The Turkish Kangal is a large, powerful, heavy-boned dog. His size and proportions have developed naturally. Why? Because in Turkey, this dog breed has been as a guardian against scary predators. That has resulted in a large head and longer body. But are Kangal dogs dangerous?
Well, that is a complicated question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Generally speaking, the Kangal shepherd is calm, controlled, independent, powerful, and protective. He is very similar to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog.
The American Kennel Club lists them under the same name, Anatolian Shepherd. But the United Kennel Club recognizes them as different breeds. Nevertheless, let’s talk more about the breed.
Meet The Breed
This guard dog originates from Sivas, Turkey. It is also known as Anatolian Kangal or Turkish Kangal. The large dog breed grows between 28 and 34 inches, weighing between 90 and 150 pounds. They live between 13 and 15 years.
The roots of this dog date back to Turkestan, coming from an ancient lineage of mastiff dogs. Another similar dog is the Bully Kutta or Pakistani Mastiff.
All of these dogs were bred to guard livestock against large predators. For example, the Bully Kuta is famously known as the wolf killer. The same applies to the Kangal.
History Of The Breed
As we said before, this dog breed originates from farms. It all began in the Kangal district of Sivas Province in Turkey, where farmers were faced with a major dilemma. They were in constant danger from top-tier predators, including wolves and bears. That reduced their flock.
So, they needed a hero, one that had strength, agility, and intelligence. This is how they came up with the Kangal sheepdog, a dog similar to the Caucasian Mountain Shepherd that was also bred to protect flocks from wolves.
They utilized the extraordinary strength of the Kangal to protect their flocks. The Kangal has been treasured as the national dog, a heralded icon of Turks.
But is the dog dangerous to have as a pet?
Personality Traits Of Kangal
To try and answer whether are Kangals dangerous, we have to look at the personality traits of the canine. Here are some of the common personality traits.
- Bred to be vigorous and attentive, they are smart, intelligent, and keep a watchful eye on approaching danger. They think like a pack leader
- While they are wary around strangers, Kangals are family dogs that consider each member of the family as part of the flock. And it is their job to protect the flock and their territory. With their family, Kangals are friendly and gentle
- They can be left alone for longer periods. That is due to their upbringing in rural Turkey, where they were often left without human guidance while guarding the flock. As a result, these dogs have developed a strong sense of independence
- They are some of the most loyal dogs out there. But they are no pets. They are companions. There is a difference between those two terms. This dog will keep an eye on you during walks, and react to any impending danger
- They are hardy dogs, living between 13 and 15 years
Can You Have One As A Pet?
Turkish Kangals were developed for killing wolves and bears. That should sound intimidating enough. But if you watch videos of them on YouTube, you can see they present no danger to their human. They try to protect their human from any danger, including a wolf or a bear.
This dog is willing to die for its owner. Isn’t that loyalty?
But at the same time, we have to mention, these dogs are not pets to play around when you are bored. They will not go around wagging their tails.
These guard dogs are dangerous dogs for anyone trying to attack their territory, owner, or anything in between. The problem is when owning one, it might put your neighbors at risk. This dangerous breed will react to even the slightest sense of danger.
They are not indoor dogs. You have to have a yard for this canine to walk around and be on alert. Locking them up in your house is a bad idea.
Socialization helps, but their protective instincts remain. Simply put, while they are no danger to their owners and family, they might present a danger to the environment. Kangals thrive when they are in a rural environment, in the woods, with a flock to protect from predators.
Are They Aggressive To Strangers?
Yes, the Anatolian Shepherd dog will react aggressively towards strangers. Socialization might help to make them comfortable in the presence of strangers.
But they will not allow a single moment of insult toward you. Even if someone raises their voice addressing you, these dogs will react.
They are not social dogs that wag their tail.
What Is A Similar Dog To Kangal?
Remember, we said before that Kangals descend from Mastiffs. The English Mastiff is a more domesticated version, which was also used by shepherds to guard sheep.
Kangals, on the other hand, have not gone through the entire process of domestication. They are still ferociously defensive while being even-tempered. But they react at the slightest danger.
How Strong A Kangal Is?
The Turkish Kangal dog has been deemed the strongest dog breed. That is because their dog bite measures at 743 PSI. For those that do not know, that is the strongest bite force in the canine world. For comparison, lions have a bite force of 650.
It is only natural that they have a strong dog bite. After all, these dogs have had to deal with predators their entire life.
Sadly, that reputation of having the strongest bite force has put them in danger of being used in dog fighting. Many years ago, the American Pit Bull terrier was the best dog for fighting sports. But nowadays, it seems like the Kangal has taken that spot in illegal dog fighting.