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In 1963 Mrs Charmian Biernoff (later Dr Steele-Dr Hussey) journeyed to Turkey with her husband David, a Fulbright scholar. During the two years of research and travel throughout Turkey, Charmian was able through her observations of the flock guarding dogs of Turkey to establish that they were not simply one big race of large shepherd’s dogs.  It became clear that there were in fact not only regional variations but also some specific Breeds of dogs, highly prized as Breeds and their breeding safeguarded.  She established that in fact people would travel great distances to obtain a good example of these Breeds. Later, during her archaeological studies, she developed a special interest in the early Breeds to be found throughout the Middle East including those to be seen on the Assyrian Bas reliefs etc, and because of this, during her time in Turkey she was especially interested in the large Breed kept by shepherds, which was always Cream to Fawn with Black Mask and Ears, whose colloquial name was Karabaş.

Upon returning to England in 1965 Dr Steele applied to the Kennel Club to register two Turkish Karabaş. Unfortunately, the KC, having recently suffered some embarrassment over the use of foreign names for dogs declined to use the word Karabaş and after consulting the Oxford English/Turkish Dictionary (1952 edition) decided the Breed should be named by the direct translation. Karabaş - Anatolian Sheep Dog. Dr Steele agreed to accept this as an interim measure. The KC agreed to investigate the matter via the Turkish Embassy and enquiries in the Country of Origin Turkey, which they did.  In 1968 after extensive enquiries Charles Binney informed Dr Steele that the Committee had decided that the Breed would be known from then on by the name Anatolian (Karabaş) Dogs. Anatolian = the geographical name for the part of Turkey from which they originated and Karabas = as the name they were called. Any imports of future dogs from Turkey of different breed would be known as Anatolian (name of breed) Dogs.  The Breed Club was formally recognised, foundation members included Dr Steele, Mr & Mrs Broadhead, Dr. Withof-Keus and Irene Creigh. A breed standard was drawn up by the breed club and published by the KC.









































In 1973 Dr Withof-Keus Anadol journeyed to Turkey and then imported two male dogs bred by the Director of Ankara Zoo they were named Capar of Anadol and Hakki of Anadol. Capar later moved to Seacop, he and the Marchael dog Fena were in the foundation lines of Telkari,Kurtkir, Kamish and Benkiz lines










Breeders belonging to the AKDC continued to breed small numbers of litters, and these continued to be always Cream to Fawn with Black Mask & Ears and a short dense coat, although some problems did arise with certain people (see Difficulties *). Gradually the Club grew and new Breeders emerged and more lines developed at the same time the Breed Club grew and held shows, social days, training seminars and published a quarterly newsletter which carried information, news items & stories from Club members about their own dogs. 



In 1982 a Club supported visit to Turkey was planned but unfortunately due to various different problems 6 of the original 8 members had to cancel, leaving only Mike Reed & Chris Emmett to undertake the journey. They drove overland to Turkey staying in Istanbul with Altüg & Leslie Tahtakiliç who later exported 2 female pups Dishi & Canan to England to Mr & Mrs Emmett (Kurtkir) & Mrs Mellor (Masallah) 













The research trip continued on towards the East until they reached Ankara where Mrs Mary Fletcher O.B.E. offered them hospitality & introduced them to Zafer Bozdõgan who accompanied them from there on, acting as friend, interpreter, guide and assistant. In three separate villages they had obtained female pups. Mrs Emmett purchased two, one of which was Muska of Karacalar and the one Mike Reed obtained, he named Sulu. When they arrived in Kangal they were offered hospitality in the Veterinary domain. In a small village outside Kangal they were presented with a pregnant female who they named Safkan of Kangal and in exchange Mike presented the village with his one pup Sulu and Mrs Emmett presented one of her 2 pups keeping Muska. They then returned to U.K. where six pups were born to Safkan. The progeny were purchased by Club breeders, increasing their gene pool. Mike & Sheila Reed purchased Kadife Kara from the partnership which was then dissolved. 













In 1983 Safkan was mated to Kamish foundation stud dog Marchael Felaket at Kamish & produced Kamish Miras, (first Junior Warrant winner) and Kamish Muzaffer Khan who jointly with Mr Doherty’s own imports (1985) were the foundation of Mr Brian Doherty kennels in Ireland Keneven & Keness & Kenine.  Dogs from these lines were imported to England jointly by Mrs Broadhead of Seacop & Mrs Carr of Karabiber and were in the foundation of the Muamma lines.








































From 1985 to 1988 there were more imports by established kennels one of the major influences from that time was Babylon imported by Mr & Mrs Telli as a family companion. He was to prove a tremendous influence not only in U.K. but his semen was exported to Sweden to be used on an Afacan bred bitch, pups from this litter went to the European gene pool most notably to Mrs E Von Buchwaldt. Thus the Breed continued to grow slowly, with by now a strong and varied selection of breeders exhibiting and each following their own breeding programme, although there were differing ideas of each kennel’s own ideal all were carefully breeding to maintain the dog correct in conformation, temperament and  health always Cream to Fawn with a Black Mask and a short dense coat. Throughout this time the Club did not encourage overproduction of such a special Breed as they viewed their role as conservators of the Breed very seriously and also wished to avoid the problems of rescue and bad press which had occurred in other large Breeds.



In order to get these necessary documents Mektup was taken to Turkey when she next came into season early 1977. Upon her return a 5 generation pedigree for Mektup and a named Breeder were produced. 7 pups were noted as born but only 5 were registered all of these 5 were Cream to Fawn with some mask.  One of these was bred from 18 months later and some pups in the litter were White.  The owner then admitted that the dog she used in Turkey on Mektup was White. At the 1979 Annual General Meeting of the AKDC she & her supporters were voted off the Committee of the AKDC and the original Breed Standard was re-instated by a unanimous vote of members. This Breed Standard was forwarded to the Kennel Club Breed Standard Sub Committee and agreed by them in October 1981. Mektup’s owner then formed her own Club for Turkish dogs which she called the Anatolian Karabaş Society the name of which was later changed to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of Great Britain and was affiliated to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club USA






















In 1980 Mektup’s owner and some associates went to Turkey and imported from there two female and one male dogs, the two bitches were in whelp. 

When the AKDC Committee learned of the three imports the Chairman and a committee member visited the registrations manager at the KC. They pointed out that at least two of the animals did not in any way conform to the Breed Standard and urged that they should not be placed on the Karabash register, they were told by an officer of the KC that they had received a letter on AKDC headed note paper endorsing the registration of the dogs but he agreed that the names of the officers listed on that paper had not been checked against those sent to the KC with the AKDC returns after the Club’s AGM, however the dogs had now been registered as Karabash.  When the ASDC of GB began to lobby for the Breed Standard to be changed to accommodate their dogs the AKDC pointed out to the KC that these dogs did not belong on the Karabash register and that the Breed Standard should not be altered because dogs which did not conform to it had been imported and bred from, although they would be happy for the dogs to be given their own register to enable them to be developed as this new Breed. In June 1982 the AKDC and the ASDC at separate meetings on the same day placed their views before members of the Breed Standard Sub Committee and the Stud Book and Registrations Committee.  The AKDC were told that Breed classes throughout the year would be watched and a decision taken on the evidence given that day and the dogs exhibited during the year. During that year ASD followers exhibited dogs of varying conformation, coat length and colour and AKDC members continued to exhibit their dogs always Cream to fawn with Black Mask & short dense coat.


In January 1983 it was announced in future there would be 2 separate registers Anatolian Shepherd Dogs (Akbash) White, long coated and lighter bodied and Anatolian Shepherd Dogs (Karabash) Mastiff type, short coated, Cream to Fawn with Black Mask and Ears or Brindle).


Members of the ASDC immediately bombarded the dog press with letters.  Throughout 1983 rumours reached AKDC members that the January decision would be altered and in an effort to avert any decision being taken without sensible consultations the Secretary AKDC wrote to the Chairman of the KC in April 1983 offering any assistance required, she received a reply that “nothing would be done without consulting the registered Breed Club A.K.D.C.”  Later in the year the AKDC were asked to send representatives to the KC in November 1983.  Upon arrival they were introduced to Dr Willis who said that in his capacity as Genetic adviser to the KC and on the evidence he had seen from Mr Roy Robinson he had advised the KC General Committee that there should be only one Breed :- ASD and this should encompass all large dogs from Turkey, the Breed Standard had been changed dramatically but most notably the clour clause now stated : all colours acceptable, the only clause remaining the same was the coat clause that still called for a short dense weatherproof coat. Dr Willis said that acting on his advice the General Committee had made their decision in May 1983, and the Breed Standard had been changed accordingly.  He refused to listen to any reasoned objection maintaining throughout that he, as a geneticist and breeder of GSD’s knew best. 

AKDC representatives tried in every way to point out the flaws in the decision, they argued that if the Kennel Club had been given any information of sufficient importance to totally change the name & Breed Standard of a Breed they had recognised for for nearly twenty years then that information should have been shown to the registered Breed Club Officers and discussed with them. If there were any flaws or errors in the information the KC had been given then the Karabash standard, Breed Name & register should not be changed, the status quo should be upheld.

Long drawn out negotiations followed finally in 1988 the K.C. agreed to word the Breed Standard as before with the exception of two clauses. 1) temperament : they would not agree to reinstate without undue aggression and insisted it must remain without aggression the AKDC Officers argued that a dog without any aggression could not protect flocks but the K.C. insisted there must be no excuse for people to breed aggressive dogs, 2) the colour clause : after much talking a compromise was reached, the K.C. insisted on keeping the words all colours acceptable but did agree to add but it is desirable they be whole coloured Cream to Fawn with Black Mask & Ears. The coat section remained as it had always been “ a short dense weatherproof coat”. Finally the K.C. insisted that the name remain ASD but they would review the matter of a separate register and restoring the Breed Standard in 5 years.


Every 5 years from then on the Officers of the AKDC requested the reinstatement of the name and Breed Standard for their dogs, always supplying evidence to support their request and always receiving the reply that it was not the correct time for such a decision. In 2003 the Shepherd Dog Club requested the KC to make significant changes to the conformation, size, coat and colour in the Breed Standard. The KC requested the AKDC to place the matter before it’s members. At a Special General Meeting members present voted to reject the proposed changes and instructed the Committee to apply to the KC for the Breed to be returned to it’s original name and status seperate from the Shepherds’ Dogs and for name Kangal to be inserted to the title in recognition of the current Turkish wishes, i.e. Anatolian Karabash (Kangal) Dog. The Committe worked through the Secretary at that time Mrs Margaret Mellor to produce a complete dossier of information that covered the entire timespan since the breed was first introduced to the KC to the present date.. The matter was placed before the Breed Standards and Stud Book Sub Committee in May 2004, they refused the request. The AKDC appealed to the KC Chairman and the appeal went before an ad hoc Committee, in November 2004, the ad hoc Committee upheld the decision of the BSSBSC and in January 2005 announced that the colour clause of the Breed Standard had been changed there was no longer a requirement for Black Mask & Ears or in fact any specific identifying colour requirements at all, any colour, with or without would do.






In 1988 AKDC Officers had told K.C. representatives that they had heard rumours that ASD followers were attempting to have the breed ASD recognised by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) with a totally different standard and they were concerned that this would seriously damage the development of the Breed in Europe, Mr Sinnatt (K.C. Secretary) replied that any actions by the FCI were of no interest to the K.C. would have no bearing on the situation in U.K. and were therefore not the concern of the AKDC. An ASD member from U.K. then arranged that dogs she had bred & their offspring would be viewed by the FCI in order to have the breed recognised by them. Incredible as it may seem the FCI did indeed recognise the ASD as a breed and gave it a standard based on the dogs viewed (just five, all closely related) which called for varying coat lengths, and any colour.  


In 2005 when the Breed Club Open Show celebrated the 40th Anniversary from the first imports, Umit Ozkanal & Onur Kanli, representatives of K.I.F. the Turkish Kennel Club came to the U.K. to join the celebrations and visited the Kennel Club to present the Articles which contained Rules & Regulations of K.I.F. After much work and consultation with F.C.I. which involved representative from F.C.I. visiting Tukey to ensure all correct procedures were being followed K.I.F. became a Junior partner in F.C.I.  In October 2012 and an FCI member in 2015. In 2013 The Kennel Club announced separate registration of the Turkish Kangal Dog, with it’s own Register and distinct Breed Standard, completely separate from A.S.D. Applications to transfer to the new Register were accepted from 1st April 2013 and the Register and Breed Standard becaming active 1st July 2013. Some Championship Shows gave Breed classes for Turkish Kangal Dog as of July 2013 and 2014 saw the first Crufts Breed Classes for Turkish Kangal Dogs. Our numbers were small in the begining  but to date we have 13 imports plus 1 in Ireland, new enthusiasts have  come forward to continue the care &, conservation of this magnificent Breed.

Sheila Reed ©


Reproduced with the kind permission of Sheila Reed.
Chairman of the Anatolian Karabash Dog Club from 1983 to 1997 and current President of the UK Kangal Club.

In 1967 the first litter was registered in UK under Dr Steele’s Konya affix and in the next few years more dogs were imported and registered.

In 1968 Messrs J Lloyd & D. Lyth accompanied by Dr Steele travelled to Turkey and imported two dogs. They were assisted in obtaining the necessary papers for export in Ankara by Cdr B Ballard.


In 1970 they returned to Turkey and imported Eleif & Atak  from Sivas/Kangal.

Mr Lloyd believed that these second dogs were much superior to the first two and he wrote in the breed notes that he believed the dogs should be called Kangal Dog.

Left to Right






Fena (Marchael)

Background Anadol Yali

- Capar of Anadol at Seacop

- Seacop


- Kamish

- Karabiber

- Muamma

- Benkiz (6 months)

Unfortunately, an early enthusiastic supporter of the Karabas & the AKDC purchased a dog Anadol Yali from Dr Withof-Keus she bred him to the female Mektup (White with coloured patches) who had no supporting documentation and a litter was born. The pups looked typical and were sold for showing, when their owners asked for registration documents the Committee of the AKDC were asked to assist in obtaing registration of Mektup, they refused. When Miss Czartoryska & members of a newly elected Committee approached the registrations department of the KC they were told that without import papers and quarantine papers no dog from Turkey could be registered.


Any Colour

Kangal head study.

Ankara zoo.


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