The Kangal Dog is very calm but very powerful breed. They are the least aggressive of the Turkish breeds and are very trainable, along with being a natural people-pleaser. If they are not socialized from a young age, they could be unfriendly towards strangers. A well socialized Kangal Dog is also very good with children. This breed is not recommended for first-time owners because of their self-controlled mind.
There is a lot of debate about this breed’s origin, but they are known to come from Turkey. Kangal Dog was a flock-guarding breed. The name Kangal is from the Kangal District of Sivas Province in Turkey and it is speculated that that is where he originated from. It is said that Kangal was able to defend the flock against some really large predators like bears and wolves. A lot of Turks take the Kangal Dog as their national dog, also it has been featured on Turkish postage stamps and coins. The Kangal Dog is also associated with the first mastiff dogs which were portrayed in Assyrian art. Also, the Kangal Dog is not only National Dog of Turkey but is also their National Treasure, and because of that, there is annual Kangal Dog Festival.
Sometimes, this amazing and ancient Turkish breed is mistaken as just a different colored Anatolian Shepherd Dog but that is totally inaccurate. Kangal Dog is much older and is very popular breed in Turkey whereas the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is considered as “mongrel” by most Turks.
Turkish Kangal was imported in Europe in the late 1900s by David and Judith Nelson and it served as the foundation stock for the Kangal Dog in the U.S. There is a lot of debate regarding Kangal not being the separate breed from the Anatolian Shepherd, but more and more it is accepted that Kangal is indeed a separate breed.
There are also a lot of legends and rumors regarding this race throughout the history. One of the popular ones is that this breed derived from tiger and a lion in the Babylonian period.
Currently, The Kangal Dog is not recognized by AKC (American Kennel Club). It was recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 2012 as part of the Pastoral Group.
Some of the other recognitions are:
- American Canine Registry – ACR
- United Kennel Club – UKC
- Kangal Dog Club of America – KDCA
- American Canine Association – ACA
- Continental Kennel Club – CKC
- Dog Registry of America, Inc –DRA
There are several names used for the Kangal Dog, and some of them are:
- Sivas Kangal
- Turkish Kangal
- Turkish Shepherd
The Kangal Dog is much faster, agile and lighter than other Mastiff breeds. A male’s head is very similar to lion’s, but female’s head is a bit narrow and that’s why it is more elegant than males. They have high intelligence and are very loyal.
Height & Weight
Male: 75 – 85 cm (29.5 – 33.4 inches)
Female: 65 – 75 cm (25.5 – 29.5 inches)
Male: 50 – 65 kg (110 – 145 pounds)
Female: 40 – 55 kg (90 – 120 pounds)
The Kangal Dog is more like a flock guardian than a herding dog, they are very protective and alert, that’s why it is in the ability to defend the flock from large predators such as wolves, jackals, and even bears. They are very loyal and are extremely devoted to their family. The Kangal Dog is very good with children and is a great family dog because they are very sensitive and calm.
The Kangal Dog is a very smart dog and is known to be a quick learner and their coaching should start at a young age. Even though they are not overly active, they do require daily exercises to stretch their legs and work off their energy.
Kangal Dogs bark in order to show us that they sensed or heard some disturbance and they will most likely try to scare and intimidate those who are not safe in their eyes. They will immediately attack any predators in order to safe their flock and family. As soon as the threat becomes bigger, the dog will stand in front of those who need guarding and if the attacker is ignoring them and their barking, Kangal will fight to defend his job or family.
Just like every other dog, Kangal Dogs can be adorable and goofy as puppies but also, when they are not melting your heart with their cuteness, they will probably love to chew on everything and dig holes in your yard. After about 2 and a half years, they are no more puppies and will leave the puppy behavior behind in order to get protective and more serious. Some can get more serious even earlier, it depends on how they are raised.
The average lifespan of The Kangal Dog is from 12 – 15 years. It is a very healthy breed but just like all the other breeds, it is vulnerable to benign tumors, hip dysplasia, and entropion.
You should be checking daily for fleas and ticks in the summer. There are lots of ways to eliminate ticks and fleas, but if you are not sure, you can consult your vet about that.
Since it’s quite a big dog, the Kangal Dog should not be kept in an apartment. They need their space and a large yard would be perfect for that. Daily exercises are very important for their health and mental state.
Running every day is great for the Kangal Dog. They can get in the best shape by being a working dog, because of patrolling and protecting the livestock is making them exercise on duty. Because of those exercises, they will be ready to protect their job from anyone who is not welcome there.
The Kangal Dog sheds twice a year and those are pretty much the only times they need detailed brushing, other than that, they won’t need much of care and maintenance.
It is very important to take care of Turkish Kangal’s teeth. The best way to do it is making it a daily routine and doing it at the same time. You can do it by gently placing the brush between their teeth and lips.
Love & affection
Turkish Kangal, just like every other dog, needs love. It is something that they will appreciate the most and will always love you back. Also, just spending a lot of time with your dog will show them how much they mean to you.
Feed Healthy Food
Feeding your dog healthy food is necessary, being a Kangal or not. Healthy food is one of the most important things for your dog and nowadays it is easy to get that kind of food in markets.
Never give these to Turkish Kangal dog:
- Any kind of alcohol
- Salty foods
- Grapes or raisins
- Onions, chives, and garlic
- Spoiled food
- Poultry bones
- Yeast dough
- Tomato leaves stem or unripe fruit
Pregnancy time: 58 – 63 days. After the 5th week of pregnancy, the dog should not be given a heavy and exhausting task. Also, pregnant dogs are very cold and should be warmed up, they should not be allowed to run or jump. In addition, cold water, frozen food, sour and moldy food should not be given at all.
The moment of birth: Loss of appetite, body temperature drops 37 o C and a yellowish fluid are signs which indicate that it is time for the birth. Also, the dog will prepare some kind of bed with whatever is around her. Just before the birth, the dog will be in pain and as the contractions get stronger and stronger, the dog will lay on the side and wait for birth to happen. They will come out and their mother will remove the cord and clean them all. If for some reason she does not do that, it is up to you to clean the mouth and noses of the puppies so they can breathe.
The birth can take up to 8 hours and even more. Puppies will not come all at once, but at irregular intervals which can range from a few minutes to even an hour. If you think there are some problems with the birth, you should consult your vet.
The care during pregnancy and birth
The Turkish Shepherd should be checked for parasites and screened, if necessary. During pregnancy the animal should not be forced to take food, the dog will know exactly how much is needed. In rare cases, it may be necessary to increase the amount of food before the 40th day. Also, it is necessary to avoid adding calcium to food during this period.
Feeding of Pregnant and Lactating Dogs
In dogs, the greatest improvement in fetuses, uterus, placenta, and mammals occurs in the last three weeks of a total of nine weeks of pregnancy. Normal feeding should be continued during the first four weeks of pregnancy, and from the 5th and 60th week the amount of food should be increased by 10% every week and increased by 50% during delivery.
Lack of appetite can be seen in the last 7-10 days of pregnancy if carrying a large number of puppies. In this case, it may be beneficial to give small amounts of delicious food. During the last three weeks of pregnancy, pregnant dogs should be fed three times a day, because the volume of the uterus grows. During pregnancy, the energy requirement increases by 20% on average.
The mother wants to be with the pups for a several following days after the birth. The lactation period is 6 weeks on average. The colostrum (milk) is secreted for one to three days.
Milk secretion increases by 5 – 6 weeks. During the lactation period, the main nutrient should be fed at the optimum level for normal milk production. Food intake increases after birth and reaches a maximum after 3 to 4 weeks of birth.
Feeding of adult dogs
Adult Turkish Kangal dogs should always be fed at the same time once a day. A diet of about 2 kg is arranged for a medium dog. About 1/3 of such a diet is meat, 1/3 is a mixture of cereal and vegetables, the rest of the diet is water. Diet should be adjusted according to the animal’s weight, condition, and work.
Mixed examples for dogs
|Feed Ingredient||1. Mixed%||2. Mixed%|
These mixes are cheap, especially for bulky dog-grown businesses. One day a day from these:
|For a Dog weighing 10 kg||750 gr|
|For a Dog weighing 15 kg||1.000 gr|
|For a Dog weighing 20 kg||1.200 gr|
|For a Dog weighing 30 kg||2.000 gr|
|For a Dog weighing 40 kg||2.500 gr|
These quantities are given by mixing with liquids such as meat juice, vegetable juice or milk. In addition, put boiled vegetables in front of the dog. It is recommended that the carmine is given to the pregnant and lactating females and newly-cut offspring from milk.
Feeding of Working Dogs
These big Turkish dogs have a balanced diet with a high level of energy and digestion. It is recommended that 1/4 or 1/3 of these should be given before the work, and the rest after. It may also be helpful to give some light food in addition to the basic diet, which will not cause fatigue again.
An example of a diet for running adult dogs
|Oat Flour||250 gr|
|Barley Flour||400 gr|
Kangal Dog Puppy Training
The Kangal dog puppies require an owner who is an expert and will know how to handle dogs and their training. They are not the type of a dog which can be trained by someone else and then think that they will obey you. They require to be trained especially by their master and with that comes living and working with such.
One of the really important types of training is a behavioral training. It consists of you getting to know your dog and with that get to know some of his behavioral issues, which could involve barking, chewing, aggression, etc. and try to stop them by training him. This is important because not will you only bond more, but behavioral training is very important part of Kangal puppy.
Next important type of training is Obedience training. This is a one of the basic and most important training for any dog. There are 3 methods of training that we use with your Kangal puppy, all begins with a strong foundation in the core 5 obedience commands: come, sit, stay, heel, down. Every dog should know these 5 basic obedience commands Because it is very necessary for obedience training.
The average price for a Kangal Dog puppy is from 600$ to 800$ USD.
- First of all, you must know that your new puppy will require a constant attention because he will be your new family member. If you are pretty busy throughout the whole day, getting a puppy is not recommended at all.
- You must know that Kangal puppies are really adorable and can melt your heart really easy, so be careful.
- You should be available to walk your dog more than once or twice a day, ask yourself if you are able to do that every day.
- It is good if you try to get some advice from people who already adopted dogs. You could learn a few things from them and see if you are really ready for it.
Useful things to know about them:
- Kangal Dog is can be huge and powerful.
- Really protective and alert at all times.
- Great partner.
- Passionate and good family dog.
- They are easily distracted.
- Require a lot of space.
- Require a lot of love.
- The Kangal dog’s life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.
- The Kangal is also called Sivas Kangal, Turkish Kangal.
- There is a legend that the Kangal Dog derived from a lion and a tiger
- Female Kangal mate twice a year and can have up to 10 puppies
- The Sivas Kangal is strong enough to win against a wolf
- It’s Turkey’s most famous breed
- The Kangal has been featured on Turkish postage stamps
- Once, The Kangal had to fight against two wolves in order to save the donkey. After the fight, wolves ran away and both the dog and the donkey survived.
|Other Names:||Kangal, Sivas Kangal, Turkish Kangal, Turkish Shepherd|
|Origin:||Republic of Turkey|
|Average size:||Large Size Dog Breed|
|Color:||Black, Grey and Cream|
|Energy Level:||Active dog breed|
|Trainability:||This dog is easy to train|
|Barking Level:||Low – When Necessary|
|Personality:||Independent, Protective, Self-Controlled|
|AKC Dog Ranking:||Is not currently recognized by the AKC|
|Good family dog:||Yes, Very good with socialization|
|Good with other dogs:||Yes, good with socialization|
|Good with children:||Yes – but socialization is essential|
|Good with strangers:||Medium – They are wary around of strangers|
|Good apartment dog:||Low – this is not an apartment dog|
Photo Credit: Kangal Montenegro/Facebook Group