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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:45 EDT

Kangal Dog

The Kangal Dog is a mastiff type sheep dog which originated in Turkey. It is a large breed, not used to herd, but instead used as a guardian for livestock. The ancestors of the breed likely migrated from central Asia to Turkey with the Oghuz Turks who fled from Genghis Khan. The breed is one of over 30 livestock guardian breeds in Europe and Asia and is regarded as a treasure in Turkey.

Major interest in the breed occurred during the 1980s, and the Turkish army began to train the Kangal for tasks which the Doberman and German Shepherd already had a handle on. Kangal numbers dropped after the project was abandoned due to the breed not being suitable for military work with their headstrong nature. Kangals were first bred in Britain in the late 1960s and in the U.S. in the 1980s.

The Kangal Dog is a very large breed, standing about 30 inches high and weighing up to 140 pounds. Although it is large, it has a lighter frame than most mastiff type dogs and can run as fast as 30 miles per hour. The Kangal has a short, coarse, double coat. Its coat is weather proof and is generally pale tan or sable with a black mask. The breed never has a broken, brindled or spotted coat, but sometimes sable Kangals may have a darker chest and legs than is standard. The ears of the breed are generally cropped.

The Kangal is an excellent guardian; it is protective, calm, and controlled. The breed responds appropriately toward various situations. It can be threatening when there is a need, aloof toward strangers, and protective of its family. The Kangal is intelligent and needs an owner with a firm hand in order to be obedient. The breed often intensely patrols its stock and always places itself between a perceived threat and those it is protecting before confronting the intruder. The Kangal will do whatever it takes to properly guard its charges.

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Kangal Dog