Levent Ozturk

Kangal Dogs

This will be my Kangal page, once I get my Kangal Dog puppies. Photos are borrowed as place holders until I get my own. Photos courtesy of their respective owners.
I am looking for adopting a pair of Kangal dogs for myself. If you have Kangal dogs please contact me.

Kangal Kopegi
Kangal Kopegi


Kangal breed standard

I. International Symposium of Kangal Dog
Head:Skull large, broad and flat between the ears. Slight furrows between the eyes and slit. Mature males have broader heads than females.

Foreface: the muzzle should be one third of total head length. Slightly pendulous black lips. Square profile.

The head is where you have to be careful. If you breed only for one thing, such as big heads, you will produce dogs that are out of proportion and ugly. Dogs with heads that are too big usually have a lot of loose skin on the face, which can cause eye problems, or, around the muzzle, causing excessively loose lips and constant drooling - like a St. Bernard. So the head is big but clean cut without excessive loose skin.

Eyes: Rather small in proportion to head size. Showing no haw (redness). Set well apart and deep. Golden to brown in color.

Eyes seemed to have evolved with the dog for the climate. Can you imagine a dog with big round eyes in a dust storm in summer, or a snow blizzard in winter? So ideally the eyes are small and almond shaped.

Mouth: Teeth strong with a regular, scissor bite. That is the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. I have found that most of these dogs have very large, strong teeth with a scissor bite, but dogs, especially males with a strong, short muzzle, have a level bite and I think it is more natural for that kind of bite in these dogs.

Kangal Dog
Kangal Dog

Body: Chest deep to point of elbow, ribs well sprung. Body powerful. Well muscled - never fat. Level back. Body in proportion to leg length, with good tuck up. It is important that the Karabas/Kangal is never fat except in puppies or older dogs. it must not be too thin either and should be very well muscled. The body is slightly longer than the height at the shoulder.

Feet: Strong feet with well arched toes, nails short. The feet should be large but well formed and neat. They should not be flat or splayed (spread). Nails blunt.

Tail: Set on rather high. When relaxed carried low sometimes with slight curl or hook. When alert carried high with end curled over back. The tail is one of the most distinctive features of the breed and sets it apart from all other large dogs.

The curl can be anything from a loose scimitar shape over the back to a tight ring tail on the back and many variations in between. Whatever the curl is it must always be on the centre of the back and not fall to either side of the hip like an Akita or spitz type. This is most important to differentiate the Karabas/Kangal from any of the spitz breeds.

Coat: Short and dense, with thick undercoat. Flat, close lying, neither fluffy nor wavy, slightly thicker at neck, shoulders and tail, especially in males. No feathering on ears, legs or tail.

The coat is important and has again been shaped by the environment and life style. Here we have a weather proof, dust proof coat that is self-cleaning and virtually odorless. It has a soft, thick, weatherproof undercoat to keep out frost and wind The outer coat is waterproof and harsh to the touch. The undercoat sheds heavily twice yearly. Occasionally long haired pups with heavy coats or long haired silky coats will appear in a litter, but they are not the norm. As they appear so scarcely, and in some lines not at all, it is obvious that the short coat is correct.

Sivas Kangal
Sivas Kangal

Color: All colors acceptable but it is desirable that they are whole colors, cream to fawn, with black mask and ears. This is probably the most important factor in the breed. If the coat color is right then it usually follows that the rest of the dog will be right: not a hundred percent of the time, but almost.

Black head and ears are the most distinctive feature and probably goes back to the primitive Mastiffs that fought in the Roman arenas and were dogs of war. The primitive Mastiff was in fact very similar to your Karabas/Kangal of today.

The body colors can be from palest cream through yellow, gold, fawn and red to grey. It has to be possible that brindle is also part of the color pattern and I have in fact seen several brindles in Turkey but have never bred one. Genetically the color combination of black mask and fawn will usually also breed striped brindles as in the Pug, Boxer and Bullmastiffs, or even solid blacks, maybe. The black head or mask can be from deep black face and ears to a slight shading on the muzzle and ears. Obviously, a black head is very desirable.

Size: For mature dogs, males are from 50 kg to 64 kg. Females are from 41 to 59 kg. Height is: males 74 - 8 1 cm. Females 7 1 79 cm. The size of a Karabas/Kangal is sometimes exaggerated out of all proportion. It is a big dog but it is not huge, it is just a big dog. The memorable thing about the size of the Karabas/Kangal is that he always looks bigger than he is, especially to strangers. When breeding for size always remember that this is also a ‘running’ dog and he has to be fast enough to catch his wolf. We have clocked them at 30 miles an hour and still lost them.
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