Kangal Shepherd Dog
The Kangal is a guard dog of imposing size. Its country of origin is Turkey. The Kangal is a very old breed of dog that has guarded the flocks of sheep in the mountainous regions of Turkey for many generations. The guarding and protective instinct of the animals is deeply rooted in their genes. A Kangal needs a sovereign owner who knows how to deal with the breed-related characteristics.
The Kangal Shepherd Dog was recognized as a breed by the FCI, the cynological umbrella organization, and assigned to Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molosser and Swiss Mountain Dogs).
The Kangal is a dog of impressive size. When fully grown, females reach a height at the withers of about 65-73 cm. In males, it is a considerable 72-78 cm. Weight-wise, bitches are between 40 and 50 kilograms and males between 48 and 60 kilograms.
Despite its large and imposing stature, the Kangal is muscular, agile and surprisingly persistent. He has dense fur with undercoat. Depending on the season and housing conditions, the coat length is three to seven centimeters. According to the official breed standard, the dogs are solid colored, with most specimens being light brown to light gray.
Characteristic for the Kangal is the mask markings of the head. Because of these black markings on the muzzle and ears, the original Turkish name is Karabaş. This means nothing else than black head.
Another typical feature of this breed is the tail curled over the back. The eyes are dark and almond-shaped.
In character, the Kangal Shepherd Dog is independent, self-confident, courageous, and frugal. His outstanding characteristics include a strong protective instinct and a pronounced territorial behavior. Towards strangers he behaves reserved to distrustful.
Representatives of this dog breed radiate calm and composure. However, this can change abruptly if the dog, which until then appeared to be dozing, recognizes a threat to its pack. He never attacks immediately, he threatens extensively and only when the supposed threat does not react with retreat, he goes on the attack.
If you decide to get a Kangal, you should put a lot of emphasis on good socialization. When it comes to training, it is recommended to seek assistance from professional dog trainers who are experienced in training guard dogs.
The right food
In terms of nutrition, the Kangal is decidedly undemanding. As guard dogs in the mountains of Anatolia, the animals usually had a meager food supply. Considering their size, they require surprisingly little food. Over a long period of time, they have evolved into a type of dog that has adapted to this meager form of diet and is able to meet its energy needs with a minimal supply of nutrients.
An oversupply of animal proteins can lead to allergic reactions under certain circumstances.
Kangal herding dog care
Optimally adapted to the original living conditions, the Kangal is extremely insensitive to weather conditions. This original breed loves to be outdoors in all weathers and has a low-maintenance coat. Only during the change of coat you can achieve by thorough brushing that less dog hair is distributed in the house.
The Kangal herding dog primarily needs space and, if possible, a property to guard. For cramped living conditions, a Kangal is not the right choice.
When it comes to accessories, because of the size and strength of the dog, make sure that the collar and leash or harness are matched to the strength ratios. Leash leadership is enormously important for dogs of this size.
Origin & History
The roots of the Kangal herding dogs probably go back to the guard dogs of the first nomads, who moved through Central Asia and Anatolia thousands of years ago. Already at that time the dogs were used for those tasks, which determine their breed-typical characteristics until today. With the animals of the nomads they lived together in the herd to protect them from invading predators.
Originally called Karabash (Blackhead), the dog owes the name Kangal to an influential noble family. These noblemen began very early with the professional breeding of the breed.
The task entrusted to him, which consisted in guarding the flocks of sheep, this dog did absolutely independently. He was often separated from the people for long periods of time. This is the reason for his independent nature.
Towards familiar people, the Kangal is a loyal and sensitive dog. Important is a sensitive and yet consistent education, so that the independent behavior does not grow into a problem.