Kangal or Anatolian?

I continually receive enquiries for Kangal Puppies.    I only breed registered Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.

“But they look the same!”  “Aren’t they the same breed of dog?”

For many years, I’ve answered that yes, in my humble opinion, all the dogs in Australia are Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and there is no tangible difference in appearance, genetics or even relations between so-called Kangals and Anatolians.  Additionally, they are all registered under the one umbrella name, Coban Kobegi or Anatolian Shepherd Dog in English, both here and in most of the FCI conforming countries around the world.

If you’re Turkish or just like the name, you call your dog a Kangal and the rest of us just call them Anatolians!

However, in recent times, that situation has changed in Australia.

The Turkish Kennel Club (KIF) has been accepted as an Associate Member of the FCI, the international governing body for many of the Kennel Clubs around the world, including the Australian National Kennel Club (ANKC).

The Turkish Kennel Club have  gone on to develop a standard specific to the Kangal Dog and have been issuing pedigrees to dogs which apparently abide by this standard, within Turkey.   This standard varies considerably to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog standard in size, colours, head structures, etc.

You can read the KIF Kangal Standard here.

The Turkish Kennel Club wish to establish the Kangal Dog as a breed separate and distinct from what they consider to be something of a mongrel mix of Turkish working dogs created by Westerners that make up the Anatolian Shepherds around the world.   And indeed Coban Kopegi in Turkey and around the world tolerates a wide variety of type, coat and colour.

Naturally, many long time breeders of Anatolians around the world who considered themselves really true Kangal breeders have taken exception to this stand and also taken exception to the KIF Standard!   Personally, it doesn’t bother me overly as I have always been the owner and breeder of Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and I’m quite happy with the name and standard for the Anatolian Shepherd Dog!   The tragedy though is that all these divisions simply make the gene pool smaller and smaller and this is never a good thing for the long term health and viability of any species.

However, since Turkey is the country of origin of the Kangal Dog and since they now have an organised Kennel Club (KIF) and a Standard that potentially will be considered by the FCI, we do now have, at the least the beginnings of, a formal separate breed called a Kangal Dog.

Here in Australia, some keen fanciers of what is considered to be this true version of a Kangal dog have imported Kangal dogs on KIF (Turkish) pedigrees into Australia since 2014.

The first of these imports (namely Aust Ch BC’Dan Dortgoz Tribocie) was registered in Australia as an Anatolian Shepherd Dog.  However, imports since then were not initially registered at all, as the name “Anatolian” is somewhat offensive to keen Kangal fanciers.  So all the dogs remained unregistered for the first two years and one litter was produced in 2016 which was therefore also not able to be registered.

Since the dogs were bred by a ANKC Registered Breeder and were heavily advertised to the public as “registered”, even though at the time of advertising the pups, they were not registered nor even registerable (therefore apparenlty fraudulent advertising) action by some of the disgruntled puppy buyers has resulted in two KIF Kangal dogs (the advertised parents) being registered with DogsVic in March 2017 and the 2016 litter then back registered as Anatolian Shepherd Dogs – not Kangal Dogs.

The other imported Kangal dogs in Australia remain unregistered with the ANKC.

It remains to be seen, at the time of writing, if these remaining dogs and then their offspring will be formally registered as Kangal dogs under ANKC, or as Anatolians or if the fanciers and promoters of the Kangal will breed off register and promote their breed separately from ANKC.

At the moment, FCI has not formally accepted the name or breed, Kangal, and thus ANKC in Australia is under no obligation to do so.   However, I imagine that FCI will eventually accept Kangal as a separate breed, now that the Turkish Kennel Club has become more formalised.

So in the past, if you’d asked me if I breed Kangal dogs, I would have said, “No I breed Anatolians but I believe in Australia they are all the same”.  But now, this is no longer true.

Kangal dogs are now a formally recognised breed, albeit not registerable as such as yet in Australia, and entirely separate from Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.  Unless of course the importer chooses to register the Kangal as an Anatolian – in which case they magically become Anatolian – confused?  Yes, it’s a mess.

Therefore, if you are of Turkish origin and feel strongly the need to have a Kangal dog, then I’m not the breeder you’re looking for, but a quick google will find what you want!

Be warned though, that at the time of writing (2o17), you will NOT receive Kangal registration papers for your Kangal puppies.  Breeders that currently are claiming to be selling registered Kangal puppies appear to be advertising fraudulently.  Do your homework before you part with your cash.