TURKISH SHEPHERD DOG - KANGAL Breed Standart Origin: Republic of Turkey Patronage: Turkey Date of publication of the original valid standard: Utilization: Guard and shepherd dog CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Section 2.2 Molossoid breeds, Mountain type. without working trial.

HE BREED’S BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : According to the most accurate theory of the non-European origin of the shepherd dogs, the Turkish Shepherd Dog Kangal most probably originates of the ancient livestock guardian dogs, which migrated with the nomadic tribes exercising primitive herding, from Central Asia to Anatolia from 10000 BC to 1300 AC. One of those clans, namely the Kayi Clan, was the founding fathers of the Ottoman Empire.

It is considered that the present shape of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog breeds including the Kangal Shepherd Dog dates back to the times when the Ottoman Empire was established at the beginning of the 12th century. The Kangal Shepherd Dog has protected the sheep flocks bravely against any wild predators in the though the geography and under the though weather conditions of its homeland, namely Sivas and the east Anatolian region since then.

Today, in all parts of Turkey, where the traditional sheep herding is still present, Kangal Shepherd Dogs show the same traits which are represented by their ancestors.


The Kangal is a molossus type dog. Its constitution is robust, even rough. Compact body is covered with thick hair. Body is of rectangular shape. Height: Height at the withers is 65-78 cm with +/- 2 cm tolerance. Important proportions: Head length is 39-40% of height at the withers. Skull length is 56-60% of head length. Profile lines of the nozzle and the skull are divergent. Body length is 10-12% greater than height at the withers. Temperament: Harsh while guarding the entrusted property or flock, otherwise benign and of a peaceful temperament, bold and dignified. Loyal to the master and completely calm in his presence. Fearless and unbribable.


1.1. Skull: must not be flat. Should be rounded from all sides. Orbital arches are visible but are not overly pronounced. The furrow in the forehead is visible, but not deep. Occiput is visible but not overly expressed. Head width is 52-57% of head length. Length of the skull along the longitudinal axis is greater than width of the skull along the transversal axis. The skull gradually narrows towards the facial region.

1.2. Stop: stop angle is well over 90 degrees. Stop is clear but not overly pronounced.

1.3. Muzzle: is shorter than the skull. Nozzle length is 40-44% of head length. Nozzle width in the area where skull region turns to nozzle region is 24-38% of head length. Muzzle depth in that area is 32-36% of head length. Muzzle is in the shape of a blunt wedge that is lightly tapering towards the nose. Nozzle line from stop towards the nose is gently sloped.

1.4. Nose: must not be above or under the nozzle line. It must be large with nostrils of sufficient size. Nose and the inner side of the nostrils must be pigmented. All dogs should have dark pigmentation.

1.5. Lips: must be well adhering to the bone basis. Are of medium thickness. The upper lip slightly overhangs over the lower lip. Joining of the lips is weakly pronounced. Lower lip must be tight, well-adhering to the lower jaw, and must not be hanging. Edges and mucous membranes of the lips must be pigmented.

1.6. Jaws/Teeth: Jaws must be well developed and powerful. Teeth are regularly arranged in the jaws. Powerful teeth. Scissors bite, pincer bite or reverse scissors bite are accepted. Lack of first premolars (P1) does not affect the assessment.

1.7. Eyes: large, almond-shaped. Neither bulging nor sunken. Eye color must be in accordance with hair color. Darker eyes are more desirable. Eyelids adhere to the eyeballs tightly. Eyelid rims should be pigmented. Gaze should be calm and fearless.

1.8. Ears are set at the height of an imaginary line that connects the tip of the nose with the inner corner of the eyelids, or slightly lower. Ears are triangular in shape. Hair color on the ears is preferred to be the same as hair color of the mask. Front edge of the ears, if not cropped, should overlap the head.


Of medium length, 35-40% of height at the withers. Upper line of the neck is slightly rounded, while the lower line is straight. The angle that the neck forms with a horizontal line should be 35-40 degrees. The neck is merging to the body and head without sharp transitions. Skin on the neck must be tightly attached to the muscular base. No dewlap.


3.1. General appearance: the body must not be squat in appearance. It must be muscular, well connected and balanced. Body length is 10-12% greater than height at the withers. It is a breed characteristics that the dogs are high at the rear, as the rump is up to 4% higher than the withers. Back line, form the withers to the rump is not straight, but slightly sagging. Midpoint of the back is 4-5% lower than the withers.

3.2. Withers: Powerful, well connected and mildly prominent.

3.3. Top line: must be strong and broad, not too long. In motion, top line should be as still as possible.

3.4. Thoracic section of the back: Muscular, powerful, well connected to the withers and loins.

3.5. Loins: Powerful, short, may be a bit longer in bitches. Observed from the side, slightly convex. Muscular, well connected to the thoracic section of the back and croup.

3.6. Croup: Of medium length, 30-35% of height at the withers. Muscular, well connected to the loins. Croup line and horizontal line form an angle of 25-30 degrees.

3.7. Ribcage: must be spacious. Ribcage circumference is 10-15% larger than the height at the withers. Chest depth is 33-45% of height at the withers. Chest width (measured behind the shoulder blades) is 27-37% of height at the withers. Ribs are powerful and never barrel shaped.

3.8. Chest: muscular and strong. Tip of the chest bone is at 65-75% of height at the withers.

3.9. Bottom line and belly: Belly is slightly recessed. Bottom line slowly rises from the sternum profile to the hips.


Upper line of the tail forms a continuous line with the croup line. Ideally the tail set shoud be level with the height of the croup, but it may also be 5-10% lower (than height of the croup). Tails is very powerful at the base, while its thickness gradually decreases towards the tip. When relaxed, it reaches the hock hanging down vertically, though it appears shorter as it is slightly curved at the tip. Curvature of the last third can be so strong that it can form a circle. In action preferably the tail is carried higher than the back line forming a circle. (This circle may also touch the medial line of the back, may be carried behind the back without touching it or may be carried almost vertical with the last third forming the circle at the tip.) Curved tail shouldn’t be carried on the side of the body below the back line.


5.1. Forequarters: Bones of forequarters are powerful. The carpal circumference is 20-22 cm. Muscles are lean and hard. Forequarters are parallel. Elbow height is 50-55% of height at the withers.

5.1.1. Shoulders: Of medium length, adheres to the body well. Forms an angle of 45-55 degrees with the horizontal. Shoulder angle is 90-110 degrees.

5.1.2. Upper legs: Must be muscular and strong. Leans to the body. Upper legs are parallel.

5.1.3. Lower legs: Bones are strong and muscles are well developed. Elbow is located in the line that is parallel to the medial vertical plane of the body. Elbow angle is 110-130 degrees. Elbows should be kept very tight to the body and shouldn’t be loose.

5.1.4. Front feet: Located at the extension of the vertical line of the lower leg. Must be strong and well connected.

5.1.5. Front pastern: Observed from the front, pasterns are located on the vertical line that passes through the lower leg axis. It forms an angle of 20-30 degrees with the vertical.

5.1.6. Paws: Roundish. Fingers must be strong, rounded, and not splayed. Nails are pigmented darkly. In dogs with lighter hair color, nails should be lighter. Cushions must be elastic, full, firm, and pigmented. Swimming skin is developed.

5.2. Hind quarters: parallel relative to each other. They must be strong, but not too heavy. Stance must be regular, with adequate angles.

5.2.1. Loins: wide, muscular and powerful. Length of the loins is 33% of height at the withers. Loins are parallel respective to each other, as well as to medial axis of the body. Loins form an angle of 55-75 degrees with the horizontal.

5.2.2. Lower leg: Muscular, strong. Lower legs are parallel relative to each other. Lower legs form an angle of 110-145 degrees with the upper leg (knee).

5.2.3. Hock: Must be firm and wide and end at the rear pastern harmonically. Height of the hock (from the ground level to the joint) is 25-35% of height at the withers. Hock angle is 120-150 degrees.

5.2.4. Rear pastern: Strong and well developed. Height varies depending on height of the hock. Presence of dewclaws is possible.

5.2.5. Rear feet: A bit more elongated than the front feet, other characteristics identical with those of the front feet.


Gait must be elegant and harmonic. There should be no jerks or spasms in motion. Back line should be as still as possible during movement. Arching of the back during movement is not tolerated. Kangal's favorite gait is trot of medium length, while gallop is not characteristic. However, If the dog gallops, then the jumps are long but the gallop is stolid. Final grade of dogs with bad gait should be lowered regardless of the exterior.

7. SKIN Of medium thickness, well adhering to the head and body. Must not form a dewlap. skin color depends on hair color, but skin must be pigmented. 8. MUCOUS MEMBRANES All visible mucous membranes must be pigmented. Intensity and color of the pigmentation depend on color of the dog. Dark pigmentation is preferred with all accepted colors of the breed.

9. HAIR Thick and lush. Covers the body well. A bit shorter on the head and legs than on the body. It should not be silky or thin. It should be firm. Undercoat is thick and finer than the upper coat. Length of hair at the withers is 3-7 cm, depending to the season.

10. COLOR Color should be from crème to dark gray in all nuances. Base white color is not allowed. Body is of a solid color. Lighter color is possible on the legs, with acceptable darker flecks or spots. Brindle is allowed but is not desirable. White color is allowed only on the chest and the tip of the tail, wherein the diameter of the white field on the chest is not larger than 10 cm. Presence of the mask on the head is obligatory. The mask should be black up to the eye level and lighter on the skull. Preferably the ears are black like the mask. Tip of the tail may be white or black, but colored in such way no longer than 5 cm, observed from the tip to the base. FAULTS:

Any departure of the foregoing points must be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

ELIMINATING FAULTS : Overshot and undershot bite, wry mouth Monorchism Absence of more than 2 of the P2 Absence of any teeth than P1 and P2 ectropion, entropion Sable tail without the circle All hair colors than the above described. Aggressiveness Colored and / or differently colored eyes.

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