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Kangal Anatolian: nature, care and common diseases

Kangal anatolian

Kangal Anatolian belongs to the so-called. Turkish shepherd dogs, most likely descended from molossians, which migrated to the territory of today's Turkish state thousands of years ago.

The nomadic peoples inhabiting these lands at that time used the impressive size of kangalas for hunting, and later also as shepherds' helpers and guard dogs. Extremely durable, intelligent, independent and adapted to extreme environmental conditions, they were primarily in the area of ​​Anatolia, hence their name, and more precisely part of it.

The characteristic way of guarding herds, which consists in observing the terrain from the highest point and, if necessary, a noiseless attack from the enemy's rear, is used to this day and we can meet these dogs among grazing sheep, goats, cattle, and even camels.

Together with the Karabash and Akbash, they have been recognized by the FCI as varieties of one and the same breed, namely the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, differing mainly in the type and color of their hair, which raises numerous objections from Turkish breeders and cynologists, which so far seem to be of little use.

In Turkey itself, the Kangals are considered a separate race, representing a kind of national pride, and in their honor every year in the Shivas region, a festival is organized, attracting tourists from all over the world.

In Poland, Anatolian Karabasz and Akbash are on the list of breeds considered aggressive, the possession of which requires a special permit, and because the Kennel Club, like the FCI, does not distinguish between these breeds, so for Kangala, we will also most likely have to obtain the appropriate paper, although it is not it is completely clear.

According to the FCI classification, Anatolian belongs to group 2.

  • Kangal Anatolian character
  • Kangal appearance
  • Kangal care
  • Kangal the most common diseases
    • Elbow dysplasia
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Wrist laxity syndrome
    • Congenital deafness
    • Ankyloglossia
    • Dilation and torsion of the stomach
    • Inflammation of the outer ear
  • For whom the kangal will be the perfect dog?

Kangal Anatolian character

Kangal anatolian character

Kangal is a typical working dog, although it is also encountered as a family companion. His endurance, intelligence and independence make him a great guardian and trustworthy shepherd.

These dogs are definitely wary of strangers and can be aggressive towards unfamiliar animals. They treat members of their own family with respect and are loyal and protective.

They need an appropriate dose of exercise and activity and human contact, otherwise they may become overly suspicious and therefore dangerous. For this reason, it is also necessary to train and socialize them from the first weeks of life.

You can enroll a puppy in a dog's kindergarten, invite friends with their pets and visit different places so that the dog can tell the difference between a real danger and a situation that is simply new to him. If we forget about it or start training the dog too late, we must take into account the need to release the dog only in a secured area, for fear that it may harm a representative of its own species.

Kangals are definitely not suitable for living in a block of flats. They must have a solid paddock surrounded by a high and durable fence that they cannot cross.

Kangals lead a rather nocturnal lifestyle, and during the day seemingly asleep, they observe their surroundings ready to defend their own territory.

Kangal appearance

Kangal appearance

Kangal Anatolian is a dog characterized by a strong build, massive head and, above all, huge size, and is among the top five largest breeds in the world.

Kangal Anatolian height

The height at the withers of a male dog is approximately 74-86 cm, and that of a female dog is approximately 71-79 cm.

Kangal Anatolian weight

The average weight of a dog is about 50-65 kg (there are also individuals reaching a weight of up to 80 kg), and bitches 40-55 kg.

Kangal Anatolian breed description

  • Head broad and well-proportioned with a poorly marked stop and pronounced sexual dimorphism - wider in males than in bitches.
  • The muzzle is blunt at the end, slightly tapering to a black or brown truffle nose.
  • Lips darkly pigmented, slightly pendulous.
  • Strong teeth set in a scissor bite.
  • Eyes relatively small, set wide apart and deep set, golden to brown in color.
  • Triangular, blunt-ended, pendulous ears.
  • The neck is thick, well-muscled and slightly arched, turning into a short and strong back.
  • The chest is deep and the belly is clearly tucked up.
  • The tail is set high, of medium length, curled at the end.
  • Limbs wide apart, long and strong.
  • Short, double-layered coat with a dense undercoat, waterproof and protects against low temperatures and predators, as tightly packing the hair hinders direct access to the skin.

Kangal Anatolian coat

Color uniformly fawn, cream, brown or gray, with a characteristic black mask and black ears.

Kangal care

Kangal care

Kangala care on the surface seems easy.

These dogs generally shed 2 times a year, but they lose hair in fairly large amounts practically all the time. During the high shedding season, we brush them out every day, and at least once a week during the rest of the day. Troublesome hair shedding is even mentioned as one of the reasons for bringing these animals to the shelter.

Due to the structure and shape of the auricle, these dogs are predisposed to otitis externa, so their condition should be checked periodically.

If necessary, shorten the dog's claws and bathe it in a dog shampoo.

Kangal the most common diseases

Kangal the most common diseases

Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is an inherited disease and may affect one or both elbows.

Its essence is incorrect shaping of the articular surfaces that are part of these joints.

Elbow dysplasia involves several subunits that may be present individually, or one dog may have several of them at the same time, and these are:

  • unattached ulnar appendix,
  • fragmentation of the medial coronary process,
  • osteochondrosis of the medial condyle of the humerus,
  • mismatch of the articular surfaces.

The first symptoms of dysplasia are noticeable in several months old puppies.

Lameness of varying severity, swelling of the elbow joints and their soreness, especially after exercise, are the most common changes observed in a sick dog.

Clinical examination and X-ray examination are necessary for the diagnosis of elbow dysplasia.

X-ray image allows you to detect the type of degenerative changes in the joint and to determine the degree of their severity.

Surgery is the treatment of choice. In the case of contraindications, conservative treatment is used, but often it does not bring the expected improvement.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited disease to which most large and giant breed dogs are predisposed.

It consists in incorrect shaping and connection of the structures included in the hip joint.

It can occur unilaterally and affect both of these joints.

In addition to genetic characteristics, other factors contribute to the development of HD, such as.:

  • improper feeding of puppies during the growth phase,
  • too much and too much exercise intensity served to young dogs.

The first symptoms are most often seen in age from 6 to 12 months, and sometimes earlier.

We then observe reluctance to move, preference for lying down, lameness, difficulties in standing up, frequent lying down and the so-called. rabbit jumping.

If the repeated cartilage injuries are not too severe, the disease may be asymptomatic for up to several years as the capsule thickens and is re-stabilized.

Orthopedic examination reveals pain during manipulation of the limbs in the affected hip joints and often looseness in the knee joints.

To assess the degree of dysplasia, it is necessary to take an X-ray image under shallow anesthesia in the AP position, i.e. in the animal lying on its back.

Prophylactic X-rays should be performed between 4 and 6 months of age, even in asymptomatic animals, as early detection of this defect gives more treatment options, primarily surgical.

The most common treatments are:

  • anastomosis of the pubic symphysis,
  • triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO),
  • DARtroplasty,
  • femoral head resection,
  • operations on the comb muscle and its tendons.

In older dogs, pharmacological treatment is mainly used, consisting of the administration of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs with different duration of action and different routes of administration - oral or injection.

Wrist laxity syndrome

This disease particularly affects large breed dogs and manifests itself already in 6 weeks old puppies.

Laxity can affect both wrist joints, but most often it occurs unilaterally or is more pronounced in one of the limbs.

The wrist joint is then shifted forward in relation to the axis of the limb and sometimes also laterally. Although it looks quite drastic, sick puppies do not show reluctance to play or significant limb weakness.

Physiotherapy in the form of massages and performing passive joint movements are helpful in the treatment for the development of muscle tone of the wrist extensors.

In advanced cases, to help puppies walk, orthoses or bandages are used to support and stabilize the joints. An alternative is also a surgical procedure in the form of arthrodesis of the wrist joint.

Congenital deafness

Congenital deafness is a defect caused by the degeneration of the VIII nerve (vestibulocochlear), genetically determined. In affected puppies, no response to sound stimuli is observed from the first weeks of life.

Hearing tests using the BAER method (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) are used to confirm the diagnosis. It consists in marking the potentials evoked in the brainstem in response to acoustic stimuli.

The test is performed in specialized centers, which are more and more in Poland. It allows you to objectively diagnose deafness, as well as to determine the degree of hearing damage. It is performed in a pharmacologically sedated animal - under sedation.

Deafness is unfortunately incurable, but in the right environment, dogs with it can function normally. If you have a deaf dog, you should remember that it may unknowingly pose a threat to yourself and others.


Ankyloglossia (or tongue adhesion) is a rare birth defect in the oral cavity.

The shortened frenulum limits the mobility of the tongue, making it difficult for.in. drinking water, eating or swallowing.

It is believed that the underlying cause of this disease is a genetic mutation associated with the presence of immunoactive alphaB-crystallin, which delays the apoptosis of the frenular muscle fibers, which means that it is not prolonged adequately, but the causes of ankyloglossi are still at the research stage.

Treatment consists of a surgical procedure - phrenuloplasty, which is aimed at lengthening the frenulum of the tongue.

Dilation and torsion of the stomach

Gastric dilatation is a sudden widening of the stomach due to the accumulation of excess food or gases from easily fermentable foods.

It occurs most often as a result of too fast and greedy ingestion of food or eating too much of it at once.

The risk of gastric dilation is greater in once-daily fed dogs.

It may be accompanied by a stomach twist that occurs after intense exercise performed just after eating.

It manifests itself with restlessness, unsuccessful attempts to vomit, belching, drooling, shortness of breath, as well as enlargement of the outline of the abdomen.

In the case of gastric dilatation, it is washed and punctured to release excess gases, while in the case of twisting, the fastest possible surgical intervention is necessary, because the deepening circulatory and respiratory disorders quickly lead to shock, which may cause the death of the animal.

Inflammation of the outer ear

Inflammation of the outer ear is favored by a specific anatomy of the ear, where moisture and reduced ventilation favor the development of mainly saprophytic yeast fungi.

The first symptom of inflammation is itching.

The dog then scratches the sick ear and often shakes its head and tilts it to the "sick" side.

The turbinate is red, hot and painful to touch.

Various types of inflammatory mucus can also collect in the ear canal. The microorganisms that multiply in it can penetrate the micropores in the eardrum, which, if left untreated, can turn into a more serious condition, namely otitis media and inner ear.

Chronic inflammation leads to reconstruction of the ear canal - its narrowing and even closure due to epidermal hypertrophy.

Such a condition is irreversible and its treatment involves the complete removal of the ear canal and the pinna.

Normally, otitis externa is treated with topical drops prescribed by a doctor, following a thorough otological examination.

For whom the kangal will be the perfect dog?

For whom the kangal will be the perfect dog?

The Kangal is definitely not a novice dog.

I need an experienced, self-confident, consistent and patient person in training my four-legged friend as a tutor.

If we earn our trust and listen to the kangal once, it will follow us into the fire.

It is also worth considering why we want a kangala, what our dog should be, what we need it for and what we can provide for it. Although these dogs are mainly found as guard dogs, they are more and more often used as guard dogs and so-called `` guard dogs ''. family.

We absolutely must have a well-fenced property where the dog can stay, because it would be a mistake to keep it in the apartment.

It is also impossible to leave him alone, because such isolation from family members may end up with him "getting wild ".

These dogs, despite their formidable appearance towards their relatives, are sensitive and protective, but all strangers who uninvited invade our territory must take into account the possibility of being attacked by this dog with a strong territorial instinct.

Their programmed ability to defend themselves was used to protect cheetahs threatened with extinction in Namibia, which were shot by local farmers when attacking sheep herds. In the presence of Anatolians, cheetahs no longer come so close to livestock, so their numbers do not decrease so drastically.

As mentioned, early and intensive socialization and proper training will allow us to shape kangalas for dogs that will not pose an unfounded threat to us and other people.

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