Kangal, the king of Anatolia

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Today we are talking about the Kangal, a real treasure of Anatolia, an incredible dog breed, keeper of Turkish homes and flocks since time immemorial.

The lord of Sivas

The Kangal is a breed typical of central Turkey, in particular of the homonymous town in the province of Sivas. There are several hypotheses regarding the origins of this dog, probably all with a grain of truth. One of these is that the Kangal is an indigenous species of Mesopotamia and that it has remained substantially identical over the last 6,000 years; another theory would see it deriving from crosses with some Roman mastiffs and yet another with the dogs of the Kankali, a particular Turkish tribe that gives the region its name.

Kangal

This last hypothesis could find some more confirmation thanks to the existence of more “variants” for this breed. For centuries, in fact, the Kangal has protected the Turkish flocks from wolves and bears, often challenging extremely harsh climatic conditions with large temperature variations. This meant that, over time, shepherds went to select more and more of this breed in order to find the “perfect shepherd dog”. This led the Kangal to “divide” into 3 varieties: the “black face” Karabash (with which the Kangal is meant), the “white face” Akbash (which should have arrived in Turkey following the Yoruk people) and the ‘Aksaray which is a real cross between the Kangal and the Mastiff.

Turkish heritage

The Turks are probably the people of the Islamic world with a stronger love for dogs, they could not fail to declare this breed a national heritage. This measure was also taken to save this species from ever-increasing use in canine fights. The Kangal is, in fact, one of the most suitable breeds in the world for combat thanks to a perfect combination of agility, bite and size, the Aksaray was born from the attempt to give it “more weight”.

Kangal

Thanks to the Turkish government, the breed was able to save itself from this unhappy fate, indeed managing to become one of the most celebrated in the world in terms of prestige and reliability. This dog fully celebrates life in the Turkish countryside, as much as The Turkish Angora celebrates life in the city, a true symbol of Turkishness.

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