Anatolian World

Pure Kangal breeding?

Claims have been made over and over again to support the pure breeding status of the Kangal, let’s take a look at some documented facts

– do the FACTS support this view?

At the Turkish Symposium, the pedigree issues which follow are among the many things "conveniently" not mentioned at the Turkish University. These are things which still remain unmentioned on any 'debates' or discussion regarding 'purity issues'.

Dogs used in the 'Kangal' breeding programs around the world seem to illustrate that when specific qualities such as color are most important, health and the size of the dogs seems to decrease over time. Just as has happened in certain other purebred breeding programs.

A well known British 'Kangal' breeder - Judy Chappel, said the following about Anatolian Shepherd Dogs:

"… Willis then goes on to write about cross-breeding, which is what a number of Kangal/Karabash people consider has been going on with these dogs - certainly true if Mektup is in the lines …"

Dr. Malcolm B. Willis is the world's leading expert on dog genetics. He firmly believes that the Turkish Coban Köpegi -- the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is ONE breed.

Hisar Mektup of Obruk was the founder bitch of Hisar Anatolians (Natalka Czartoryska), a striking pinto who was imported from Turkey in 1974. Many Karabash/Kangals in both UK and Australia have Mektup in their lines, so by Mrs Chappel's definition, all of these dogs are 'crossbreds', not pure Kangals, yet rather than start with the 'real' thing, if it exists, instead she and her ilk denigrate the breed. It might not be so confusing if perhaps they did have a different breed altogether. But their dogs are registered as "Anatolian Shepherd Dogs".

Not every dog in the UK Kangal-breeding schemes has Mektup in their lines, yet initiates in the breed are told that the blame for "impurities" in the lines can be placed squarely on Mektup! By studying pedigrees it becomes clear that many Australian Kangals trace back to three sets of imports from Turkey to the UK -- and these occurred TEN years before Natalka was on the scene! So how can Natalka or Mektup be blamed for those dogs producing non-Kangal-looking progeny?

Definition of a pure Kangal?

I think everyone agrees that the Turkish shepherds and the villagers in Sivas are not nearly as strict about how a pure Kangal looks compared to that show dog ideal invented by Westerners. The Western definition of a Kangal is much more limited than the reality in Turkey. Kangals in Turkey have no written multi-generation pedigree. Furthermore, we know that the Western-bred Kangals, quite regularly, do NOT breed true to their standard.

We cannot define a "pure Kangal" by its pedigree. And we certainly can't define a "pure Kangal" by its looks. Take a look at Asil (or Aktif, or Aslan at Kiramet website), he looks a lot like a pure Kangal, right? Correct coat, solid fawn colour with black mask, conformation, size, tail - everything is there. But he is from Hisar lines so by Judy's own definition, he can't be a Kangal.

Some Kangal breeders claim that Natalka Czartoryska "had to use Kangal dogs to preserve the type". Perhaps these people refer to Anadol Yali of Hisar as being the Kangal in Hisar lines, and yes - he can be found in Asil's pedigree. But is he really pure? Look at some evidence: he has produced all white puppies (example: see Yandik) so, by their own definition of their breed, he could not have been a Kangal! The Turkish ancestors in Asil's pedigree include Akkus (white) & Mektup (pinto) on maternal side, and Tarkan (rough coated red) & Gülperi (white) on paternal side. Definitely no Kangals in Asil's pedigree.

[ HUMOR: Some of us examining the various spurious claims by 'splitters' see the frequently used term: "Straw Man" used to describe "logical argument" where a composite person is invented who theoretically fulfills the need for a scapegoat. . Oddly enough, this doesn't prevent them from also inventing a "Straw Dog" argument  to explain the occurance of those Anatolians which more closely match their idea 'kangal'.]

Sue Kocher - a self-appointed kangal expert - claims that Tuzlaya Rezil "obviously has considerable Kangal bloodlines". Really? Tuzlaya Rezil was sired by the all white Hisar Yandik X the rough coated Hisar Karyola. Hisar Yandik's sire was Anadol Yali of Hisar. Coming from one of the main kangal/karabash breeders in UK Yali could have been the only possible 'kangal' in Rezil's pedigree, but - as proven before - knowing what Yali produced, that claim is rather absurd.

By pedigree analysis: It seems pretty clear that the kangal/karabash breeders didn't need any help from Natalka to 'muddy' their kangal bloodlines. Their 'kangal bloodlines' have always been genetically capable of producing non-kangal looking progeny.

The criteria for a 'pure bred Kangal dog' provides the assumption - purity comes from the Sivas area.

But, does it?

Let's take a look at generations of Sivas origin dogs: Tuzlali Remzo was out of Hisar Yandik who was out of Anadol Yali who was out of Capar of Anadol. Capar's parents in Turkey, are recorded as Sivas Kanyak X Sivas Seker! Yali was fawn, Yandik white, and Remzo fawn.

Whilst the Kangal breeders were all covering up what was being produced (by either culling or sending them abroad) Natalka was honestly saying what was being produced. Her fight was for the right for these dogs to live, despite their colour - for the possible good genes they might carry for the benefit of wide and healthy genepool.


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