(Karabash) (Turkish Kangal Dog) The Kangal is a large and powerful breed, heavily boned. It has a large, moderately wide head, with ears that droop. The muzzle and ears are black, which contrasts with the body color which ranges from light tan to gray. The breed is slightly longer than it is tall, to be considered ideally proportioned. The tail is held high and curled sharply. The Kangal has a double coat of dense, short hair.
The Kangal was bred as a guardian of sheep or other domestic animals, and thus the typical dog is alert and territorial. It will defend the domestic animals or humans to which it has bonded. They are wary of strange dogs, and strange people, but are loyal and affectionate with their humans.
The Kangal does not have any known chronic illnesses. With proper care, they can live up to 15 years.
The breed is named for the Kangal district of Sivas Province in central Turkey, where they were long associated with the family of the Aga (or ruler) of Kangal. They are believed to be related to the mastiff-type dogs shown in Assyrian art. The dogs were bred by villagers of the region, and the relative isolation of the Sivas‑Kangal region kept the breed free from cross‑breeding. Now, the Turkish government and academic institutions operate breeding kennels, and the pedigrees are carefully maintained. The breed was first imported into the United States by an American couple, in 1985. This dog, and subsequent imports, provided the foundation for the Kangal Dog in the United States, however it is now at the point where the government forbids the export of the breed. The Kangal Dog Club of America is working to try to ease these import restrictions, since new dogs are necessary for their contribution to the genetic pool of Kangal dogs in the United States.
Very little grooming is needed for the Kangal. They shed twice a year and will need a thorough brushing out during this time, and that's it. The Kangal does shed heavily when shedding season comes around.
The ideal environment for the Kangal Dog is not an apartment, no matter how large it is. The Kangal needs room to move. They need a large, fenced-in yard to roam and patrol. A well-socialized Kangal is not usually aggressive towards people, and is good with children. Because they are protective they will be aggressive towards those they consider intruders, especially at night.
If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site.
Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.