Kangal Dog: Origins, Physical Characteristics and Personality

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Kangal Dog

The Kangal dog is a big dog and guardian of flocks.  This livestock guardian dog comes from Turkey, in the Sivas Province.


The name of the breed comes from Kangal, a town from Central Anatolia in the Sivas Province of Turkey.  We only have certain hypotheses of the origin of the breed.

Some say that the Kangal dog is of Babylonian or Assyrian origin.  But those claims have been rejected by scientific evidence.  Other theory states that the breed is of Indian origin and was brought to Constantinople (now Istambul) but this one does not seem to be supported by historical evidence.

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Physical Characteristics

The Kangal dog is big and powerful.  His size increased as a result of his continued use as a guardian dog.  It has a large head with drop ears. The fact that he is not as heavy as the mastiff dogs makes him a good predator.

They have a double coat that is dense and moderately short.  This coat protects them from the intense Anatolian winter and from the hot summer.

The dog comes in a light dun to grey coloration.  He has a black mask and black velvety ears. Their height is 26 to 31 inches.  Males usually weigh 110 to 145 pounds, whereas females weigh 90 to 120 pounds.


By nature, the Kangal dog is patient, protective, calm, independent, and powerful.  If well trained and socialized, he can be friendly with children and visitors.   He should be able to respond to dangerous situations.

They are usually very protective of their human family which they most probably consider the flock they have to take care of.  This makes them a great guardian dog.

Caring for a Kangal Dog

You should always provide physical and mental stimulation to the Kangal dog.  Even though he is a flock dog, he is pretty people-oriented.  He is not suited for apartment life as he needs the open to run and wear out.  Make sure your fence can keep him inside.

He requires little grooming


Due to this dog´s independence, training can be a challenge.  This breed of dog is not recommended for first-time owners as these dogs like to have a lot of attention.

Fun Facts

  • The life expectancy of the Kangal dog is 12 to 15 years.
  • Other names for the Kangal dog are Karabash and Turkish Kangal club.

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