What is a Turkish Kangal dog?
The Kangal is an ancient native dog breed in Turkey. His roots can be traced back to the Kangal District of Sivas Province, which is located at the heart of the country. He is believed to be a member of the Molosser breed and thus, related to the Boxer, English Mastiff, and Rottweiler. It’s speculated that these dogs were crossbred with indigenous dogs in Turkey.
The offspring of these dogs are now the ancestors of the modern breed. Assyrian artwork also shows that the Turkish Kangal might be a descendant of the early Mastiff-type breeds.
In Turkey, he is commonly kept by a family of landholders called the Aga of Kangal. Villagers also bred him and made sure that his pedigree is carefully preserved. As a result, his progeny maintained the same impressive appearance and even temperament.
The Turkish Kangal was solely developed to guard livestock against vicious predators such as bears, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and wolves. The Turkish Kangal mingles and lives among the flock. It is common to see him work in teams or pairs depending on the flock’s size. Whilst the Kangal is non-threatening to the animals he protects, he can be quite deadly to predators when provoked.
If the Kangal gets attacked, he would protect himself by rolling his shoulder and taking down the enemy. Once his opponent is on the ground, he will go for the throat or hind legs. Some Kangals in Turkey don spiked collars to protect their throats, which is one of the most vulnerable parts of their body.
The Kangal is considered as the national dog of Turkey and admired for his boldness, courage, and strength. He can even be found on coins and stamps. However, the breed is not only prized in Turkey but Africa as well. In some areas like Namibia and South Africa, farmers had to take out lions, cheetahs, and other big animals that were preying on their livestock.
To prevent the eradication of these wild animals, The Cheetah Conservation Fund gave the farmers 500 Turkish Kangal dogs to train. These dogs were able to deter the deadly predators from approaching the livestock. Thus, the farmers seldom need to take down any of these big cats, which helped in preserving their numbers.
During the 1960s, the Turkish Kangal was first introduced in the UK. Turkey meticulously regulated the exportation of the breed to protect the purity of the bloodlines. Excited to have a Turkish Kangal as a family companion? Check out our For Sale and Rehoming page to find the right one for you.
Are Turkish Kangals legal in the UK?
Owning a Turkish Kangal is legal in the UK. In the Dangerous Dogs Act, the dog breeds currently banned in the UK are the Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, and Pit Bull Terrier. Hybrids related to any of these dog breeds may also be banned, depending on their characteristics and size.