Cattle guard dogs breed Turkish pride

AP PHOTOS: Cattle guard dogs breed Turkish pride

March 3, 2021 GMT

SIVAS, Turkey (AP) – For 30 years, Huseyin Yildiz has raised powerful sheepdogs in Turkey’s central Anatolian province of Sivas, home to Kangal canines who tend livestock and are a source of pride for the country.

However, the breed of animal that Turkey considers the national dog is fighting for international recognition. The UK Kennel Club lists Turkish Kangal dogs as a distinct breed identified by their dark muzzle and ears. In other parts of the western world, the Kangals are still listed with similar breeds from the region as Anatolian sheepdogs.

Its origin in the Kangal district of Sivas dates back thousands of years, although concrete evidence is scarce. Yildiz, 50, describes herd keepers as “Anatolian lions.”

“The Kangal dog is the ancient legacy of Anatolia,” he told The Associated Press. “He is fast, fast, agile, agile, strong and intelligent. At the same time, it has a wolf-like appearance that distinguishes it from other dog breeds. “

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While the short-haired, large-skull creatures are primarily used to guard herds of cattle, Yildiz says they are also used for personal protection – kangals are known to have one of the strongest bites of any dog.

At his farm 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of Turkey’s capital Ankara, Yildiz says he keeps the male dogs separate at all times because they will fight each other to the death.

He currently has 67 purebred Kangal sheepdogs on the farm, but Yildiz says he has bred more than 500 dogs in three decades and sold most of them. He has also donated dogs to the Turkish military and police forces.


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