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A Comprehensive Guide to Turkish Kangal Dogs for Lovers

Last updated on March 10th, 2024 at 03:54 pm

Turkish Kangal dogs are sturdy and formidable guard animals with a long history. They’re intelligent, patient, and fiercely loyal, making them highly valued for guarding livestock. Despite their muscular build, they’re also agile and can navigate rugged terrain. The breed has a timeless quality, with bloodlines that date back to the Bronze Age. Owners of these pups need to be strong leaders who can handle a dominant and loving dog.

If you’re interested in learning about the Turkish Kangal, you’ve come to the right place! This post will give you the lowdown on this adorable pup. So sit tight and get ready to discover everything you need to know!

Overview

Asian origin:Turkey
Other names:Kangal Shepherd Dog, Kangal Çoban Köpeği, Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Height:29 inches (male), 27 inches (female)
Weight:110-150 pounds (male), 80-120 pounds (female)
Lifespan:11-13 years
Coat type:Smooth, short
Colors:Biscuit & white, brindle, fawn, blue fawn, gray fawn, red fawn, liver, white
Temperament:Alert, intelligent, calm, observant, protective
Suitable for:Large house, experienced owners

Kid-friendly:

Pet-friendly:

Energy level:

Trainability:

Tendency to bark:

Shedding amount:

Video version

History

Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, is the Asian part of Turkey where the Turkish Kangal, or shepherd’s dog, was developed by sheep and goat herders. These canines are known for their reputation as a flock guardian. Ancient artifacts show that the breed’s ancestors date back to the Babylonian Empire. The breed was introduced to America in the years preceding World War II, and ranchers began importing them in the 1950s. The Turkish Kangal is still a working ranch dog today, protecting various animals.

Appearance

turkish kangal dogs

The Turkish Kangal is a large, rugged, powerful dog breed with great endurance and agility. Originally bred for guarding livestock, they are unmatched in their ability to protect. They appear bold but calm and can handle being challenged outside of their territory. A well-muscled torso and strong head are important, as are fluid movement and an even temperament. 

General balance is more important than size, with Turkish Kangal dogs weighing between 110 and 150 pounds and bitches between 80 and 120 pounds. Both should be rectangular in proportion to their height and not appear overweight. These measurements apply to dogs and bitches aged two or older.

Temperament

The Turkish Kangal possesses a unique blend of personality traits. While alert and intelligent, they also exhibit a calm and observant demeanor. This combination makes them natural guardians, instinctively protective of their loved ones and territory. Their loyalty and responsiveness shine through in their interactions with familiar people, but they may be reserved around strangers and outside their domain. It’s important to avoid overhandling, as they value their independence.

Grooming

Turkish Kangal dogs shed heavily twice a year and need daily brushing during these times. However, brushing them once a week when they’re not shedding is okay. They don’t need baths often, but brushing can help eliminate odor from their coats.

Remember to keep your pup’s ears clean and dry so they don’t get nasty infections. Cut their nails every few weeks to save them from getting too long. Brush their teeth regularly so they don’t have any dental issues. Also, check for any parasites on your dog every so often to make sure they’re all good!

Exercise

Turkish Kangal dogs are not the most active ones despite their size and history as livestock guardians. All they need is a good walk or some running around in a securely fenced yard every day. But since they are intelligent animals, you must keep them entertained and prevent them from getting bored. Try different activities that engage their minds and bodies, like puzzle toys, hide-and-seek, or agility games. And if you want to keep your pet in great shape, swimming is an excellent option to strengthen their muscles and heart.

Training

turkish kangal dogs

Socializing Turkish Kangal puppies is crucial as they tend to be wary of others and instinctively protective. Obedience training is a must with this breed, but it can be challenging as they were bred to work independently and make decisions on their own. 

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free online dog training workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs

Etc.

Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.

Health

Turkish Kangal dogs are generally healthy and strong. They’re not commonly affected by hip dysplasia or bloat, a dangerous condition where the stomach twists and can lead to death. However, owners need to know the signs of bloat in case it ever happens. 

These pups can be sensitive to anesthesia, so you should inform their vet before any procedures. Good breeders will check for entropion, a condition where the eyelids turn inwards, which is fixed through surgery. 

Nutrition

Turkish Kangal dogs need high-quality dog food suitable for their age. They don’t overeat but avoid too many treats. Treats can be helpful for training, but use them in moderation. In addition, check which human foods are safe for them and always give them access to clean drinking water. It’s best to consult a vet if you have any concerns about their diet or weight.

Living Condition

turkish kangal dogs

Turkish Kangals need a lot of space to roam, so they’re better suited to large houses with secure yards. Living in small apartments or houses can make them bored and lead to destructive behavior. 

These dogs can handle a variety of climates, but extreme temperatures should be avoided. If living in a hot climate, you should provide a pool or sprinkler for them to cool down. In the cold, giving them a sheltered area is essential to escape the extreme cold and wind. 

3 Little-Known Facts About Turkish Kangal Dogs

1. They Have a Talent for Acting

Turkish Kangal dogs are not just great guards but also have a talent for acting. They have appeared in many movies, such as “Cats and Dogs,” “Kate and Leopold,” and even “Friends With Benefits.” Keep an eye out for them next time you see a film with a dog character. 

2. The Turkish Kangal Is an Ancient Breed

The Turkish Kangal is a dog breed that has existed for thousands of years. They were so important that there are even ancient artifacts depicting them. These artifacts were found in Anatolia, which is now Turkey. They show a large, strong dog with a big head, just like the Kangal. 

3. Turks Didn’t Export Them Until Very Recently

The Turkish Kangal has been around for thousands of years, but the Turks kept them to themselves because these dogs were so precious. Americans started importing this breed in the 1950s, but people just learned about them in the 1970s. It shows that sometimes good things take a while to be discovered!

Turkish Kangal for Sale

turkish kangal dogs

The Turkish Kangal is a giant dog breed that’s not for everyone. It’s a rare and highly valued treasure in Turkey. Because they’re so big, many people want to get one.

If you’re buying a Turkish Kangal puppy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay around $1,500 to $4,000. However, if you want a dog from a top-notch bloodline or an award-winning breeder, you could be looking at shelling out $4,500 to $5,000.

Becoming a dog parent is one of the most memorable moments of life. But before bringing your new best friend home, it’s vital to have all the right things to make sure the adoption is really smooth and makes them feel right. You may feel overwhelmed by tons of puppy products on sale and not sure what items your puppy actually needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this minimalist puppy checklist to help you get started.

Conclusion

The Turkish Kangal is a large and courageous dog breed that was originally bred to protect livestock from predators. If you’re thinking about getting one, there are a few things to consider. These dogs are a good fit for people who lead an active lifestyle, have enough space for a large dog, and are willing to commit to their unique training requirements. While they are natural protectors, early socialization is important to ensure they stay gentle with children.

FAQs

Is a Turkish Kangal a Good Family Dog?

Turkish Kangals make great pets for the right owners due to their loyalty, protectiveness, and independence. However, these dogs have specific needs and traits that may not suit everyone. They’re large and robust, requiring ample space and exercise, which can overwhelm unprepared families. Moreover, their strong guarding instincts were bred to protect livestock, so you must socialize and train them to interact calmly with children and other animals. 

Is The Turkish Kangal the Most Powerful Dog?

Determining the strongest dog is subjective and depends on various factors. Turkish Kangals are known for their impressive strength, size, and stamina, making them a powerful and athletic breed. However, comparing breeds based on factors like bite force, weight, or athleticism is more complex. Kangals’ primary strength lies in their guarding instincts, courage, and endurance rather than raw power alone. 

Is a Turkish Kangal Legal in the UK?

Turkish Kangals are allowed in the UK, but specific rules are in place to ensure they are owned responsibly. Some public areas may restrict bigger or stronger breeds, so owners should be aware of these rules for the safety of their dogs and the community.

Is A Kangal Stronger Than a Wolf?

It’s difficult to determine whether a Kangal or a wolf is stronger as it depends on various factors. Kangals are generally bigger and more powerful than wolves, but the outcome of a confrontation can be influenced by many things, such as the individual animals involved, the circumstances of the encounter, and even luck. Kangals who are trained to protect livestock may be more likely to face a wolf, but wolves often hunt in packs, which can counteract an individual animal’s strength. Therefore, it’s challenging to definitively say that one is always stronger than the other due to the complex nature of these interactions.

Who Can Defeat Kangal Dog?

When it comes to animal encounters, it’s not easy to determine a clear winner or “defeat” a Kangal. Several factors can affect the outcome, such as training, the animal’s purpose, individual characteristics, and the environment. 

Is Kangal Stronger Than Tiger?

Tigers are much stronger than Kangals. Tigers are larger, faster, and have more powerful teeth and claws. While Kangals are brave and strong, a tiger in the wild would most likely defeat a Kangal.

Would a Kangal Beat a Pitbull?

Both breeds are powerful, determined, and have strong guarding instincts. The result would depend on various factors, such as size, training, and specific circumstances. Each dog’s unique characteristics play a crucial role in determining the outcome of any potential encounter.

Who Is Stronger Kangal or Hyena?

It’s hard to say whether a Kangal is stronger than a hyena since both animals have their own advantages. Kangals are bigger and heavier, while hyenas have strong jaws and work in packs. The result of any encounter between the two would depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances and tactics used by each animal. Therefore, it’s difficult to determine which animal is stronger.

Is a Kangal Stronger Than a Rottweiler?

It’s possible that Kangals might be stronger than Rottweilers due to their larger size and weight. However, Rottweilers are known for their impressive bite force and determination. 

Who Is Stronger German Shepherd or Kangal?

When comparing Kangals and German Shepherds, Kangals are generally larger and heavier, indicating more strength. Nonetheless, German Shepherds are recognized for their athleticism and agility, which could give them an advantage in certain situations. 

Could a Kangal Beat a Lion?

It’s very unlikely that a Kangal could win against a lion. Although Kangals are strong and courageous dogs, lions are much bigger and more powerful predators with better weapons such as claws and teeth. If they were to confront each other, the lion would most likely overpower the Kangal.

Can a Kangal Defeat a Leopard?

When it comes to a Kangal facing a leopard, things can get complicated. Leopards are agile predators with strong jaws and claws, even though they are smaller than lions. While a Kangal might be able to defend themselves or cause some injury to the leopard, if the leopard attacks with determination, the Kangal is likely to suffer injury or defeat.

Can a Kangal Beat a Bear?

No, a Kangal would not be able to beat a bear. Bears are significantly larger and stronger than both lions and leopards, making them formidable opponents even for large breeds like Kangals. In a bear attack, a Kangal wouldn’t stand a chance due to the bear’s size and strength.

Is a Turkish Kangal the Same as an Anatolian Shepherd?

Officially, yes. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) merged the Anatolian Shepherd Dog and the Kangal Shepherd Dog in 2018, recognizing them as one breed under the official name Kangal Shepherd Dog. However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) still differentiates them as separate breeds, though acknowledging their close similarity.

Are Turkish Kangals Friendly?

Turkish Kangals are known to be loyal and protective of their families. However, their friendliness towards people and other animals depends on factors such as socialization, training, and temperament. To ensure that they interact well with others, it is important to socialize them early and consistently. Proper training is also crucial in establishing boundaries and preventing undesirable behaviors. While they may be protective, each dog is unique and may have different levels of willingness to interact with strangers.

Can Kangals Leave Turkey?

Yes, Kangals can leave Turkey with proper documentation and procedures. Export regulations in Turkey require health certificates, vaccinations, and microchipping for dogs. Additionally, the destination country has import regulations that must be met, including documentation, quarantine processes, and potentially breed-specific restrictions.

Are Turkish Kangals Intelligent?

Turkish Kangals are smart dogs. They are good at thinking for themselves and finding solutions to problems, especially when it comes to protecting livestock. However, they have a different kind of intelligence compared to dogs that have been bred to obey commands. Training them requires patience and understanding.

Are Turkish Kangals Easy to Train?

Turkish Kangals are not known to be easy to train. They require experienced owners who can establish clear leadership and respect due to their independent nature and strong guarding instincts. 

Can a Kangal Be a House Dog?

Kangals can be kept as house dogs, but certain conditions must be met. They need a large, secure space to roam and exercise, which may not be possible in apartments or small houses due to their size and energy levels. It also requires an experienced owner who understands their specific needs, is committed to training, and leads an active lifestyle.

Why Are Kangals So Big?

For many centuries, people have selectively bred Kangals to guard livestock against big predators like wolves and bears. These dogs are large and strong, which makes them well-suited for deterring and fighting off these types of threats. Kangals also have the ability to patrol vast areas while keeping livestock herds safe and secure.

Are Kangals Good with Cats?

Whether a Kangal can get along with cats largely depends on different factors. However, Kangals have a strong instinct to hunt, which can make them a danger to smaller animals like cats. But, if the cats are raised alongside them in the same household, early socialization and proper introductions will help Kangals tolerate or even become friends with cats. Supervision and management are always recommended to ensure the safety of both animals.

Are Turkish Kangals Aggressive?

Turkish Kangals are not naturally aggressive dogs. However, their protective instincts and independent nature require responsible ownership and proper training to prevent possible aggression toward strangers or other animals.

What Is the Big Turkish Dog?

Two big dog breeds from Turkey, the Kangal Shepherd Dog and the Akbash Dog, are sometimes mistaken for each other. The Akbash Dog is slightly smaller and has similar characteristics to Kangals but a distinct coat color, usually white. 

How Big Are Turkish Kangals?

Turkish Kangals vary in size, with males averaging 29 inches and females averaging 27 inches. Males weigh between 110-150 pounds, while females weigh between 80-120 pounds.

Can Kangal Be Left Alone?

Kangals can be alone for a while, but not too long. It’s best if they aren’t left alone for more than 6-8 hours. They are social animals and need companionship. 

How Fast Is a Kangal?

Kangals are not particularly fast dogs. They can run at an average speed of 25-30 mph but can go up to 35 mph in short bursts. This breed is known more for their endurance and strength, making them suitable for patrolling over long distances rather than short, fast sprints.

How Do You Raise a Turkish Kangal?

Raising a Turkish Kangal requires commitment and dedication. The key is to socialize them early on and expose them to different people, animals, and environments to ensure well-rounded behavior. Consistent training using positive reinforcement methods is crucial to establishing clear boundaries and encouraging good behavior. It’s also essential to provide them with plenty of physical and mental stimulation, such as daily walks, playtime, and mentally challenging activities. Because they need ample space to roam, a large and secure environment is necessary. Raising a Turkish Kangal also requires an experienced owner who can provide firm yet gentle leadership.

Is Kangal Good for First-Time Owner?

If you’re a first-time dog owner, Kangals might not be the best choice for you. They have specific needs, require special training, and are pretty independent, which can be challenging for those who don’t have previous experience with dogs. Kangals are also prominent in size, have strong guarding instincts, and can be dominant.

What Do Kangals Eat?

Kangals do well on high-quality, commercially prepared dog food formulated for large breeds. Their diet should be appropriate for their age, activity level, and any specific health needs. 

How Long Does Kangal Live?

The average lifespan of a Kangal is 11-13 years, with some individuals living up to 14 years if you take good care of them. To do that, you should give them healthy food, take them to the vet regularly, and make sure they have everything they need to stay happy and healthy. And remember, owning a Kangal is a long-term commitment.

Sources

  • https://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/AnatolianShepherdDog.pdf
  • https://www.k9web.com/breeds/kangal-dog-price/ 
  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/8-facts-about-the-anatolian-shepherd-dog/
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