Thoughts on the Akbash and Kengal dogs

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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All that lives- is holy.
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 3:20pm PST 
One of the fondest faces of my youth was a large (180 pound) Akbash dog named Rocky.

Rocky was a dog belonging to an elderly couple living near me, and he lived on their screened in porch during the day and in the house at night. They paid me $5.00 a week to brush and walk him, which was fine with me because I would've done it for free. I also had the privlege of watching Rocky while they were gone.

These were wonderful people who taught me a lot about life and gave me my first horse.

Rocky was a very powerful dog, the only dog I've ever felt the need to walk in a prong collar. He was trained but not proofed, and had no impulse control whatsoever. These people were a wonderful example of people who perhaps buy the wrong dog but make it work anyway, and I knew Rocky for ten of his thirteen wonderful years.

I would walk Rocky, on his stilt legs, sometimes a couple miles a day to a creek and a field where I was still not too old to play kid games with him. We were always fine until Rocky saw something he wanted to chase, and then even if I sat down, unless I could wrap the leash around something, I was zoooom! along for the ride. He was never, ever aggressive to whatever he was chasing, he was just socially inept. He wanted to play and didn't realize how scary he was. Once, one of my mom's poms accompanied her on a walk while I had him out. He bolted and ran over the little dog, who executed a flip in mid-air and landed barking in the other direction, which Rocky thought was a lovely trick and couldn't figure out how she'd gotten behind him.

My husband and I are working harder than ever (and more effectively, too) on our Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover and in about five years, we hope to move some place with a nice climate, get some acreage, and get some livestock and more dogs. Crossing my fingers and vowing to do it with or without him if something goes wrong, I would love to get a dog like Rocky for the farm.

Researching the Akbash as a child lead me to the Kangal dog, which I find far more attractive, although I think I would enjoy either.

I would like to hear others' opinions and thoughts on the Akbash and Kengals, and would love a compare/contrast on the breeds.

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 3:27pm PST 
Not much personal experience but I wish that Pippin & Dancer were still around to tell you.. frown

Will say this, though.. with a lot of these 'ethnic' dogs that are ancient workers from another country, it's so fascinating & interesting to see it from the perspective of their home country. I recently found a fancier's club for Saluki based out of Saudi Arabia and it was simply eye - opening and profoundly different than the titles we put on the dogs here - dogs really still used in conjunction with hawking and the hunt in their traditional homeland and with the people who bred them first.

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 3:39pm PST 
Someone who was related to me by marriage had a Kangal dog; and that dog was way too much dog for any of us by the time she hit puberty. She was pretty sweet natured towards people but she was very, very dominant with other dogs despite being raised around them since very young puppyhood. And talk about destructive even when she passed the teething stage, that dog needed a job. The only other Kangal dogs I've known were pretty much the same, except extremely territorial and not very good with strangers; great with their people though, very loyal and protective. They had the same bold attitude as the younger dog, same strong stubborn streak, and energy level.


Q.E.D., baby,- Q.E.D.!
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 7:21pm PST 
Never worked a Kangal dog, but I have worked an Akbash - and, let me tell you, Maximum Max was the TOUGHEST dog I've ever seen - put a guy in the hospital for a long time after he almost ripped his face off. wink You couldn't have anyone in the house, because Max decided that was his place to guard....remind me to tell you about the showdown he had with my ex once when my ex came home late for work......
*off to watch Shutter Island*

I'm going with- you, right?
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 7:29pm PST 
Darn, Cain, I was hoping you had some experience with Kangals...frown

I have had a love, fascination, and amazed/awe-struck respect for Kangals for some time now, Gir. Unfortunately, for what you're looking for...most of my research on the Turkish LGDs has been on Kangals, so I can't really give a compare-contrast breakdown between the two breeds aside from the obviously observable (physical traits). Very much looking forward to any information you do get though. big grin Amazing dogs, both breeds.

mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 7:47pm PST 
ok, I had no idea what either of those breeds looked like, so I looked it up, and I found this site:

http://people.unt.edu/~tlt0002/kdhome.htm The photo is what got me - look at that collar!!shock I wouldn't want to run into him, friendly or not with that thing on!!

The akbash is a very handsome dog, though! I think I've seen a dog like that before....very beautiful.

*shutter island - very sad!cry*

All legs and no- tail
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 8:00pm PST 
The only experience I have is with an Akbash/Maremma cross at work. He's got some kind of mental incapacity that makes him one of the weirdest dogs I've ever met. When stressed (which is most of the time, sadly), he resorts to self mutilation and has chewed off almost half of his tail. Sadly, his owner is clueless and will not follow the suggestions of the vet or the multiple behaviorists she's talked to. I hate to see a dog in his state. He is, however, oddly dog and human friendly, not in an actively seeking kind of way, but an accepting and tolerant way. Now, I know he's now what the breed should be, but rather an interesting case study, and hopefully a very rare case at that.

Cain, I hope you enjoy Shutter Island. I rather enjoyed the mental stimulation it presents. wink

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 9:55pm PST 
Echo, the pix is not nearly as bad as you make it. It's for the dogs' own protection against large predators, so as not to gain grip on the dogs' neck. big grin
Becky RNCL

My Hat is Two- Sharks
Barked: Fri Jun 11, '10 10:06pm PST 
I knew a Maremma/Akbash mix also, but I knew her in her element...she was the herd dog on a commercial goat dairy that I worked at. She was very much a working dog. Very aloof with people, not aggressive (well I never tried to steal any of her goats so I'm not sure what she would do!) but very protective- NO ONE came near those goats without hearing from her. She lived with them and was in no way a house dog.

A friend of mine is working with a Kangal. He is not a suitable dog for where he is; in an apartment. He is dog aggressive and not safe with strangers.

I'm sure not all the dogs of this breed are aggressive, but I can't imagine owning one for anything other than their true working purpose.

mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Sun Jun 13, '10 6:09am PST 
Lilith, yeah I figured that's what the purpose of the collar was, but it makes even adorable dogs look intimidating! I guess no one would interrupt him while he was working to hug him!laugh out loud
Both breeds are amazing!big grin
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