A large sized Kangal
Kangal Quick Summary
Also Known AsKarabash
Height (at withers)28-32in (71-81cm)
Weight90-145lbs (41-66kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size5-10
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftLow

The Kangal is a large and powerful looking dog. The body is heavy-boned and longer than it is tall, with a curled tail. The head is wide with a black mask and black hanging ears. This dog has a short and dense double coat that ranges from light dun to grey in colour, and often a pronounced chest blaze and white feet.


Kangals are large and powerful working dogs that are also more sociable than most other dogs bred for guarding livestock. Thanks to the task they were bred for they are alert, territorial and defensive of their owners and other pets, and can be loyal and affectionate family dogs. Although well suited to obedience work, due to their size they are best suited to those with experience in dog ownership and training. With correct and early socialisation these dogs are good around children and other animals, but due to their large size are not suitable for families with young kids. Kangals are wary around dogs they don't know, reserved around strangers but are not overly aggressive as they prefer to intimidate any percieved threats rather than attack, unless left no other choice. This is a breed tends not to recognize boundaries and can wander off, so property boundaries must be secures. These dogs do make good guard dogs that may attack stray dogs and be aggressive to intruders, especially at night.

History & Skills

Kangals originate from Turkey, where they were originally bred for the purpose of guarding flocks (although there are counter-claims they were developed in Britain in the 1960s). Thought to be related to early mastiff-type dogs seen in some examples of Assyrian art, they are named after the Kangal district of Sivas Province in central Turkey, and many people consider the Kangal as the National Dog of Turkey (it has even featured on Turkish postage stamps and coins). These dogs were prided for their ability at guarding flocks of sheep and goats from wolves, bears and jackals. Kangals were kept free from cross-breeding thanks to the relative isolation of the Sivas-Kangal region. Unknown to Europe and the USA until the mid-eighties, the export of pure Kangal Dogs from Turkey has been controlled and is now pretty much forbidden.

Breed Specific Ailments

Kangals tend to live between 12-15 years. This is a pretty healthy breed on the whole, but some of the health problems noted are typical for large dogs, such as hip dysplasia.


Kangals are medium shedders that shed more heavily on a seasonal basis twice a year, and so they may not be suited to those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are low though, with little grooming required other than a thorough brushing dring the shedding season.

Exercise & Environment

Kangals tend to live indoors where they are normally fairly inactive, but they are a little too large to be suitable for small homes and apartments. When kept as a pet they need daily walks otherwise they can become difficult to handle. Working dogs will receive enough exercise performing their duties.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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