Kangal Shepherd Livestock Guardian Dog


The Kangal Shepherd Dog is a breed of large livestock guardian dog originating from the Sivas province of Turkey. The breed is of an early Mastiff type with a solid, pale tan or sabled coat, and a black mask. According to official Kangal Shepherd Dog organisations in Turkey, including the Cynology Federation of Turkey (Köpek Irkları ve Kinoloji Federasyonu, KIF) and the Ankara Kangal Association (Ankara Kangal Derneği, ANKADER), Kangals may also be brindle or feature a recessive black tan pattern; with or without a black mask; and/or with white markings.

While the Kangal Shepherd Dog is often referred to as a sheep dog, it is not a herding dog, but rather a flock guardian that lives with the flock of sheep to actively fend off predators of all sizes. Typically used as protection against wolves, bears, and jackals in its native Turkey, the breed has been exported to African countries like Namibia and Kenya in more recent years due to its intimidating size and capabilities as an effective guardian, where it successfully protects local herds from lions, cheetahs, and similar indigenous big cats, which has had the benefit of not only protecting livestock, but ensuring the continuity of endangered predators due to reduced cullings by local farmers.

The Kangal Shepherd Dog’s protectiveness, loyalty, and gentleness with small children and animals has led to its growing popularity as a guardian for families as well, as it regards people as its “flock” and guards them with extreme devotion.

While similar in appearance, the Kangal Shepherd Dog is considered a separate breed from the Anatolian Shepherd. Since 2018, FCI recognizes only the Kangal Shepherd Dog, completely replacing the old breed standard of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog. [Source: Wikipedia]


The following video is from Dogumentary TV posted to YouTube on 6 Jul 2018.

Video Description from Dogumentary TV:

The Kangal Dog is well known and very popular on the internet for being a fighting dog. The reality is that the breed has developed over hundreds of years as a Livestock Guardian Dog. While the occasional honor fight may have occurred amongst shepherd, the breed’s primary purpose was to defend and if necessary fight of large predators like wolves and bears, in it’s home region of Sivas, Turkey.

For hundreds of years the Kangal Dogs have fought deadly battles with large predators. Well on Evans Mill Cattle Ranch, the work may not be as deadly but the name of the game is still protection. Elisabeth Jensen and Marc Guilfoil employ six Kangals, to protect their cattle and keep the grounds of their ninety acre ranch in order.
On their ranch the biggest villians are Black Vultures and the always pesky Coyote.

A working Kangal on duty will station itself on a high vantage point overlooking its flock. On hot days, the dog will dig itself a hollow in the ground to keep cool. Novices learn by staying close to older dogs. The dogs will work in pairs or teams depending on the size of the flock, taking up positions around the sheep and changing their positions as needed. The intensity of their patrols around the sheep increases at nightfall.

Identification Photos



Turkish Kangal Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guardian Dogs



The Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Turkish: Anadolu çoban köpeği) is a breed of dog which originated in the Anatolia region of central Turkey. It is rugged, large and very strong, with good sight and hearing that allow it to protect livestock. With its high speed and agility it is able to run down a predator with great efficiency. The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom classifies it as a shepherd dog and Fédération Cynologique Internationale classifies it as molossus/mountain dog #331 (group 2 part 2.2)

The Karabaş (Blackhead) is descended from ancient livestock guardian dog types that migrated with the transhumance, guarding flocks of sheep from wolves, bears, lions, tigers, leopards, jackals, and even cheetahs. It is probable that dogs of this type existed 6,000 years ago in what is now Turkey. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are members of a very old breed, probably descended from powerful hunting dogs from Mesopotamia. This mountain dog breed was developed over time to meet a specific set of circumstances. The most formative were climate (very hot, dry summers and very cold winters), lifestyle (sedentary, semi-nomadic and nomadic) and duties (guarding flocks moving great distances on the Central Anatolian Plateau).

Anatolian Shepherds are still used to guard livestock. This dog is guarding a goat herd in rural USA. In the 1970s, breeders in the West became interested in these dogs and began developing the landrace natural breeds as modern breeds by documenting their descent from particular ancestors and writing breed standards. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was imported from central Turkey into the United Kingdom by author and archaeologist Charmian Hussey. Although the first pair of dogs brought in by Roger Fanti Sr. were Karabakh (aka Kangal) dogs, other types of dogs were brought in later and cross bred under the definition of an Anatolian Shepherd dog. Many Turkish breeders believe that the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a cross of the Kangal dog and the Akbash dog. [Source: Wikipedia]


The following video is from Dogumentary TV posted to YouTube on 10 Aug 2016.

Video Description from Dogumentary TV:

The Anatolian Shepherd/Turkish Kangal dog is a landrace breed that has be developed in Turkey for over six thousand years. It is one of the Livestock Guardian Dogs. The breed is known for their excellent guarding and defense of many different livestock. This breed works singularly or in a group to fend off large predators like, wolves, medium to large cats, and small predators like Raccoon, bobcats, and coyote. The dogs even work to protect their flocks from birds of prey.

In this video Nick Cavenaugh of Haven Ranch in Nappa Valley, Ca. tells us about the breed that his family has come to rely on. Not only are his Anatolian Shepherd tasked with the job of protecting the flock but also Nick’s baby girl Clare. 🙂

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