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You may have heard about this unique breed and want to know more about it.  Or you may be looking at several large breed dogs and stumbled across a photo of a beautiful Kangal.  The soulful look in their eyes may tempt you to take one home! Allow me to introduce you to the profile of this majestic animal before you take the next step. 

Here are some quick points about Kangal Dogs to take under serious consideration before you fall in love with a pretty face:

  • These dogs are livestock guardian breed and as such need supervised introductions to their animal charges.

  • This breed is very protective of family; however, they are not guard dogs. While this breed is good with children they should never be left un-attended with them.

  • They are not a pet but rather a companion dog that requires a human partner.

  • Kangal Dog’s require suitable fencing, at least 5-6 feet tall. If you cherish your yard, this is not the breed for you. Kangal dogs dig big holes.

  • Kangal dogs are very independent thinkers who require patience and obedience training. They need to be shown what is expected of them.  *Slow* is the word that applies to training and transitioning a Kangal dog..

  • This breed should never be let off lead in public spaces and should not be taken to dog parks.

  • They need socialization from a young age on leash

  • This breed needs slow and formal introductions to new dogs

  • Kangal dogs shed heavily twice a year.

This is a venerable breed and like no other. Throughout a centuries old history, their breeding and job has focused on livestock guarding with specific emphasis on independence, intelligence, strength and power. These traits ideally produce a dog that is calm at rest, gentle with animals and familiar children (always supervised), but daunting and serious in their work of protecting livestock and family.

Such characteristics make them easy to admire and they can be a trusted companion dog when properly raised and handled.  But research and knowledge of their multi-faceted profile and size is essential before acquiring a Kangal dog.  Hold them in high esteem but accept that they are not for everyone. 

Characteristics that define a Kangal include a strong—willed temperament, loyalty, intelligence and independence. They tend to gravitate to one owner unless they are raised and treated equally by all family members. Their protective natures outside their family pack can make for embarrassing or difficult situations with outsiders; this is why early training and ongoing monitoring is vital to their success and yours. 

A rural, livestock guarding dog will be raised in a different environment than a companion dog but their indigenous traits remain the same.

Mary Hughes

Hands Helping Paws Rescue 501(c)(3)

The Kangal Dog Rescue Project

Things to know before you adopt: Text
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