Anatolian World

Pedigree Analysis of Kangal Dogs

The laymans' arguments supporting the splitting of the Çoban köpegi into different 'distinct' regional breeds are interesting. Newly devised and restrictive standards devised by Pan-European breed specialsts claim that the Kangal dog only appears in as a solid colored fawn, normally with a black mask

Here are typical claims:
"The Kangal dog is not a man-made breed."
"This dog has been bred pure for centuries."
"The head invariably has a black mask."
"The Kangal Dog is never white or spotted."
"Kangal dogs are never red."
"In Turkey, non-standard colors or patterns are indicators that the dog is not a purebred Kangal Dog."
"Disqualifications: Solid black, white, or chocolate colored dogs; dogs with piebald, brindle or other parti-colored patterns; white markings on the face other than the small white spot on the chin; albinism."
Typically, tourists ask leading questions and interpret the responses literally to suit.

Ray Coppinger and others have reported that when the opportunity to view whole litters before culling may occur, a native shepherd (of any country) might point out among the pups that only certain ones are preferred.

The colloquial cultural term term for 'pure' might be engaged to describe this   variation, especially when media pressures and local preferences influence social dogma.
Genetically, the outward appearance (phenotypes) of pups give lie to the relative 'purity' of the genes which their parents carry. Can usage of the word 'pure' be equated with genetic purity?

To further complicate the "tourist" point of view: pups in the same litter out of the same dam may possibly share the same sires (multiple sires are common with working dogs).

Tourists appear to have little understanding of genetics or perhaps they are overly simplistic.Apparently, their narrow views do not take into account cultural and genetic bases for generations of successful working dogs that predate kennel club eras.

Let's look at the evidence:

Pure Kangal breeding
Part I - A Pedigree Analysis of International Kangal pedigrees
Persistent claims even by those who have done NO pedigree analysis, have been made to support the "purebred" status of the Kangal. These supporters claim that the Kangal is the only pure Turkish livestock guardian dog. Let's see if documented kennel club pedigrees and the facts support this view. 
Part II  - Red and rough coated Kangals
If Kangal breeders are breeding dogs which are proven carriers of rough coat to others carrying the same or other disqualifications, such as coat color red, can Kangal breeders honestly claim that they are breeding 'pure' Kangals?
Part III - German & Australian Kangals’ pedigrees
Some pedigree notes and photos of Truvas Kangal puppies. Pure PINTO Kangals?
Part IV - Selective breeding
Since the seemingly pure lines of short coated solid fawn Kangals - even after generations of culling and selective breeding - still keep producing rough coats, particolours, reddish pups, "mismarks", -- doesn't it become reasonable to assume that these recessive traits are a part of the breed?
Part V - Inbreeding, small litters
Doubling, tripling, quadrupling the "precious" fawn dogs -- Is inbreeding the key to try and keep the Kangal looking like a Kangal?

A Geneticist speaks - Letter from Dr. Malcolm B. Willis


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