Kangal Shepherd Dog | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Kangal Shepherd Dog

The Kangal Shepherd Dog, also known as Turkish Kangal, is the national dog of Turkey. Its name comes from the district of Kangal in the province of Sivas, where the breed would originate. This dog is not a herd guide, but a guardian and protector of sheep. Its size, its courage and its determination make it launch out to defend its flock against any predator or thief.

Kangal is able to think independently, his behavior is adequate. Don’t bark or growl for no reason. Not suitable as a pet. Kangal is the national pride of Turkey. Indeed, the breed has earned such a respectful attitude. A huge dog has a completely friendly character, but only if it is not about protecting the owner’s property and the owner himself.


Kangal shepherd dog photos

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Physical characteristics

The Anatolian Shepherd – Kangal is an exceptionally powerful dog that has large dimensions, but at the same time looks light and slender. The build is proportional, the muscles are highly developed in all parts of the body.

The growth of an adult Kangal reaches 75-88 cm, the weight is about 50-60 kg. Males are significantly taller and heavier than females.


Distinctive features

  • On a strong, thick, with a slight bend and slight suspension neck holds a voluminous head with a wide skull. Hanging, triangular ears are not too big. Cupping is allowed.
  • Almond-shaped eyes of brown color with a black stroke. The size of the eyes is proportional to the size of the skull (medium or large). The eyelids should not be sagging.
  • The muzzle line is sloping (from stop to nose). The muzzle is shorter than the skull. The nose is large.
  • The jaw system is powerful. The teeth are strong. The fangs are big. Scissor bite. Also allowed the bite “reverse scissors” or straight. The lips are black, slightly saggy.
  • The croup is not too long, with a slope of up to 30 degrees. The case should not be flat on the sides. The back is medium length, the top line with a slight bulge in the lumbar region. The bottom line is tightened. The chest is deep, long.
  • The limbs are long, even, muscular. The hocks are strong, wide. Paws are strong, paw pads are thick. The fingers are bent. Amputation of lucrative fingers is optional.
  • Step at low speed – amble. During the movement, the Kangal Dog lowers its head to the level of the back. Thus, the head, neck and back are on the same level. From the side it seems that the Kangal Shepherd Dog does not go, but sneaks.
  • The tail is not docked. It is long, straight. If the dog is agitated, he lifts and twists his tail high in a ring.
  • The skin of the Kangal Shepherd Dog is without folds, not too thick. A slight suspension on the neck is not considered a vice.
  • The coat is short, dense, hard to the touch. There is a thick undercoat.
  • The color of the Kangal Shepherd Dog is allowed from fawn to wolf. A black mask is required on the face

Character and behavior

The temperament of the Kangal Shepherd Dog is serious and reserved. It is a typical watchdog. It can be aggressive with unknown people and is generally aggressive with other dogs, especially the same sex. Therefore, their socialization from an early age is very important.

However, this dog tends to be very friendly, tolerant and protective in itself. Tolerates the pranks of children in his family very well (but you should always monitor interactions between dogs and children) and can get along with pets of other species as long as he has grown up with them.

The Kangal is wary, aggressive, and protective temperament can be a drawback for a companion dog, but it is an obvious advantage when a guard dog and a herd guard are required. This has enabled organizations such as the Chita Conservation Fund to use Anatolian and kangal shepherds in their efforts to conserve wildlife. By incorporating these dogs into the herds of Namibian sheep, farmers stopped killing cheetahs because the dogs were responsible for hunting them, thereby protecting sheep and felines.


The most common behavioral problems in this breed are excessive barking and destroying things.


Representatives of the breed have strong immune defenses. From year to year, through natural selection, the body of the Kangal shepherd became only stronger.

But the owner of the Kangal needs to know that his pet is predisposed to the following diseases:

  • Hip dysplasia – the Kangal, like other large dogs, often suffers from dysplasia of both the elbow and the knee joint. The disease must be treated, otherwise at the last stage the animal may completely lose its ability to walk, will suffer from intolerable pains.
  • Bone underdevelopment in puppies and young animals – this problem leads to a lack of calcium in the diet of Kangal.
  • Inversion, inversion of the eyelids – these eye diseases cannot be eliminated with medication; surgical intervention is required. In most cases, the disease affects both eyes.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases- bloating, inversion of the intestines. More often due to poor diet and poor-quality food. If assistance is not immediately provided, the dog may die within just a few hours.

The health of the Kangal Shepherd dog directly depends on what care its owner provides. The pet needs regular deworming and routine vaccination. Treatment for skin parasites is important.

Annual preventive examinations in a veterinary clinic with the delivery of tests and an X-ray examination will help to detect a disease in time and start treatment at the initial stage.

Life expectancy

The average lifespan of the Kangal Shepherd Dog is around 10 to 12 years.


A thick coat with an undercoat requires combing at least 1-2 times a week. Be sure to trim the claws, and also make sure that the animal’s ears and eyes are clean, ridding them of deposits. You can bathe your dog once a week or more often if needed.

Life expectancy

1. This dog absolutely needs a large space, fresh air, the ability to move freely.
2. If the dog stands on its hind legs, an ordinary fence will not present any obstacle to it.

Fun facts

  • Kangal lives on the Anatolian plateau since the time of Babylon.
  • In ancient times, the Kangal Shepherd dog was used for hunting lions and other large predators.
  • Anatolian Shepherd Dog is capable of speeds up to 50 km / h.
  • In South Africa, Kangal dogs serve primarily to protect livestock from cheetahs.
  • Guarding a herd of cattle, the Kangal uses the tactics of a lion, he climbs up the hill and from there monitors the territory.
  • The Kangal is able to pursue prey or the enemy for several days.
  • The breed “Kangal Shepherd” is a national heritage and pride of Turkey.
  • The name of the breed arose in honor of the city of Kangal.
  • There is a tradition in Turkey – presenting a puppy of the breed Kangal Shepherd to the first boy born in the family.

History of the breed

The Kangal is part of a group of sheepdog or guardian breed called Çoban Köpegi. The only thing known for sure about this breed is that it is very old and comes from the Kangal district, in Sivas, Turkey. The others are theories about their origins, but the most accepted is that this breed already existed in the Roman Empire and that soldiers used these dogs to accompany the army in their marches.

It would also come from 3 crosses of dogs: dogs of the Assyrian empire, which were of the mastiff type (called “Assyrian molosses”); the Roman molosses of Greece; and English mastiffs. It is assumed that the Romans created this powerful hybrid to use as protector and guardian of their herds in times of conquest.

Subsequently, this breed was exported to other southern European countries, such as Turkey, where it finished developing and forming.


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