Photo Credit: Kangal Dog
Use: The Kangal is a very active dog breed with protective instincts whose talents are most commonly used as a livestock guardian.
History: The Kangal is the national dog breed of Turkey and even makes an appearance on a Turkish postage stamp. The dog breed is found only in the Sivas-Kangal region of eastern Turkey, and even in Turkey, where they are most often found as working flock guards than as pets, purebred Kangals are rare. The first Kangal was imported to the United States in 1985 by David and Judith Nelson, who had studied the dog breed while residing in Turkey. The breed was first recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1998.
Conformation: The Kangal is a large dog breed, standing 30 to 32 inches tall and weighing 110 to 145 pounds. Its body has a black mask and solid body color ranging from dun to dark gray, typically with a pronounced chest blaze and white feet. The dog breed’s short coat is dense and smooth and needs brushed weekly. The Kangal has an average lifespan of 11 to 14 years.
Special Considerations/Notes: The Kangal is a large, powerful dog breed that makes an excellent home guardian, is affectionate with children and is well-suited to obedience work. Because this breed is extremely active, it needs a job on the farm to keep it from becoming destructive. While the breed is generally trustworthy and can be rather gentle when given a task to perform, it has protective instincts, so be wary of its actions if unfamiliar human guests frequent your farm. If you get a Kangal as a puppy, be prepared to spend a lot of energy working with it, as these large young dogs are extremely active.