Monday, November 21, 2011
The Kangal Dog
I can't have a dog (allergies), but I've always admired the Kangal.
This Turkish breed hails from Kangal, near Sivas, way out in Anatolia. It's a type of mastiff, a working class shephard dog, sometimes known as the çoban köpek. (There are other breeds that fall under this name too).
A pair of Kangals stays with a flock of sheep and almost blends in, except for the curled up tails. Wolves, wildcats and bears are no match for it. Owners outfit the dog with a formidable spiked collar and at 30 miles per hour, it's been trained in some countries to guard against cheetahs.
Puppies are so cute with their dark muzzles and ears, but at a height of 30 inches high (at the shoulder) and about 130 lb, this is a dog that requires an enormous backyard. If I had a farm, I'd want one, otherwise it would be cruel punishment for the dog to stay cooped up on my minuscule acreage.
Kangal dogs are the national breed of Turkey.