Kangal Dog is a native of Turkey, where it has been used to protect livestock for centuries. Of mastiff descent, the breed’s isolation in the harsh Kangal District kept the Kangal Dog’s development pure and free of cross-breeding. The native people of this region boast of the breed’s ability to keep livestock safe from wolves, jackals, and other predators.
The Kangal Dog is a large dog breed, standing 28 to 34 inches tall and weighing 90 to 140 pounds. The head is large and broad with dropped ears. The body is slightly longer than the dog is tall at the shoulders. The tail is curled and often carried high. The double coat is short and thick. Coat colour can be fawn to grey with a black facial mask and ears. The thick coat should be brushed twice a week, although when the undercoat is being shed, usually twice a year, daily brushing may be needed.
Kangal Dogs need daily exercise. When protecting livestock, they alternate between calm watchfulness and bursts of energy, and this can be reflected in their activity levels as pets. All exercise should be within a fenced-in yard or on leash, as this breed does enjoy running. As with many livestock protection dogs, this breed tends to be nocturnal. Training is necessary and needs to be structured and firm, yet also fun, as Kangal Dogs who feel pushed will shut down and refuse to react.
Kangal Dogs need the boundaries for behaviour that training can provide; a spoiled Kangal is a recipe for disaster. Socialisation is also important, as these are, by nature, very watchful animals. The Kangal Dog has been a livestock protection dog for centuries and needs a home where he can work. The owner must be willing to train him and be the dog’s leader. Kangal Dogs are usually good with children who treat them with respect, although they will not tolerate rough handling. The primary health concern is hip dysplasia.