair ranging in colour from dun to steel grey.
An active working breed used to guard sheep and livestock. Steady
and bold without undue aggression, independent, hardy, very trainable.
The Kangal Dog possesses the classic livestock guardian dog temperament;
a temperament characterised by a calm, alert and independent demeanour.
Possessing a natural protective instinct, he is loyal, bold and
courageous without showing undue aggression. Moreover the Kangal
Dog is sensitive and his responses to individual situations clearly
demonstrate his intelligence and sensitivity.
Head and Skull:
Large and broad between the ears with moderate stop. Foreface slightly
more than 1/3 of total head length. Slightly pendulous black lips.
Square profile. Nose black.
Rather small in proportion to the skull, set well apart and deep,
somewhat round in shape, showing no haw. Colour from golden to brown.
Eye rims black.
Medium sized, triangular in shape, rounded at the tip, flat to the
skull and carried pendant.
Lips black. Level or scissor bite.
Slightly arched, powerful and muscular, moderate in length and rather
thick. Some dewlap.
Forelegs set well apart, straight and well-boned, of good length
with strong pasterns. Elbows close to sides. Shoulders well-muscled.
Chest deep to point of elbow, ribs well-sprung. Body powerful and
well-muscled, never fat. Back rather short in proportion to leg
length, slight arch over the loins with moderate tuck-up.
Powerful, not as heavy as forequarters. Rear pasterns moderately
Good strong feet with well-arched toes. Nails blunt, grey or black
depending on coat colour.
Long bone reaching at least to hock joint. Set on rather high. When
relaxed, carried low with slight curl; when alert, carried high
with end curled over back.
Relaxed even gait. Noticeable straight line of body, head and neck;
alert when walking. Pacing acceptable.
Short and dense with thick undercoat. Slightly longer at neck and
The head invariably has a black mask. Body colour ranges from dun
to steel grey. A white chest blaze may be present. The Kangal Dog
is never white or spotted.
Males: Weight 50-63 kg (110 - 140lbs)
Height 76 - 81.5 cm (30 - 32 ins)
Bitches: Weight 41 - 59 kg (90 - 130 lbs)
Weight: 41 - 59 kg (90 - 130 lbs)
Height: 71 -78.5 cm (28 - 31 ins)
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault
and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should
be in exact proportion to its degree.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles full descended
into the scrotum.