Kangal Dog on the Job

by Rebecca on July 23, 2009

in Animal Pictures,Pet Talk


The Kangal Dog

The Kangal Dog is the first and most famous livestock guardian breed

that springs to mind in Turkey. Ask anyone and they will start bragging

about the breed with respect and pride. Kangal Dogs are the dogs which

for many people set the benchmark for livestock guardian dog standards.

To them the breed is the embodiment of their national link to Central

Asia. It is the best-recognised breed of dog in Turkey and it is considered

a national treasure. There are many governmental and university

breeding facilities to secure the future of the breed. It is mainly native

to Central Anatolia. It is also known as Kangal Dog of Sivas, a historic

city on the route of the Silk Road and famous for sheep husbandry

for centuries. Little is known about its origin but the reason why it is

associated with the city of Sivas could be the fact that animal husbandry

in this important city and its provincial towns such as Kangal must have

involved a large population of good quality dogs in the past. The breed

thus got its name after the town of Kangal, Sivas.

Their resemblance to the breed of sheep they protect is striking. The

Akkaraman sheep with its characteristic black face and ears seem to

require no other breed of dogs than a Kangal Dog. The steppes of

Central Anatolia also seems to have shaped these dogs with a perfect

physique. A shepherd cannot ask for a better-adapted livestock guardian

than a fawn dog with a black mask and black ears, resembling an

Akkaraman sheep, in a treeless brown landscape.

In addition to the advantages of camouflage, the Kangal Dog is a large

but active breed. Height at the withers for males is between 75 and 85

cm while it is 65–75 cm for females. A male between 50 and 65 kg and

a female between 40 and 55 kg are considered in a good working dog

weight. The breed’s double coat comes in colours ranging from fawn to

steel grey depending on the outer coat’s dark coloured tips. A small white

spot on the chest and white socks below the knees are acceptable, but

the less the better. A black mask is the most well-known characteristic of

the breed. That’s why it is also known as Karabaş (black head).

by ılker ünlü


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