The Turkish Kangal is an ancient breed with very long, thousands years old history and it is impossible to trace the exact date of origin or exact ancestry of this dog, but there are several theories about it. The most accurate theory claims, that Turkish Kangals most likely originates from ancient livestock protection dogs, that migrated with turkish nomadic people from Central Asia to Anatolia many thousands years ago. The Kangal Shepherd as we know it today was developed in the area of today Turkey, more specificaly in the Sivas province.
2) Çoban Köpeği
The Turkish Kangal is one of the regional variant Çoban Köpeği dogs, which basically means livestok protection dog and it is describing all the Turkish Shepherd dogs. Next to Turkish Kangal, there are several other, similar dogs with the same purpose and similar ancestry, which are for example Boz Shepherd, Akbash, Malaklisi, Anadolu or Kars Shepherd.
Throughout the history, the Turkish Kangal always was used for one main purpose, which was working with the livestock. They are not herding the livestock, but protecting it. They are absolutely loyal to its owners and to its flock, they are living close to it, actively monitoring its surroundings for possible predators, which they deter. The Turksih Kangal is capable of protecting the livestock even from the most dangerous predators, such as wolves or bears. These dogs were even exported to some African countries, where they are protecting the animals against big cat predators, like lions. These dogs are truly one of the best livestock protectors you can find, with courageous, confident, alert and loyal temperament and extremely strong, but athletic and agile body.
Of course, the Turkish Kangal is not only a worker and protector, but also loyal, intelligent and devoted companion. For a livestock protector breed, this dog is quite people oriented and he definitely enjoys company of its owner and family and creates quite a strong bond with them. They might not be overly affectionte like some other breeds, but they definitely truly love its family. On the other hand, they are reserved and alert around strangers and it can take a while before they accept a complete stranger, but they should never be agressive without a reason.
5) Not for novices
It should be completely clear, that this is not a dog for novices or unexperienced dog owners. The Kangal Shepherd needs early proper socialization and proper training to become obedient and not overly protective, They need patient and firm, consisten and kind trainer who knows what is he doing. Without proper training and socialization, dog of this size, strength, independent and territorial nature can become almost unmanageable.
The Kangal Shepherd is definitely one of the largest dogs you can find, but it should not be overly massive, but rather muscular and athletic. The average height is between 65-78 cm, which is 25-31 inch and weight is usually between 40-60 kg, which is 88-133 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
7) Bite force
There are some claims, that say, that the Kangal is the strongest dog in the world with the highest average bite force which is 743 PSI, which refers to pounds per square inch. And they definitely have incredible bite force, but it is impossible to say, if it is the highest, as not all dogs in the world have their bite force meassured and for example other Turkish livestock protector breeds might have bite force as powerful as the Turkish Kangal. But as i said, this is definitely incredibly strong dog breed.
The Kangal Shepherd is used to work all day long in mountanious climate, which is why they have a very dense and thick coat that enables this kind of outdoor work and makes the dog withstand lower, but also higher temperatures without problems. The doublecoat is 3-7 cm long with dense undercoat and harsh outercoat. The coat is slightly longer around the neck, shoulder and thighs. The color of the coat ranges from fawn to wolf sable, with or without some white markings.
The Turkish Kangal is an easy keeper, as they do not need almost any grooming and maintenance. Of course, they do shed some deal of fur all year long, more heavily seasonally and regular brushing is only beneficial for the coat. But even without any grooming at all, they will keep their coats in very good condition by themselves. Of course, just like any other breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
Not only that this is one of the strongest dogs, it is also one of the healthiest dogs, especially in comparsion to other giant breeds. Of course, they sometimes may suffer from the typical health problems common for large dogs, such as hip dysplasia and other joint problems, but it is not extremely common with this breed. The average lifespan is also very good and it is typically between 13-14 years.