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Kangal Mastiff Dog Breed Information: Temperament, Physical Needs, Health, and Pictures

Kangal Mastiff -
Kangal Mastiff

The Kangal Mastiff is a magnificent, muscular, powerful, and strong livestock leader native to the Kangal district in Sivas, Turkey. Also, they are closely related to the Anatolian feral dog, Turkish greyhound, and Akbash dog.

A well-grown Kangal looks massive and robust. The Kangal mastiff considers anything entrusted to them to be a flock. Among all dogs, Kangal has the strongest bite force (746 PSI). As a result, they were used to protect livestock, such as sheep and goats, from predators like wolves, bears, and jackals. They are well-known as long-distance travelers because they have been roaming the mountains with sheep. Especially compared to their body weight and height, their agility and speed are quite impressive. Kangal mastiffs can easily run 50 kilometers within an hour.

This colossal companion despises sitting still. Kangal dogs are hyperactive by nature and enjoy working. Kangal dogs are incredibly brave and protective. As a result, they crave responsibility or jobs that require them to protect someone or something.


The majority of Kangal owners raise them to feed their livestock. As expected, Kangal does their job efficiently, even putting their lives at stake. More importantly, these amazing buddies take care of everything and everyone that they consider livestock. So Kangal mastiff is a wonderful companion with protective nature.

As a Kangal owner, you need to take care of a few things while raising them. Keep in mind that Kangal dogs, as leaders, dominate the livestock. So, they will try to dominate you as well. Therefore, you need to give some training sessions to Kangal and let him know humans, my family, or my owner are not livestock. So, you need to remove the opinion that “I am the leader” from their mind.

Don’t worry, this can easily be fixed. Just need to have certain obedient lessons to brainwash your dog.

Kangal mastiffs are hyperactive and full of energy. They don’t like to trap in small places. Kangal mastiffs are not destructive by nature, but if they feel isolated, their destructive nature will appear. So provide them plenty of space to be active and release energy.

Be careful, a Kangal mastiff can act calm even if it feels threatened. They silently and calmly wait for the right time. This makes the prey off guard and may result in a sudden assault from the Kangal dog. Kangal mastiffs couldn’t be predicted.

If you can take challenges, then this strong, massive, and protective giant can easily become your wonderful life companion.

What does Kangal Mastiff look like?

Physical characteristics

Face :

The most significant feature of the Kangal mastiff is the black mask on the face. Also, it’s called a “Melanistic mask”. The hair color on the face is different (black) from the body. So it looks like they wearing a black facial mask. Its muzzle stands out slightly to incorporate its face.

Kangal mastiff has a large head compared to its body. The skull of the Kangal dog is slightly doomed-shaped and gradually become wider at the back of the head. On the front side, the skulls gradually widen to include its muzzle.

Also, Kangal dogs don’t have abrupt corners in facial structure. So their faces are smoothly shaped. The Upper and the lower jaws are the approximately same size. The cheek of the Kangal mastiff looks flatter. Indeed, its lips area is padded and tightened. Furthermore, Kangal dog has a complete set of evenly spaced strong teeth for food formulation.

Eyes :

They have small round-shaped eyes in brownish tones. The eye rims must be tight and black in color. If eye rims seem to be lacking the color or are pale, then it must be a serious problem. You must take veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Ears :

The ears are triangular-shaped and end with soft edges. If you pull them toward the front, they should be long enough to cover the dog’s eyes. When Kangal mastiffs are alert, they hold their ears higher to pick up on brief sounds. Furthermore, the color of the ears may be black or darker shades than the body color.

Also, you can find cropped-ear Kanagal Mastiffs as well.

Neck :

Kangal dogs have moderately long neck that is slightly bent toward the front. Also, it is powerful and muscular. However, some Kangal dogs have thick necks as well. But, it is not considered a disqualification as a breed unless it is short and narrow.

Legs :

The forelegs and hind legs reflect the power of the Kangal dog. Both legs endure every inch of the body and keep their balance. The forelegs are larger and stronger than the hind legs. In addition, the hind legs are parallel to each other but slightly angled at the hip. Both legs are well-boned to serve as guardian dogs.

When it comes to feet, the Kangal mastiff has large, flat feet. Since the forelegs are bigger than the hind legs, the front feet are slightly bigger than the hind ones. You can find paws in both rounded and oval shapes. Dewclaws may or may not be present at times. Normally, you can find white, black, or mixed-color nails.

Tail :

Kangal mastiffs have long tails. On average, most parts are curled and a bit bushy at the tip area. The color of the tail is the same as the coat color, but the end area can be a little bit darker. When they become alert or turn into attack mode tail is tightly curled. Also, it may bend towards one side.


Kangal dog coat is

“Melanistic mask”: Black or Darker shade
Coat Color: Brown tones, Earthy tones, or Gray
Coat Type: Double coat that is thick and dense

Is Kangal Mastiff a good family dog?

A big yes! They are loyal and hardworking family dogs. Also, they loved to be around the children. This giant buddy can play well with children without hurting them. That’s why Kangal mastiff considers perfect companions for families with children. Indeed, with a Kangal dog, you can give great companionship to your children as well as the guardian.

Please be noted: most dogs think they are leaders. So you need to give proper training to your dog so that it respects human authority.

Is Kangal mastiff good for apartment living?

No!! They are not suitable for apartment living. Generally, Kangal puppies are larger than the other puppies. Also, they grow up very quickly, and when they become they become massive and giant.  Therefore it’s necessary to provide plenty of space according to their size.

On the other hand, Kangal dogs are known as hyperactive dogs. They don’t want to sit around and waste time. If Kangal dogs didn’t occupy some job, there are tend to be destructive.

Kangal mastiffs are noisy beasts. Since they are livestock guardian dogs, they are sensitive to even small sounds.  Especially at night, there is a high chance of barking and howling. If so, they’re going to ruin your neighbor’s peaceful nights. This can be expected until your dog settles down, and over time, this kind of habit will fade away. But remember, they are not a good choice for apartment living.

Can Kangal Mastiff live with other pets?

Yes, they can, if they grow up together from puppyhood. But remember Kangal mastiffs are highly pre-drive dogs. It means they chaise whatever feels like a threat. If Kangal mastiffs were not social enough then the Animals that don’t familiar with them may be in danger.

Kangal Mastiff Male vs. Female

Both Male and Female Kangal show their protective nature without any difference. But Male Kangal dogs show an aggressive temperament than female dogs. Also, female Kangal can easily train compared to male Kangal.

Some people say female Kangal are more loyal and affectionate than male Kangal. The other advantage is female Kangal can do reproduction.

It should be noted, that there are no huge advantages or disadvantages to raising female or male Kangal.

Kangal Mastiff Height, Weight, And Life Span

The body height and weight slightly become different according to the geographical changes.

Turkey /US Kangal dog

Male30-34 In50 – 60 kg
Female30 – 31 In40 – 50 kg

US Kangal Mastiff Identical to Turkey Kangal breed.

UK Kangal Dog

Male30 – 32 In50 – 66kg
Female29 -30 In40 – 50kg

Life Span

Life Span – 10 – 12yrs

Characteristics that do not impact identifying Kangal mastiff

  • White spot on chest
  • White spot on chin or toes
  • Darker coat on the chest and the legs
  • Cropped ears

The above characteristics have no impact on its disqualification as a breed.

Features that make Kangal Mastiff disqualified as a breed

  • Kangal dog with a small or narrow head
  • Dog with too small or too flat skull
  • Having a short, narrow, and heavy neck
  • Mixed colored coat on the body
  • The tail must be in the absolute center without dislocating toward one hip
  • White color spot on the face
  • Completely cover with the solid black color coat
  • Fully covered with the chocolate color coat

How to feed Kangal Mastiff?

How to feed Kangal Mastiff-

For puppies, 10% of the puppies’ body weight was presented. They need to be fed smaller portions of food 3–4 times a day until they are at least 1 year old. Be sure to provide a quality source of protein such as chicken, beef, fish (small fish), lamb, turkey, etc.

2-3% of their present body weight for adult dogs. Be careful to avoid foods that contain a high percentage of grains and fillers. Look for foods that contain high-quality meat protein in high percentages.



Kangal dogs have a double coat, which helps to keep the body warm and also protects them from bites from other animals. The undercoat is dense and short. The overcoat has long hair and rough hair. Kangal dogs shed their coats twice a year. In the summer month, they shed heavily.

It is better to brush Kangal dog hair twice a week. Besides, brushing the coat also helps to improve blood circulation and hair growth.


Since Kangal dogs are active naturally their nail gets damaged. But If your Kangal dog almost lives with you inside the house then you need to trim the nails at least once a month. Generally, it is better to use a trimmer rather than a nail clipper.


Kangal mastiffs don’t need frequent baths. Bathing once a month is sufficient.

Is Kangal Mastiff needs exercises?

The amount of exercise depends on stamina and age. An adult healthy dog needs approximately two hours of exercise. Walking is the better exercise for Kangal mastiff it should be a full package of a brisk walk, slow walk, Jog, and run.

During the walk time, you must be the leader who guides the walk, not your dog. This is the best time to establish leadership over your Kangal Mastiff. In addition, you can take advantage of walking to socialize with other people. But remember, never get too close to them, and always approach them directly.

Can Kangal Mastiff Tolerate Weather Changes?

Yes! They can easily adapt to weather changes. The thick and dense double coat helps to adjust to cold weather without any problem. In the cold weather, Kangal mastiffs are likely to grow hair.

In the summer, they shed heavily, which helps keep the body temperature optimal.

Therefore Kangal Mastiff is capable enough to tolerate both hot and cold weather without any problem.

Is Kangal Mastiff Social?

Fortunately, Kangal mastiffs are naturally social and friendly dogs.

Any dog that is not exposed to strangers, other pets, unfamiliar sounds, or different places has the potential to be nervous or may even be fearful. If not, they may become shy and suspicious. These things have the same effect on the Kangal dogs.

Once your Kangal puppy has received all of its vaccines, you can take it to a dog park and other public places to meet other pets and people. But here you need to pay closer attention to your puppy because it may be overwhelmed by too many other dogs, or get overly excited, stressed, or nervous. In this kind of situation, it is your job to protect your puppy.

However, if they show aggression toward other dogs or strangers, you must take calm discipline action. If not, it will be a big issue and a waste of effort to promote socialization.

When it comes to humans, you need to introduce humans of different ages and sizes. Since Kangal puppies are so sensitive, be sure they don’t experience rough play, squeals at them, or high-pitched voices. Also, explain to children that Kangal dogs are very strong and they need to behave calmly and gently with them.


Kangal mastiffs are well-known for being intelligent self-trainers. After a few corrective actions, they definitely obeyed your commands and put them into action. Remember they easily get bored with typical dog games. They love to play target-oriented games.

During the training, never hit or punish your dog. Avoid using high-pitched tones in particular. This will frighten your puppy and cause him to lose respect for you.  

Use gentle discipline sounds to command them. Short and sharp sounds easily get the attention of the Kangal puppy. For example, basic words such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “eat” are easily learned. Also, use hand signals because, whatever the language you use, it is a very easy way to understand your command for the Kangal dog.

When they do a good job, never hesitate to praise them and give them their favorite treat at the end of the training.

Advantages and Disadvantages of having Kangal Mastiff


1. Nurturing behavior

Whatever Kangal Mastiff considers as a flock received utmost care.

2. Good with kids and family:

Most of the large breeds don’t go well with children. Fortunately, Kangal dogs are not like that. They consider the children as their flocks. But please note that this can be changed with strangers. A proper introduction is needed at the beginning.

3. The ideal dog for rough places

Looking at their history, they have always lived in open, wild areas with their flocks. As a result, they can easily adapt to rough terrain.

4. Intelligent Guardians

When two Kangal mastiffs work together; they divide the area and cover it. Also, they shift to the patrol area. Besides, Kangal dogs are not quick attackers, they wait for the right time, observe, and cover the territory.

5. Have an impressive lifespan

Kangal mastiffs are long-lasting life companions. Most large dogs couldn’t make it for at least 10 years. But Kangal can live 10 – 12 years without any problem.

6. More powerful than other large dogs

Kangal dogs exhibit more power and strength than other large dogs. Their jaw strength and pulling ability are more impressive.

7. More active

When you have a Kangal dog you can keep aside all your worries because Kangal can charge in your properties.

8. Ability to fight threats

As mentioned earlier, Kangal dogs do not like to shed blood. They begin by warning against the threats by barking and howling. But if it is vain, Kangal does not wait anymore and turns into attack mode. If Kangal sees any danger for its livestock after giving a warning, the fight will continue until the threat dies.


1. High maintenance cost:

Due to their massive size, the maintenance cost is higher than that of normal and small-size dogs. The diet and other necessities are usually very expensive. Therefore, if you don’t have enough finances, it will be harder to maintain the Kangal dog.

2. Kangal dogs are extremely powerful and wild creatures.

They are independent thinkers. Besides, they know how strong they are. To avoid the Kangal Mastiff’s wild nature, owners must provide adequate training sessions beginning with the puppy stage. If not, this strong and wild dog tends to be uncontrollable.

3. Night-time barking and howling

By nature, Kangal dogs are more active at night. It should be noted that they are very sensitive to small sounds. Even a few small leaves could wake up a dog in the middle of the night. So be sure you and your neighbors can tolerate these behaviors. But this behavior can be put under control with proper training.

4. Born to be a leader

Every Kangal is born to be a leader for their livestock. So their dominant nature and Alpha characteristics may appear within the family. Without any doubt, you need to establish ownership at the very beginning. Kangal mastiff must comprehend its exact place within the family. Importantly, as a Kangal owner, show your supremacy over your dog.

5. Early socialization efforts are required

because Kangal dogs have the potential to be aggressive. They show more aggressiveness when they consider someone or something “foreign.”. So it is your responsibility to socialize them from the very beginning.

6. Prone to have health issues

Kangal mastiffs are outdoor dogs. They are always occupied with outdoor activities. As a result, they are susceptible to health issues such as fleas and heartworms.

If you survive with a Kangal dog in the first few years successfully, then the remaining years will be surprisingly rewarding. People who raised Kangal will definitely look for another Kangal dog in their lifetime.


Kangal dog is a devotee, and they have a tendency to adopt your needs. They are very intelligent and sensitive; therefore, there is no doubt they can be impressive companions. More importantly, the Kangal mastiff has the ability to be a great family member. This massive dog breed loves to cuddle but is also equally ferocious toward its enemies.

Considering your above requirements, you can select this wonderful buddy to be in your life. Trust me, it is best to have a Kangal dog in your lifetime.

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