The Anatolian Shepherd, an imposing animal

The Anatolian Shepherd, an imposing animal

This dog, also called Kangal, is one of the largest known breeds in the world, in the category of giants and molossoids. Affectionate towards his masters, he can on the other hand be aggressive towards those he does not know. To date, it is relatively little present in France.

An enduring dog

The Anatolian Shepherd, an imposing animalThe Anatolian Shepherd is a breed that originated in the highlands of Turkey. Kangal is the name of a village in this region. It would be a descendant of the hunting dogs of Mesopotamia. Guarding flocks, it was appreciated for its ability to dissuade thieves or predators (especially wolves) thanks to its impressive size.

It was also praised for its endurance, necessary to travel the great spaces of Anatolia. Over time, the breed adapted to the living conditions of its masters, in a harsh climate combining arid summers and very cold winters, and to their lifestyle, first nomadic then sedentary.

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An intimidating giant

If barking is, for the Anatolian shepherd, the main technique of dissuasion (it is necessary to teach him not to use his big voice in an abusive way…), it is however by its physique that it impresses the most. With a height of 80 cm and a weight included between 45 kg for the females and nearly 70 kg for the males, it is a true titan. Its coat is short or medium-length and the thickness of the undercoat varies according to the environment where it lives. Its body is powerful, with a broad chest and muscular legs. Its head is broad and square, with small, deep-set golden or brown eyes. His ears are of medium size, rounded and drooping. They stand up when the Anatolian Shepherd is attentive, as does its long, curved tail.


Protector for his own

The Anatolian Shepherd, an imposing animalLike all herdsmen, the Anatolian shepherd is suspicious of strangers, as he is primarily concerned with defending his “flock” (meaning his family of humans, for the majority of them today). This mistrust can lead to aggressiveness if he seems to detect a danger. He will not let anyone in without his masters.

The Anatolian Shepherd is a balanced dog, as affectionate and loyal to his master and his family as he is wary of strangers. As a herding dog, it has a highly developed protective instinct. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is also intelligent, independent, calm, loyal and self-confident, both at home and at work.

Excellent companion dog, the Kangal of a shows a total softness and a kindness to any test. He never shows aggression, even if he does not appreciate the presence of strangers nearby. He will defend his owner body and soul. As a bonus, his owner’s home will be well protected.

Long live life… outside!

Loyal, intelligent, the Kangal also likes its independence and is quite capable of staying alone at home. He is affectionate and calm if he has managed to spend some time. Otherwise, beware of destruction! Because of its size and its need for exercise, this dog is not suitable for an urban family with little time for walks (exclusively on a leash). He likes wide open spaces, freedom and must run every day. He would be unhappy in an apartment. His education must begin very young and requires firmness because, like all sheepdogs, he is stubborn. And considering the size of the dog, the constraint will be hardly effective!

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Physical characteristics

  • His coat: short or medium-long, dense and associated with a rather thick undercoat. Longer and even denser on the neck, shoulders and thighs. The length is more important in winter.
  • Its color: generally sand, with or without mask, but all the colors are admitted.
  • Its head: strong, rather broad (in the male even more than in the female), proportionate to the rest of the body. The skull is slightly rounded.
  • Ears : medium size, triangular in shape, with rounded tips, falling against the cheeks.
  • Its eyes: of small dimensions compared to the skull, spread out, of golden to brown color according to that of the hair. The conjunctiva is not visible, the edge of the eyelids is black, except in subjects with liver colored coat.
  • Its body: strongly built, with well developed muscles and ribs never flat. The topline is horizontal, the back rather short, the loins slightly arched, the chest well let down to the height of the elbows and the belly is well tucked up.
  • Tail: of good length, reaching the hock, set high, carried low and slightly curved at rest, higher and curled over the back when the dog is attentive.

What are the health problems of the Anatolian Shepherd?

The robustness of the Kangal means that it is not often sick. It is nevertheless a large dog that can be affected by hip dysplasia.

Its life expectancy is about 11 years.

What are the main qualities of the Anatolian Shepherd?

The Anatolian Shepherd is a very intelligent dog that learns quickly. Education is therefore not a problem if you use gentle and benevolent methods. Any coercive methods could make the dog develop behavioral problems.

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It is a dog that easily supports solitude because it is busy staying attentive to guard its territory. It is therefore generally not subject to problems of destruction.

What are the main faults of the Anatolian Shepherd?

The Kangal is an independent dog that appreciates calm. It does not necessarily get along with other dogs, however, each case is different and if you work on socialization with other dogs from an early age, this trait can improve.

Like many guard dogs, the Anatolian Shepherd barks a lot to deter strangers from entering its territory, so this can cause problems with your neighborhood.

How to care for an Anatolian Shepherd?

To preserve the quality of its coat, the Anatolian Shepherd only needs regular brushing. Nevertheless, its moults are abundant and you will have to redouble your efforts during these periods.

Its ears and eyes must be regularly cleaned with adapted products.


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