Turkish Kangal Breed Information and Buying advice

Turkish Kangal

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Turkish Kangal?

Quick Turkish Kangal Facts

Average Size of Adult
Large (4/5)
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Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
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Medium (2/3)
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Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
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High (3/3)
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Medium (2/3)
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Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
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Breed Group
Pastoral (3/8)
No (2/2)

Turkish Kangal (Kangal Shepherd Dog)


The Turkish Kangal is a large dog that has been used for centuries to guard sheep. The Kangal looks imposing but is a loyal, family-oriented dog with a kind nature. The impressive looks and affectionate nature of the Kangal have made the breed a popular companion in many countries. The Turkish Kangal is also Turkey’s national dog. Turkish Kangals are robust dogs, they are tall, strong and one of their distinguishing features is the dark mask on their face. 

Physical Appearance 

The Turkish Kangal is an impressive dog, the breed is large in size but well-balanced and robust. There is a noticeable difference between males and females with males being larger and heavier. Turkish Kangals have large heads that are rounded and have noticeable wrinkling on the forehead. Their almond-shaped eyes are medium in size and tend to be golden or brown in colour. 

Turkish Kangals have muscular necks with minimal dewlap and medium-sized triangular ears. Their ears are rounded at the tips and hand down close to the Kangal’s cheeks. The body of the Turkish Kangal is strong and well-muscled, they have oval paws with arched toes and well-cushioned pads. Their tails are long and set high but are always carried low and never over the Kangal’s back. 

The Turkish Kangal has a short, weather-resistant coat that keeps the breed warm and protected while guarding flocks. Their dense fur includes a soft undercoat and a harsh topcoat. The Turkish Kangal can be tan or steel grey with a dark face mask. Their ears tend to be darker in colour, similar to their face mask. 

How big do Turkish Kangal dogs get?

  • Height - Males: 74 - 81cm. Females: 71 - 79cm.

  • Weight - Males: 50 - 65kg. Females: 41 - 50kg. 

Character Traits

The Turkish Kangal is known for being an excellent guarding dog but there is so much more to know about this breed. Kangals are loyal, affectionate and form strong bonds with their owners. Turkish Kangals are calm, gentle dogs that are people-orientated. 

The job of the Turkish Kangal was to guard sheep so the breed is naturally protective and makes a talented guard dog. Turkish Kangals are very intelligent and love to be challenged, they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored. This is not a breed that is happy to spend the day laying on the sofa but is more than happy to be outside on guard or enjoying long walks. 

Are Turkish Kangal dogs intelligent? Yes.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs affectionate? Yes.

Do Turkish Kangal dogs have high or low energy levels? High energy levels.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs loyal? Yes.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs playful? Sometimes.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs aggressive? No.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs easy to train? Yes.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs good guard dogs? Yes. 

Ability to Socialise 

The Turkish Kangal can get along with other pets if they have grown up together but it’s best to avoid contact with smaller animals. Kangals are naturally territorial which means they can be difficult around dogs they are unfamiliar with. Turkish Kangals are known for being excellent companions and are great with children. The breed tends to be better suited to families with older children. When it comes to strangers, Turkish Kangals are wary and will be protective of their family if it is necessary. 

Do Turkish Kangal dogs get along with other pets? It’s best to keep them away from cats or smaller animals. 

Do Turkish Kangal dogs get along with other dogs? Yes, although they can be territorial around dogs they don’t know, so socialisation is important.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs good with kids? Yes (4/5).

Are Turkish Kangal dogs good with strangers? They are wary of strangers so will keep their distance and bark. 

Lifestyle Suitability

Turkish Kangals are wonderful family dogs but they do need the care, training and handling of experienced owners. As the breed is large, intelligent and high-energy they can become a handful if not well trained. The Turkish Kangal is better suited to a house in the countryside where they have access to a large, secure garden. Kangals tend to be happy alone as they like to keep watch, they don’t tend to bark unless they are on alert. Due to the thick double coat of the Turkish Kangal, care needs to be taken in very hot weather as they can overheat and shouldn’t be exercised during the hotter part of the day. 

Are Turkish Kangal dogs good for first-time owners? No, they need owners who are experienced and are familiar with large, intelligent dogs. 

Are Turkish Kangal dogs hypoallergenic? No.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs prone to drooling? No. 

Are Turkish Kangal dogs a good breed for apartment living? No, this is a large breed that needs space and access to a secure garden. 

Do  Turkish Kangal dogs shed a lot? Moderately. 

Do  Turkish Kangal dogs bark a lot? No. 

Can Turkish Kangal dogs be left alone at home? Yes, they can tolerate periods alone.

Can Turkish Kangal dogs handle the heat? No, they have double coats and can overheat quickly.

Can Turkish Kangal dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes.

Are Turkish Kangal dogs sensitive to loud noises? No. 

General Health & Health Issues

Turkish Kangals have an average life expectancy of 12 - 15 years. Kangals are generally known as a healthy, robust breed. Turkish Kangals have been carefully bred which means they don’t seem to suffer from hereditary health issues. Due to the large size of the Turkish Kangal, they are more prone to developing hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. 

How long do Turkish Kangal dogs live? - 12 - 15 years

Exercise & Play Time

Turkish Kangals are energetic dogs that enjoy being outside. Traditionally, these dogs would live outside as they would be guarding flocks. While Turkish Kangals are happy to live inside and be in a family environment, they need daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. A long, interesting walk with as much time off lead as possible is best for a Turkish Kangal. Calm, countryside walks are best for Kangals as they can be territorial and off with dogs they don’t know. Turkish Kangals should only be taken off the lead where it is safe and secure.  

How much exercise does a Turkish Kangal dog need? At least 1 hour per day

Do Turkish Kangal dogs like water play? Water can be good to help Kangals cool down during hot weather. 

Nutrition & Feeding

Turkish Kangals need to be fed high-quality dry food that is formulated for large dog breeds. Their large size means they require more nutrient-dense food and larger amounts of it too. Turkish Kangals can vary quite considerably in size and activity level which means it’s difficult to put an estimate on the amount of food they require. As every dog is unique it is important to have a personal dietary plan made. 

Are Turkish Kangal dogs prone to weight gain? No. 

How much should I feed a Turkish Kangal puppy? Measure out their kibble based on their age and build, the food should be split into 3-4 portions. 

How much should I feed an adult Turkish Kangal dog? Feed adult Kangals high-quality dry food, the amount needs to be based on their weight and activity level. 

Care & Maintenance

Grooming: The double coat of the Turkish Kangal is short and low maintenance. It’s best to brush Kangals every week to keep their coat in good condition. Turkish Kangals shed throughout the year and this increases in Spring and Autumn so more frequent grooming can help keep this under control. In addition to brushing, it’s important to check and clean their ears regularly to help prevent infections. Keep an eye on their teeth and nails too.

Emotional Care: Turkish Kangals are large, high energy dogs that need regular walks or runs. As Kangals are highly intelligent they enjoy learning new tricks, playing games or participating in challenges such as an obstacle course. Turkish Kangals can be left alone for periods but they get bored quickly if left inside and not walked enough, this can lead to destructive behaviour and barking to relieve frustration. This breed needs access to a secure outside area where they can play and burn off energy in between walks. 

History of the Turkish Kangal

The Turkish Kangal is an ancient dog breed that has a reputation for being a talented guard dog in Turkey. The origins are unclear but they are believed to originate from the Kangal District of Sivas Province in Central Turkey. The Turkish Kangal could be a descendant of early Mastiff-type breeds and is believed to be related to the English Mastiff, Rottweiler and Boxer breeds. 

The Turkish Kangal is the national dog of Turkey. The breed can even be found on stamps and coins. Turkish Kangals gained a reputation in Africa too as they have been used in Namibia and South Africa to help farmers protect livestock from predators. Turkish Kangals were first introduced to the UK in the 1960s but are still only seen in low numbers in the country. 

Interesting Facts About Turkish Kangal Dogs

  • The Turkish Kangal is a famous Turkish sheepdog breed

  • Turkish Kangals are used by the Cheetah Conservation Fund to help protect livestock in Africa.

  • Turkish Kangals have been featured on at least two Turkish stamps and one Turkish coin. 

  • This breed is a popular family pet. 

Getting a Turkish Kangal Puppy

Turkish Kangals are beautiful dogs that are increasing in popularity in the UK. If you would like to bring a dog into your family, take a look at our buying guide for information on finding and buying a puppy. Turkish Kangal puppies cost a lot to buy so be careful of scams and never pay a deposit for a dog you haven’t seen. To help in your search all breeders on Puppies have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. Take a look at our Turkish Kangal page to find puppies available in your area. 

How much does a Turkish Kangal cost to buy? - £1,800 - £2,500

How much does a Turkish Kangal cost to feed? - £50 - £65 per month.

How much does insurance for a Turkish Kangal cost? £70 per month.

An alternative option is to adopt a Turkish Kangal. Below is a list of associations that can help you rehome a Kangal: 

Speak to Karas Rescue about rehoming a Turkish Kangal 

Rehome a Turkish Kangal with the Dogs Trust