About the Turkish Kangal
The Turkish Kangal Dog is a large and powerful ancient livestock guardian dog originally from the Sivas region in Turkey. They are not herding or flock dogs. This dog has been selectively bred over thousands of years primarily as a guardian of sheep and goats based on their size, strength, temperament, independence and appearance. They are strong enough to fend off packs of wolves and are one of the only breeds alive today that can go toe to toe with a wolf, one on one, and walk away. This has earned them the nickname "Turkish Wolf-Fighting Dog".
They are also known as the Kangal Çöban Köpeği ("Black Mask") or Kangal Shepherd Dog. They are recognized by many as the national dog of Turkey. Due to the relative isolation of the region, this breed is free of cross-breeding meaning that all Kangal dogs share a uniform appearance, temperament and behavior.
This guardian is a large and formidable working dog. They MUST have daily work and something to guard. It is vital to their mental and physical well-being. If they do not have a job they will become neurotic and overly protective of their human family. These are not dogs that you want to become bored! This is definitely not a breed for the new dog owner or the apartment dweller. These are highly intelligent, independent and stubborn animals that MUST recognize their human as the alpha in the group.
They are especially suited to working in pairs or teams to protect livestock from large predators (e.g. wolves, cougars, bears, coyotes, foxes, etc.). These dogs also recognize the threat to their young wards from the air and will guard against birds of prey such as eagles, hawks and falcons as well as owls. They have a predictable and reliable temperament of being gentle with livestock and children and aggressive to predators. Of course, their behavior towards various livestock and children will be dependent on their socialization and introductions to new things at a younger age.
They were historically bred by Turkish Shepherds, however, in the late 20th century the Kangal became popular in the US for their ability to guard sheep, goats and cattle. They are currently being used in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to protect flocks and minimize predation deaths, as well as in Africa to guard cattle against cheetahs. Here are some great articles:
Here are some websites you can visit to learn more about the Turkish Kangal Dog.