Kangal Dog

Kangal Dog
Photo: batuhan toker/Getty Images
Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 90 to 145 pounds
  • Height: 28 to 32 inches (females tend to be significantly smaller)

The Look of a Kangal Dog

The Kangal Dog is a heavyset powerhouse, with slightly loose skin topped by a dense, short, double coat developed to protect it from the elements. This coat is always a light tan to gray, while the dog’s muzzle is always black.

This breed’s head is large and wide, and its folded ears look tiny atop its massive figure. The daintily curled tail does not match its bodyguard look. Also contrary to this breed’s “ferocious” looks is its Zenlike serenity.


  • Enormous size
  • Ability to appear calm even when threatened
  • Brawn to back up its protective stance
  • Delicate curlicue tail
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Ideal Human Companion

  • Owners with large fenced-in yards
  • Families with children
  • Those seeking a good guard dog who will also interact with the family
  • Those seeking a working guard dog for sheep or goats
  • Those who want a very large dog to snuggle up with

What They Are Like to Live With

Alert, on guard, and responsive, this guardian of flocks also makes an excellent family watchdog. In its role as protector, the Kangal Dog tends to take a stance against predators rather than fighting them, although this breed has a less aggressive demeanor than some of the other giant guardian dogs. Intruders would certainly think twice if confronted by a Kangal Dog just standing there.

The Kangal Dog has always been around people in its native Turkey. It tends to be reserved with strangers, but interacts well with family members. These dogs are good with children, but may not be good with other animals.

Working Kangal Dogs get sufficient exercise, but companion dogs should get at least one long daily walk. They also need consistent mental stimulation.

Kangal Dogs require little grooming, except when they shed heavily twice a year.

Things You Should Know

The Kangal Dog must have space to roam, so a large yard is a necessity. If this dog is kept cooped up indoors, it may become lethargic and appear depressed.

Kangal Dogs take their guard work seriously even if they are companion dogs, so you must be aware of the responsibility of keeping your dog on your property and away from visiting strangers Obedience training and established human alphas are a requirement for this breed.

Kangal Dogs can live a remarkably long time for such large dogs: 15 years and beyond. They are generally healthy, but dermatologic musculoskeletal lipomas (benign fatty tumors) are common.

Kangal Dog History

The Kangal Dog originated in the Sivas province of central Turkey. This ancient breed is thought to be related to the Mastiff-type dogs that existed in the Assyrian Empire around 600 B.C. Though the Kangal Dog began as a dog of the nobility, it is now appreciated by people who revere its working ability.

The Kangal Dog is still popular in Turkey, where it is considered a national treasure, and can be seen in Europe and the U.S.

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