The Turkish Kangal Dog (Turkish: çoban köpeği) originated in the Anatolia region of central Turkey. They originally entered the UK in 1965 as Anatolian (Karabash) Dog. Following imports of mixed Turkish dogs, the name was changed to Anatolian Shepherd Dogs in 1984.
ASD Breeders in the UK were breeding to a type they preferred instead of what is true to the original. Those bred Karabash and wished to maintain the historical type are now registered as Turkish Kangal Dog.
UK KC & KIF (Turkish Kennel Club) have registrations as Turkish Kangal Dog while FCI & AKC & Australia currently only recognise Anatolian as the breed name.
It is probable that this type of dog has existed for 6,000 years, guarding flocks from wolves, bears, panthers & other threats. Developed over thousands of years it's truly a Darwinian breed where survival of the fittest is very apparent affording the breed exceptional health and longevity.
Summers are very dry and hot while winters are long and cold. Dogs will cover vast distances in a day with their flocks and be able to work independently from their human companions.
The amazing ability of Kangals to protect livestock stems not only from their physical attributes—size, strength, good eyesight, sharp hearing and excellent sense of smell—but from their familiarity with and dedication to their charges. Puppies are raised with the herd from 6-8 weeks of age and instinctively bond with the livestock they are kept with. They are calm, confident dogs that continually stay with the herd and are very sensitive to changes in normal herd behaviour or routine.
Kangals are still used today in the same way as they have been for thousands of years.
The colouration of the breed is very important to blend in with the flock it is guarding, Essentially Fawn in colour with a black mask. This is where one of the main differences with Anatolian Shepherd Dogs lie, who allow for ANY shape, size and colour for their dogs with no uniformity.
If you look at the pictures to the right these are Kangals working in their native land and nowhere do you see the multi-coloured, spotty dogs allowed for in the ASD Standard.
The Kangal is a historic breed which deserves to be preserved in type and temperament, as near as possible to it's ancestors.