Kangal Dog

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Working    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: ,


Size: Large     Weight: 100-160 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Black & Brown, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 12-15 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Kangal Dog is the national dog of Turkey, its country of origin. It is a large mastiff type breed that is an excellent flock guardian. It is a large, powerful and heavy-boned dog that is highly valued in Turkey not only for its outstanding abilities as a flock guardian but also for its fierce and loyal nature that makes this dog an excellent family and home guardian as well. It is also known as Karabash which means Black Head due to its black mask.

The Kangal Dog is named after the Kangal district where the dog was developed centuries ago. Although in some regions, this dog is seen as one and the same with Anatolian Sheepdog, this in fact is a separate dog breed that has evolved in Turkey. The Kangal Dog was first reported in European and North American canine literature by David and Judith Nelson, Americans who studied the dogs while resident in Turkey. The Nelsons imported their first Kangal Dog to the United States in 1985. This dog, and subsequent imports, provided the foundation for the Kangal Dog in the United States.

This large and massive dog stands between 28-32 inches and weighs around 100-160 lbs when fully matured. It has a large head that is in proportion to the body, broad and slightly doomed skull and deep muzzle. Nose is large and solid black. Medium size and slightly oval shaped eyes are brown to amber in colour. Ears are triangular, medium size, pendant and rounded at the tips. The neck is powerful and muscular, moderate in length, slightly arched, and rather thick. Some dewlap is present. The well proportioned, powerful and muscular body exudes elegance. Gentle slope from shoulder to the end and then slight arched towards the rump gives the dog a well balanced and graceful look. Deep and moderately wide chest comes with well sprung ribs. The long tail that reaches the hocks typically forms a single or double curl and carried in line with the spine. The weather resistant double coat keeps the dog safe from cold and hot seasons. It comes in pale fawn or tan color with varying amounts of sable guard hairs. All Kangal Dogs have a black facial mask.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by ANKC and UKC.


Colour is an important distinguishing feature of this breed. The dog always comes in solid colours which range from light dun or pale, dull gold to a steel grey. It has a characteristic black mask which covers muzzle and sometimes extend over the top of the head. Ears are always black while white is acceptable on feet, chest and chin.


The Kangal Dog has a short, double weather resistant coat. The under-layer provides insulation against both severe Anatolian winters and the fierce summer sun, while the outer-layer repels water and snow. This combination of coat allows it to regulate its core temperature more efficiently, while the coat is dense enough to repel rupture from wolf bites.


The Kangal Dog is first and foremost a flock guardian dog and has a temperament that matches its original task. It is an alert, active, territorial and protective of its flock and family. An excellent guardian, this dog is brave, courageous and very loyal. It first intimidate the predator but can take physical action and confront the intruder if needed. As a family companion, the dog has an even and friendly temperament towards its family but it is instinctively wary of strangers. It is very gentle and tolerant of children and, with proper training and socialization, learns to welcome guests in the house. As a large breed, the Kangal Dog needs lots of space to roam around and play. It is a dominant breed that needs socialization towards other dogs and pets to curb its aggressive nature towards them. This large dog makes an excellent family pet and a very loyal and devoted guardian of flocks and family.


The dog has a self-cleaning coat and does not need much in terms of grooming. Once a week brushing is enough to keep its straight coat clean. This breed is a heavy shedder and should be brushed regularly during shedding season.


As an independent breed, the Kangal Dog will need a firm and consistent trainer who can stablish himself as this dogs' true packleader.


The Kangal Dog is a working breed that patrols the property while guarding the flocks. It needs lots of physical and mental stimulation. The owner should provide this dog with lots of exercising opportunities. For this reason, this dog is not at all suitable for apartment life, mostly due to its need for large open space and to some extent, due to its roar type bark which can irritate the neighbors. An under exercised Kangal Dog can become very destructive.

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