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kangal shepherd dog 5 scaled - Kangal Shepherd Dog

Kangal Shepherd Dog

The Kangal Shepherd Dog breed was developed in Turkey for the purposes of working as a livestock guardian dog. Today, people know this large-sized breed as a protective and loyal companion.

The breed is sometimes also known as the Turkish Kangal Dog. Although these are purebred dogs, you may still find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop, whenever possible, if this is the breed for you.

Kangal Shepherd Dogs were originally bred to work as livestock guardians. They are huge canines and have strong protective instincts. The breed will bond closely with the humans most directly in their life. The dog has a reputation for being gentle and protective towards children. Although, they also have an independent streak and will need a human who is very experienced in dog training. This is not a breed for the novice dog parent. Due to the dog’s size, they are most certainly not suited to apartment situations or small living quarters.

Breed Characteristics:


Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.

Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

All Around Friendliness

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family

Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.

**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash like this one in public!

Health And Grooming Needs

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.

If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!


Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.

Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.

Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.

Physical Needs

High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.

Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group:Working DogsHeight:28 to 34 inchesWeight:90 to 150 poundsLife Span:12to 15 years

More About This Breed


  • The Kangal Shepherd Dog comes with a brown or fawn coat. There can often be a few black markings, too.
  • Brushing the dog’s coat once or twice a week should suffice; although during shedding season, you’ll want to up the frequency of grooming sessions.
  • The Kangal Shepherd Dog needs a lot of outdoor space to explore and roam around in. Aim for at least an hour of outdoor exercise every day.
  • Kangal Shepherd Dogs usually do very well in households that include children.
  • The breed has a history of acting in a protective manner towards livestock, but it’s often not the best fit for a household with existing pets.


The story of the Kangal Shepherd Dog begins in Turkey, where it’s speculated that the breed was first discovered in the Kangal District of the Sivas Province.

Some accounts of the history of the breed say that local villagers would breed the dog in order to ward off bears and other predators. Kangal Shepherd Dogs quickly proved themselves to be excellent livestock guardians.

The breed was introduced to the United States in 1985 by Judith and David Nelson. To this day, there remains some disagreement about whether the Kangal Shepherd Dog and the Anatolian Shepherd Dog are the same or separate breeds.


Most Kangal Shepherd Dogs stand 28 to 34 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 90 to 150 pounds. Female Kangal Shepherd Dogs can be slightly smaller than male Kangal Shepherd Dogs.

That said, some dogs can be smaller or larger than average for their breed.


When it comes to the Kangal Shepherd Dog’s personality, many people like to call them gentle giants. This is an exceptionally large dog, and it has super strong protective instincts, but they can also bond warmly with the humans in their life.

It should be noted that the Kangal Shepherd Dog has an independent streak and can become stubborn, so it is imperative that the dog is socialized and trained properly from day one. Training should continue throughout the dog’s life.

Adopting a Kangal Shepherd Dog definitely involves a large commitment to training and caring for the dog, but a successfully socialized pooch will become an exceptionally loyal member of your family.


Kangal Shepherd Dogs are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can be subject to certain health conditions. Not all Kangal Shepherd Dogs will get any of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.

Some of the more common health problems Kangal Shepherd Dogs suffer from include:

  • Entropion
  • Tumors
  • Hip dysplasia


The Kangal Shepherd Dog needs a lot of outdoor space to explore and roam around in. Aim for at least an hour of outdoor exercise every day, and make sure to include training exercises and use smart toys to keep the breed occupied and mentally stimulated.

Granting the Kangal Shepherd Dog access to safe outdoor space is key; this is a breed of dog that loves to patrol around their property.

Other needs for the Kangal Shepherd Dog include dental hygiene and nail care. Brush your Kangal Shepherd Dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the accompanying bacteria. Daily is better.

Check your dog’s nails once a month and see if they need to be trimmed. Although, if a Kangal Shepherd Dog is given sufficient outdoors time, there’s a strong likelihood that their nails will stay in great condition naturally. Also, make sure to check the dog’s ears for signs of debris or dirt that might have accumulated there.


An ideal Kangal Shepherd Dog diet should be formulated for a large breed with medium energy levels.

The Kangal Shepherd Dog has a tendency to gain weight if the dog is not given a high level of daily exercise. Keep your Kangal Shepherd Dog in good shape by measuring their food and feeding them twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time.

As with all dogs, the Kangal Shepherd Dog’s dietary needs will change form puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Kangal Shepherd Dog’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs — including weight, energy, and health — to make a specific recommendation.

Coat Color And Grooming

The Kangal Shepherd Dog comes with a brown or fawn coat. There can often be a few black markings, too.

The breed’s short-to-medium-length coat is straight and quite dense. Brushing the dog’s coat once or twice a week should suffice; although during shedding season, you’ll want to up the frequency of grooming sessions.

The Kangal Shepherd Dog is a dog that can adapt to a range of weather conditions and climates. During the warmer summer months, make sure that the Kangal Shepherd Dog has access to enough fresh water to stay cool and hydrated.

Children And Other Pets

The Kangal Shepherd Dog usually does very well in households that include children. Just make sure that early socialization takes place and that boundaries are properly set on both sides, and always supervise play sessions that involve very young children, especially when dealing with such a huge dog.

The Kangal Shepherd Dog has a history of acting in a protective manner towards livestock, but it’s often not the best fit for a household with existing pets. Remember to always supervise early interactions between a new dog and a resident pet.

Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Always make sure to reward your Kangal Shepherd Dog for good behavior and adhere to a proper training regimen.

Rescue Groups

Rescues specifically for Kangal Shepherd Dogs might be hard to come by, as this is not a very common breed. However, you can always check with your local shelter, and you may want to try a rescue that caters to all kinds of dogs. You can take a look at the following:

  • Wright-Way Rescue
  • Angels Among Us Pet Rescue

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