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The Kangal Dog



The Kangal Dog is noted for his solid temperament. Temperament is of prime importance in Turkish villages today and in the past - aggression towards humans or stock is never tolerated. Kangal Dogs are gentle with livestock, children, and pets. Compared with other livestock guard

dog breeds, Kangal Dogs tend to be more people-oriented and less standoffish. They are often great judges of character and they will accept visitors or workmen at their home much more reliably than other livestock guard dog breeds. Owners describe them as gracious with welcomed visitors. People who own other livestock guard dog breeds and Kangal Dogs, describe their Kangals as the more intelligent and clever.  

Kangal Dogs hear or sense disturbances in the distance and bark in response. They prefer to intimidate those who threaten their flock or family but they will attack animal intruders. At first, they will place themselves between the threat and their stock. If their warning barks are ignored, they will confront the predator with a roar and an attack if necessary.

An adult Kangal will throw their shoulder against a wolf to knock it down and then attack the throat and hind legs. Kangal owners see these same behaviors in play. Kangal Dogs will reliably guard against small predators as well – raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, as well as bir


Kangal Dogs grow up slowly, even compared to other livestock guard dog breeds. They can be goofy and adorable as puppies but they are also famous as powerful chewers and diggers. They will also roam large distances if given the opportunity.

Around two or two-and- a-half years of age, Kangal Dogs suddenly leave their puppyhood behind and become more serious, protective, and watchful. Although many Kangals who are raised with stock from puppy hood are reliable at a young age, others need your patience and supervision until they mature.


Kangal Dogs are territorial and they behave quite differently at home than when they are away from home. Like many livestock guard dogs, adult Kangal Dogs can be dog aggressive, especially to those dogs that violate their space or sense of self. They will kill small predators who invade the farm or pasture and this may include small pets who they do not know. They often take a remote or high viewing spot to watch their stock although they will take regular patrols around their territory. Kangal Dogs tend to be calm and even placid during the day and more active at night, both patrolling and barking.



The Kangal Dog is a large breed with heavy bone, projecting a powerful image. In Turkey, he is described as lion-like. Kangal Dogs have been described as a natural Mastiff – without extreme

head size, dewlaps, loose lips, head wrinkles, and large bulk. When alert, the tail is carried in a

curl over the back, although it may be carried low at other times. The Kangal Dog remains a fast

and agile dog, despite his height of 30 to 31 inches and weights of 110 to 145 pounds in males and slightly less for females.


The natural variety in a landrace breed is evident in the range of in appearance from more-to-less mastiff in appearance. Females are often more feminine in their appearance.


All of these breed traits make the Kangal Dog well suited to life as a farm or family guardian in addition to a livestock guard dog. Indeed, in Turkey, they are popular home guardians with people in the city where they guard yards and gardens and play affectionately with their family. Kangal Dogs also live in many family situations in North America, but as with all livestock guard dog breeds they require socialization and consistent training to be good canine citizens.


By: Jan Dohner

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