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Although not in the list of official breeds, the Kangal is a beloved dog. It is not particularly widespread in our country, it comes from Turkey. It is called this because it takes its name from Kangal district, located in the Sivas province, where the breed originates. We must imagine a dog with a robust and muscular physique and with a very faithful, intelligent and calm character. It adapts to any type of climate, does not fear the cold also thanks to its short but very thick coat. It is a perfect dog to guard the herding but also the house, it does not guide the livestock but protects it. Its large size, its courage and its determination make it a perfect defense dog, it does not back down in the face of any danger or threat. It is used to walking at high altitudes, so it can be a good hiking companion.
With this term we often go to consider the Shepherd of Anatolia because that of Kangal it is not a breed included in the FCI list or even in that of the American Kennel Club although there are smaller canine societies that have begun to recognize it as its own breed, United Kennel Club for example. Internationally this breed took a good step forward when in 2013 it was recognized by this English kennel club but at home the rules are overturned. In Turkey, in fact, most dog experts consider the Kangal a pure breed but at the same time do not accept the Anatolian shepherd because they consider it as a group of mixed breeds of dogs.
Race or non-official race, the Kangal is included in the group of shepherd dogs or livestock guardian dogs called Çoban köpeği. It is a very ancient breed, there are some rumors that tell of its existence even at the time of the Romans when it used to accompany the army during adventurous expeditions.
On a more genetic level, this dog would be the result of crossing 3 dogs: the dogs of the Assyrian Empire, which were Mastiffs, the Roman molossers who came from Greece and the English mastiffs. They could have been born thanks to the desire on the part of the Roman people to obtain a type of dog that could guard livestock during the war and that was very powerful and brave.
At some point in its evolution, not recently, the Kangal it was exported to various countries of Europe and in Turkey it spread in a particular way, developed definitively and becoming, at least for some, a real breed.
His build is sturdy, he has a very muscular and massive body and he is quite tall as a dog which makes him rather similar to a dog. Mastiff. The head is also impressive, elongated but with a massive large, perhaps also for this reason the eyes appear small and separated from each other, they are usually brown, dark brown or golden.
The ears have a triangular shape but a little rounded, are not very long and hang on the sides of the head. The tail is long but in most cases it remains curled over the back, especially when the dog is moving.
The most important feature of this breed, however, is the coat, it is the hair that allows us to distinguish a Kangal from a shepherd of theAnatolia. In the first it is short and very thick, with a rather dense and dense undercoat. The color of the coat can vary, in fact we can meet some brown or dark gray specimens, usually one color except for the presence of a black mask on the muzzle. It is possible that there is also a small white spot on the chest.
Kangal height and weight
Kangal dogs, in adulthood, have a height that varies for the specimens males between 75 and 85 cm and for female specimens between 70 and 75 cm.
The weight of Kangal dogs is definitely relevant with a variable average between 50 and 70 kg, but with exceptions that exceed 100 kg.
Longevity of the Anatolian Shepherd and frequent diseases
The Kangal or Shepherd of Anatolia is a robust dog that usually lives in excellent health over 14 years.
The character is typical of a guard dog, which means that we are dealing with a reserved and serious animal, at times even aggressive if he does not know people or if he is faced with a male dog. If we are breeding a Kangal, it is very important to take care of socialization to make it a tolerant, affectionate and protective and independent dog. If well-behaved from an early age, this dog gets along very well with children and can also live with other pets.
At home it tends to bark a lot and sometimes to destroy objects but it is an excellent guard and shepherd dog, it knows how to protect livestock even from aggressive animals like the Cheetah, in Namibia, for example.
To teach this dog the primary signals you need to work rewarding him. Let's not forget to socialize him since he was a puppy, accustoming him to coexistence and tolerance. It is not trivial to train, especially if it is the first experience, and it is better ask for help from a professional.
From the point of view of health, as already mentioned above, he is not affected by particular pathologies.
Kangal as a guard dog
The Kangal is a dog wary of strangers, gifted with a powerful bite and a sturdy body. For these reasons, if well trained, it can perform the task of guard dog very well.
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