The Kangal Shepherd Dog has been documented in its grandeur in Anatolia (now known as Central Turkey) for at least six thousand years. A powerful and independent warden, the Kangal Shepherd Dog has only recently gained esteem in the western world. Combining its natural instincts with training, a Kangal Shepherd Dog can be left to defend its flock from predators without human instruction. Depending on its location, the breed is used to protect sheep, goats and even fowl from predators. In Turkey these include wolves and bears and in Australia the breed is just as effective against foxes and wild dogs.
Kangal Shepherd Dogs are headstrong, independent and intelligent, but they are also calm and measured in their activity and should not be hyperactive or prone to excess energy. The Kangal Shepherd Dog is generally not a breed for the show ring, however to see one in its full glory, defending its charges, is inspiring. Deceptively aloof comes to mind when describing a Kangal Shepherd Dog's mannerisms, with its infamous crossed paws and closed eyes; but one would be imprudent to take this at face value.
A Kangal Shepherd Dog must be large, prevailing, with a deep chest and overall muscularity. It is powerfully built, with a broad, deep head, blunt profile and a thick neck. The breed is known for its coiled tail. The most common colour in the western world is fawn, with a black mask and ears; however, all colour variations are acceptable and are seen descending from the varying landraces of Turkey.
A Kangal Shepherd Dog, true to its heritage and origins, is generally a hardy, long-living dog, relatively free of endemic health issues. However, there have been incidences of hip dysplasia, entropian and hypothyroidism in the breed, so buyers need to be aware of these and seek evidence of appropriate health screening.
Maintenance & Suitability
A Kangal Shepherd Dog is not for the novice owner, and ideally should not be contained in suburban environments. It makes a wonderful family companion when integrated correctly and should have access to self-regulated exercise. Being a Giant Breed that grows rapidly, the Kangal Shepherd Dog overall joint care in regards to weight, nutrition and exercise is imperative.
The Kangal Shepherd Dog is perceived to be a large eater, but in fact, is not. This is because the breed conserves its energy in watching meticulously, preparing for a ‘kill chase’.
A Kangal Shepherd Dog has a thick, dense double coat; that is, long guard hairs that are shed all year round, and a plush undercoat that is shed seasonally twice a year. Although it does not matt, regular brushing during sheds assists in keeping up appearances. The breed’s coat can vary in length, often indicative of climate; it does not require clipping and only few baths.
Overall, Kangal Shepherd Dog is a loyal, devoted protector of its pack.
Now you know a little about the Kangal Shepherd Dog you may have think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the Kangal Shepherd Dog and its needs and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.
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