Is the Anatolian Shepherd Dog the Same as the Kurdish Kangal?

Is the Anatolian Shepherd Dog the Same as the Kurdish Kangal?
January 5, 2019

If you’re wondering if the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is the Same as the Kurdish Kangal, you’re not alone, the differences (or lack of) is a hotly discussed topic between many breeders and fans of the breed, so it can hard to find a reliable answer to the question which should be fairly simple to answer. We’ve done all the hard work for you and concluded that they are definitely not the same. So, be wary of any breeder who tries to talk you into accepting the fact there are few differences between the breeds, we’ve highlighted the differences in the breed below.

 What’s the Difference?

 For anyone who has spent time around both breeds, it’s easy to see that there are more than just colour variations between the Anatolian Shepherd Dog from the West and the Kurdish Kangal which originated in Turkey. The differences are both physical and temperamental, also, the Kurdish Kangal has been around for a lot longer. For some, this is enough to set the Anatolian Shepherd Dogs as a mongrel by western standards. If you were wondering just how highly regarded the Kangal dogs are in Turkey, it is the only dog which is promoted and supported by the Turkish government. The rest of Europe are also starting to share the love of the breed after it has started to receive a reputable amount of popularity. Although after the breed started to become popular in other countries, that is when the bloodline of the breed started to become questionable, yet, breeding purists worked hard to ensure the bloodline was preserved. This is why Kangal dogs which have been bred in Turkey are often more sought after for their notable size, attractive appearance and stable temperament. Other notable qualities of the Kangal breed are its ability to kill wolves, and its resilience when running. The dogs also, boat some of the largest teeth compared to other dogs in the same region, which makes them the perfect choice for a shepherd wanting to protect his flock.

It is worth noting here that there are many sub-types and crosses of the Kangal breeds, which has resulted in slight variations such as darker fur, or brindle patterns appearing on the coats. There are also ivory cream Kangal dogs which do not have masks. Yet, no purists regard these Kangal dogs as true Kangal dogs who only deem the Sivas Kangals as the true form of the Kangal breed. The non-pure breed Kangal dogs have confused the similarity argument between the Anatolian Shepherd Dog and the Kangal breed, yet, it still doesn’t make the breeds the same. Physically, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is much leaner than the heavy statured Kangal breed which is the icon of agility, power and resilience.

2018 was a sad year to be an Anatolian Shepherd Dog, the FCI made it known that the breed would no longer be recognised by them as it is more of just a mongrel mix, which is a sentiment shared by Turkish breeders. But this doesn’t impact kennel registers all over the world, which means that the Anatolian Shepherd Dogs will still remain recognised in America and the UK.

It can cost over $20,000 to import a pure Kangal breed to America, USA and the UK, so beware of buying an Anatolian Shepherd Dog which is being sold as a pure breed Kangal.