Kangal Dog Sivas

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Welcome to the wonderful world of the Kangal Dog, Turkey's beloved national breed. Kangal Dogs are native to the region in east-central Turkey known as Sivas-Kangal, where they have been in use for centuries as guardians of sheep and goats, and of the families who care for them. There is probably no place else in the world where a native breed exists in such numbers, with such remarkable uniformity, as the Kangal Dog. They are truly a historical and cultural treasure.

What does a Kangal Dog look like? The Kangal Dog is a short-coated breed coloured from fawn through to steel grey depending on the number of dark guard hairs in the coat. The dog is of mastiff-type appearance and always has a black mask and ears, and a curled tail. Size varies from 28 inches in females up to 32 inches in males and from around 90 pounds in females up to 140 pounds in males. It is a very beautiful breed, once seen, never forgotten. Click to see the original image The Kangal Dog is imposing in stature, the adult male standing from 30 to 32 inches at the shoulder and the female from 28 to 31 inches. The conformation is of correct proportions: a straight strong back, a deep broad chest and powerful hindquarters. Although this is a large breed it is also very agile and can run at great speed. It is a whole-coloured dog with a short dense double coat, the colour ranges from all shades of fawn to a steel grey, depending on the amount of black guard hairs in the outer coat. The soft undercoat is shed twice a year and is often a light smokey grey colour. The heavier winter coat on the neck and shoulders can give the impression of a slight mane, especially in males. A black mask and ears complement the large broad head. Some dogs have a black tip to the tail, which is quite distinctive and carried in an open curl over the back when the dog is alert. The eyes are rather small in proportion to the skull, which is broad with a wide muzzle and powerful jaws.

The Kangal Dog possesses the classic livestock guardian dog temperament, characterized by a calm, alert and independent demeanour. Possessing a natural protective instinct is loyal, bold and courageous without showing undue aggression. Moreover, the Kangal Dog is sensitive and his responses to Click to see the original  image individual situations clearly demonstrate intelligence, sensitivity, watchfulness and a readiness to investigate anything unusual. The natural instinct is to protect its own, whether it is the sheep on the steppe, the hens in the henhouse or its human family. The Kangal has a dominant nature and likes to be "top dog'. This may lead to conflict with adult dogs of the same sex, with the same dominant instinct. The Kangal Dog is primarily a sheep-guard. There are many predators in Turkey the wolf being the biggest threat to the flocks, for hundreds of years the Kangal Dog has successfully defended the flocks from attack. The shepherds crop their dogs' ears and give them large iron spiked collars as an added protection against predators; they take great pride in the size and bravery of their dogs. For the most part, the Kangal works independently of human beings and makes its own decision when there is a threat to its charges.

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