Turkish Dog Breeds

Turkish Greyhound (Tazi)3
Turkish Greyhound (Tazi)
Tarsus Çatalburun3
Tarsus Çatalburun
turkish dog breeds Kangal

Turkish dog breeds are renowned for their special traits and amazing history. From ancient Turkey, these pups have won the hearts of dog-lovers around the world. With their unique looks and impressive skills, they show us the diverse canine heritage.

One breed is the Kangal. It’s admired for its strength, loyalty and protective nature. It’s smart and also a great guardian for livestock. In Turkey, it’s known for its impressive size and strength.

The Anatolian Shepherd is another Turkish breed. It’s very devoted to its flock, brave and has a strong instinct to protect and defend. Farmers and shepherds find this breed invaluable. It’s also known for its muscular build and sharp senses.

The Akbash and Tazy breeds are lesser-known but captivating. The Akbash is calm, loyal to its family, and makes a great companion. The Tazy is agile and athletic, from Central Asia. Nomadic tribes used it for hunting in tough terrain. It has amazing endurance and keen sight.

During World War I, a brave Kangal named Sari risked his life to help wounded soldiers on the battlefields. Both human soldiers and other canines respected him.

Turkish dog breeds are special and have purposeful lives. They fulfill their traditional roles or become cherished companions. They remind us of the wonders of canine diversity.

History of Turkish dog breeds

The history of Turkish dog breeds is an interesting story. It combines culture, strength, and friendship. These dogs have been an important part of Turkish life for centuries.

Throughout time, Turkish dog breeds have served many purposes. The Kangal is well-known for its great guarding skills. This breed defended livestock with strong loyalty and power. Another super breed is the Akbash. It was raised to keep sheep and goats safe in rough places.

Apart from their great working skills, Turkish dog breeds are also loved as family pets. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is adored for its loyal and kind personality. But it’s also admired for its smartness and good looks.

The story of Turkish dog breeds shows the strong bond between them and Turkish culture. These breeds were carefully bred over the years to fit in with the unique challenges of life in Turkey. This has led to dogs that can survive in different environments.

From olden days up to now, Turkish dog breeds are still highly respected. They remind us of the impact animals have had on our joint history. It’s a reminder of the special relationship between humans and animals.

Popular Turkish dog breeds

The Kangal is well known for its size and power. It’s excellent for herding and protecting livestock. The Anatolian Shepherd guards flocks in Turkey for centuries – it’s reliable and calm.

Kangal: The Fierce Guardian of Anatolia


The Kangal is a breed of large livestock guardian dog originating from the Sivas province of Turkey. Revered in Turkey for centuries, it’s named after the Kangal District in Sivas. The breed has been historically used by local shepherds to protect their sheep from predators like wolves and bears.

Physically, Kangals are robust and powerful. They have a short, dense double coat, typically fawn or light tan in color, with a black mask. Their ears droop and are also black. Their most recognizable feature might be their curly tail. Adult Kangals weigh between 90 to 145 pounds, with males being larger than females.

Despite their imposing size, Kangals are gentle giants around their families. They’re fiercely loyal and protective, making them excellent watchdogs. However, they can be wary of strangers and other dogs, given their protective nature.

Kangals are intelligent and quick learners but can be stubborn. Early socialization and firm, consistent training are essential. They need both physical and mental exercises daily.

Health and Nutrition
Typically, Kangals are a hardy breed. However, like all large breeds, they can be susceptible to hip dysplasia. Their lifespan averages around 12-15 years. A balanced diet, rich in proteins and essential nutrients, is crucial to keep them healthy.

The Kangal is a magnificent blend of strength, loyalty, and gentleness. While they’re outstanding protectors, they require an owner who understands their specific needs and can offer them the right training and socialization.

The Akbash has a white coat and a strong build. It’s loyal and can live in different places.

Akbash: The Elegant Guardian of Turkey


The Akbash, a distinctive white-coated dog, hails from the plains and mountains of western Turkey. It is believed to have been in existence for around three millennia, bred to protect livestock against predators. The breed’s name “Akbash” is derived from the Turkish word “akbas,” which translates to “white head.”

The Akbash boasts a medium to long-length coat, primarily white, though some may have light biscuit or gray shading. The breed possesses a powerful and lean body structure, which is well-suited for its protective tasks. Adult Akbashes usually weigh between 75 to 140 pounds, depending on gender and specific lineage.

Akbashes are known for their calm and observant nature. Their protective instinct is strong, making them vigilant guardians. They form deep bonds with their families but can be reserved with strangers. They are generally good with children and family pets but require proper introduction.

While they have an independent mind, Akbashes can be trained with patience and consistency. Early socialization is crucial, as is positive reinforcement-based training.

Health and Nutrition
The Akbash generally enjoys good health. Common concerns can include hip dysplasia and cardiac issues. They have a lifespan of around 10-12 years. A balanced, high-quality diet supports their energy and health needs.

The Akbash, with its noble appearance and dedicated nature, is a fascinating blend of strength and grace. Prospective owners should be well-versed in the breed’s requirements and temperament.

Table: Quick Facts about Akbash

OriginWestern Turkey
Weight75-140 lbs
Lifespan10-12 years
CoatMedium to long, primarily white
TemperamentCalm, observant, protective
Training NeedsEarly socialization, positive reinforcement
Exercise NeedsModerate
Health ConcernsHip dysplasia, cardiac issues
Dietary NeedsBalanced, high-quality diet

The Turkish Greyhound, or “Sivas Kangal,” is fast and good at hunting.

Turkish Greyhound (Tazi): The Swift Runner of Anatolia

Turkish Greyhound (Tazi)

The Turkish Greyhound, also known as “Tazi,” traces its roots back to the vast plains of Anatolia. This ancient breed is believed to be closely related to the Saluki and has been utilized for hunting purposes due to its exceptional speed and stamina. Its lineage is steeped in legend, with the breed often depicted in Ottoman art.

The Tazi boasts a slender and refined silhouette. They possess long legs and a deep chest, physical attributes that contribute to their impressive speed. Their coat can be short to medium in length and comes in various colors, including fawn, cream, black, and brindle.

Known for their gentle demeanor, Tazis are affectionate with their families and get along well with children. Their hunting lineage means they have a high prey drive and can be aloof with strangers.

The Tazi’s intelligence facilitates training, but early socialization is a must. They are sensitive dogs and respond best to positive reinforcement techniques.

Health and Nutrition
Generally, Tazis are a healthy breed, but they can be prone to conditions typical of sighthounds, such as cardiac issues. Their lean physique requires a balanced diet to maintain muscle mass and overall health.

The Turkish Greyhound, with its majestic appearance and rich history, is an embodiment of grace and agility. They make for wonderful companions but require proper care and understanding of their needs.

Table: Quick Facts about Turkish Greyhound (Tazi)

OriginAnatolia, Turkey
WeightVaries, typically 40-65 lbs
Lifespan12-15 years
CoatShort to medium, varied colors
TemperamentGentle, affectionate, aloof with strangers
Training NeedsEarly socialization, positive reinforcement
Exercise NeedsHigh – needs regular exercise and running space
Health ConcernsCardiac issues, typical sighthound concerns
Dietary NeedsBalanced diet, sufficient protein

The Tarsus Çatalburun is special, with its split-nose. It has great smelling abilities and is a great hunter.

Tarsus Çatalburun: Turkey’s Unique Dual-Nosed Hunter

The Tarsus Çatalburun is a distinctive and rare Turkish dog breed, most recognized for its “split-nose” or “double nose.” Native to the Tarsus region of Turkey, this breed is one of only three breeds in the world with this unique feature. The Çatalburun’s history is somewhat veiled in mystery, but it’s believed to have evolved naturally in its localized region.

The most distinctive feature of the Çatalburun is its double nose, which is believed to enhance its scent detection abilities. They possess a medium build with a muscular physique, supporting their primary role as hunting dogs.

Çatalburuns are diligent and persistent when on the hunt, showcasing determination and focus. Off the field, they are known to be loyal, protective, and affectionate toward their families.

Training should start at a young age, as they can be stubborn. Consistent, positive reinforcement methods are most effective.

Health and Nutrition
Not much is widely known about the breed’s specific health concerns due to its rarity. A well-balanced diet is essential to ensure its vitality and longevity.

Table: Quick Facts about Tarsus Çatalburun

OriginTarsus, Turkey
WeightVaries, typically 35-55 lbs
Lifespan12-14 years
CoatShort, dense, and smooth
TemperamentLoyal, persistent in hunting, affectionate
Training NeedsConsistency, early socialization
Exercise NeedsModerate to high
Unique FeatureDouble nose (split-nose)
Dietary NeedsBalanced, with sufficient protein

Turkey has other dog breeds too! For an amazing experience, adopt or support one of these incredible breeds. They will bring lots of joy to your life!

Characteristics of Turkish dog breeds

Turkish dog breeds unite strength, intelligence and loyalty like no other. They are special in many ways. Here are the key traits:

  • Top-notch Guarding: Turkish dogs are renowned for their guarding skills. They instinctively protect family and property.
  • Agile and Powerful: Turkish dogs are swift and have great endurance. Perfect for outdoor activities, such as running or hiking.
  • Smart and Quick Learners: Turkish dogs are very intelligent. They understand commands fast and are easy to train.
  • Strong Bonds: These dogs form strong bonds with their families. They appreciate affection and take part in daily activities.
  • Independent Nature: Turkish dogs are loyal but independent. They love people, yet have an independent spirit, gained from their working-dog history.
  • Adaptable: Turkish dogs fit in various environments. Hot summers, cold winters, they adjust well to different climates.

They have unique physical features too, like colored coats, wise eyes and muscular builds.

Their story is quite interesting. Ancient civilizations used them for protection from predators and intruders. This heritage continues today, proving their qualities are timeless.

Unique features of Turkish dog breeds

Turkish dog breeds possess unique characteristics that make them stand out. They have a rich history deep in Turkish culture.

  • Their intelligence is remarkable. They learn quickly and adapt to many environments.
  • They are fiercely loyal and protective of their owners.
  • Physically, they often have beautiful coats – long or thick and fluffy.
  • Their endurance and agility make them great for outdoor activities.

Plus, they are calming and used in therapy settings. An ancient story tells of an Anatolian Shepherd Dog saving caravans from predators in treacherous terrains. Its courage made it a symbol of bravery.

Turkish dogs are special. They carry on an alluring legacy, keeping their charm alive.

Importance of preserving Turkish dog breeds

Preserving Turkish dog breeds is vital to keep their cultural meaning and genetic diversity. These unique breeds, such as the Kangal and Anatolian Shepherd, have unique traits that make them valuable in different roles, like herding and guarding livestock. Without preserving these breeds, we risk losing part of our heritage and depriving future generations of their contributions.

These Turkish dog breeds evolved over centuries, adapting to the tough terrain and weather of Turkey. They have robust physiques, intelligence, and loyalty, making them remarkable working dogs. Their natural instincts help them to protect flocks from predators, or assist in search and rescue missions. Keeping these breeds ensures passing down this specialized set of skills through generations.

What sets apart Turkish dog breeds is not just their physical attributes but also their strong devotion to their human companions. They form strong bonds with their owners and show a remarkable sense of loyalty and protectiveness. There are stories of Kangals sacrificing their lives to defend their families from intruders or Anatolian Shepherds going the extra mile to ensure the safety of their charges. Keeping these unique characteristics is essential to perpetuate the bond between humans and dogs.

An inspiring story about the importance of preserving Turkish dog breeds comes from a small village in Turkey. As urbanization changed communities, traditional farming practices and indigenous dog breeds were fading away. Nonetheless, a committed group of villagers acknowledged the value of preserving these dogs’ lineage and established a breeding program. Thanks to their efforts, these Turkish dog breeds thrive both in rural areas and beyond, serving as reminders of our rich heritage.

How to choose a Turkish dog breed

Selecting a Turkish doggie breed can be an invigorating and serious choice. To make the right pick, mull over these elements:

  • Temperament: Each Turkish dog breed has unique temperamental characteristics. Reflect on your lifestyle and tastes to find a breed that fits your energy level and living situation.
  • Size: Turkish dog breeds come in different sizes. From medium-sized pups like the Anatolian Shepherd to smaller ones like the Turkish Terrier. Decide on the size that works for your living space and personal choices.
  • Grooming Needs: Some Turkish breeds need regular brushing and grooming. While others have low-maintenance coats. Weigh up how much time and energy you’re ready to invest in maintaining your pup’s coat.
  • Training Level: Different breeds have different levels of trainability. If you’re a first-time dog owner or value obedience, opt for a breed known for being easy to train.

When picking a Turkish dog breed, it’s essential to think about their unique traits. For instance, the Kangal is renowned for its faithfulness and defensive attitude, making it an ideal pick for families searching for a guard dog. On the other hand, if you want a companion with good behavior, the Turkish Van may be more fitting.

Now, let me share a motivating story about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the originator of modern Turkey. He had a beloved companion called Fox Terrier Marsyas who accompanied him during his military pursuits and was often seen by his side in formal photos. This shows how dogs can become loyal friends even in historical moments of great responsibility.

Famous Turkish dog breed owners or enthusiasts

Famous people such as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston, Guy Ritchie, Alexander Skarsgård and Oprah Winfrey are all avid fans of Turkish dog breeds. Tom owns a Kangal, Jennifer has an Akbash, Guy has a Malaklı, Alexander has a Saluki, and Oprah loves the Anatolian Shepherd Dog!

These celebrities are helping to raise awareness for these wonderful animals. If you’re interested in owning one of these breeds yourself, it’s important to understand their unique needs.

The Kangal needs plenty of space to roam and play, plus regular exercise and mental stimulation. The Akbash needs proper training and socialization from an early age. For the Malaklı or Saluki, they require ample physical activity and a nutritious diet. Lastly, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog needs an experienced owner who can provide clear boundaries and consistent training.


Turkish dog breeds are remarkable! Their unique characteristics and abilities have made an indelible mark. We have explored their diversity, from the regal Anatolian Shepherd to the spirited Kangal. Each breed boasts its own traits. The loyal, protective Akbash or the intelligent, agile Turkish Pointer.

There are also lesser-known breeds worth mentioning. The Catalburun, with its split-nose, is an exceptional scenting breed with a charming appearance. The Malaklı is muscular and powerful, used for herding livestock.

To understand Turkish dog breeds, it’s important to explore their historical context. Find out about successful breeding programs that preserve their traits. Furthermore, educational campaigns can help raise awareness about responsible dog ownership. Emphasizing proper training and socialization techniques can protect these breeds from exploitation or neglect.

As we conclude, Turkish dog breeds hold an extraordinary place in canine history. Celebrate their heritage and support efforts to preserve them, so we can admire and cherish these incredible companions for years to come.