This study was performed to analyze data of some morphological characteristics of Kangal Dogs raised in various parts of Turkey. The data collected from 432 male and 303 female, total 735 dogs were examined at 3 different groups as sheep breeders, civil and official dog breeding farms. Collected data were analyzed for sex, coat colour, style of breeding, national and local regions using methods of ANOVA and Duncan. Descriptive statistics of body index, limb index, head index, face index, muzzle index, angle of front pawn, angle of rear pawn, angle of shoulder, and angle of haunch at Kangal Dogs were found as 89.2, 47.5, 46.7, 114.4, 41.1%; 21.8, 32.1, 106.9, 132º respectively. It could be concluded that the real examples of Turkish Kangal Shepherd Dogs could be found in a place where dogs raised by sheep breeders rather than raised at official or civil breeding farms.
According to latter studies, domestication of dog dated back 15.000 years before Christ. Some hunting dog images found in Province of Kars, County of Kagizman, Village of Calli dated 15.000 years ago that showed dog was the first animal prehistorically domesticated in the world (Belli 2006). Dog was believed holy in ancient Egypt. Graveyards were constructed for them, and such places were considered sacred locality. In addition, the skeletons of greyhounds, base dogs and some hybrid minor dog breeds have been found in the holy graveyards for dogs of ancient Egypt. Ancient Romans also hung warning plates on their main gates, having the same meaning of “cave canem” in Latin as the warning plates such as “Beware of the dog!” being used today (Clutton-Brock 1996).
Livestock protection dogs (LPD) are used to defend livestock against predators. LPDs are commonly referred to as “shepherd dogs” or “sheep dogs” since they most often have guarded flocks of sheep. Unlike herding dogs such as the Border Collie, an LPD does never control the movement of the flock with predatory actions causing bunching. LPDs tend to blend into the flock and generally ignore the individual animals in favour of keeping an eye out for potential threats (Yılmaz 2006).
This spectacular Turkish breed is characterized with the female lion-shape of body, eyes and muzzle edged with black mask, ears as if adhered to its skull, and the tail hanging low with a slightly upward and forward curl. The colour of its dense and short coat varies from intermediate tones from fawn to cream, and tawny lever but never snow white (Yılmaz 2007).
Their courageousness, faithfulness and sensitiveness are forefront. The Kangal (Karabash) Dog is fearless and talented in protection of its own flocks and human life. They can get along well with children and livestock in its flock, pets and even with other individuals in its house. They can withstand extremes in cold harsh climate and scarcity of food. The Kangal (Karabash) Dog has a long life in comparison with such a large upstanding breed. It likes human however it establishes connection to its flock, and protects it. It is a formidable fighter against large dogs and other predators even though it can be controlled by training (Yılmaz 2007).
Proportion of body length and withers height (BI), proportion of limb length and withers height (LI), proportion of head width and muzzle length (HI), proportion of head width and head length (FI) and proportion of muzzle length and head length (MI) were calculated using by Excel Computer Program.
In the world Turkish Kangal (Karabash) Shepherd dog is one of the most successful shepherd dog in guardian and watch dogs. In Turkey main spread of them was the Central Anatolian area where the Akkaraman sheep breeding was extensive in Turkey. Outer of this area, it was natural to come across the rare samples of purebred Kangal dog in variable numbers across Turkey. They can be found even in Northern Iran, Northern Afghanistan and other Turkic Republics which proves that Turkish Kangal (Karabash) Shepherd dog has been derived from Middle Asia to Anatolia (Yılmaz 2007).
In 1991 Kırmızı (1991) did a PhD study and compared to 86 Turkish Shepherd with 249 German Shepherd Dogs for impact of productivity, fostered puppies and body measurements in Military Veterinary School and Education Centre, in Gemlik, Bursa.
In 1993 Yıldız et all (1993) studied on head measurements using a total of 60 Turkish Shepherd and German Shepherd dogs in Military Veterinary School and Education Centre, in Gemlik, Bursa.
In 1996 Gönül (1996) did a PhD study for morphologic traits and comparative training performance using 202 Turkish Shepherd and 464 German Shepherd Dogs in Military Veterinary School and Education Centre, in Gemlik, Bursa.
In 1997 Özcan and Altınel (1997) worked on 45 Kangal and 63 German Shepherd Dogs for morphologic traits in Military Veterinary School and Education Centre, in Gemlik, Bursa.
The aim of this study is to define body indexes and angles of Turkish Kangal (Karabash) Shepherd dogs which were raised by sheep breeders, official and civil breeding farms.
Materials and Methods
Experimental Animals: Up to this study all examined data based on dogs which were bred either in civil or government and university dog breeding farms. This is the first that observed data were gained from real Kangal (Karabash) Shepherd dogs at villages with flock of sheep. A total of, 432 male and 303 female, 735 dogs for sheep breeders, civil and official dog breeding farms were examined at three different groups. In this study data collected from 41 provinces and seven different geographical region in Turkey in 2006.
Measurements: Data collecting was lasted between May 2005 and October2006. Proportion of body length and withers height (BI), proportion of limb length and withers height (LI), proportion of head width and muzzle length (HI), proportion of head width and head length (FI) and proportion of muzzle length and head length (MI) were calculated using by Excel Computer Program. For defining angle of front pawn (AFP), angle of rear pawn (ARP), angle of shoulder (AS) and angle of haunch (AH) first images of Kangal Dogs were taken using with a digital camera, dog images were printed out and then angles were calculated using by protractor.
Statistical Analysis: Data were analyzed using the Minitab 15 computer program. Means (M) and Standard Errors of Mean (SEM) for body dimensions were computed using ANOVA Model that also determined the impact of sex, body coat colour, style of breeding, national and local regions on the response variables of BI, LI, HI, FI, MI, AFP, ARP, AS and AH (Anonim 2011). Effect of sex, body coat colour, style of breeding, five local regions, seven national regions on traits was calculated whether there was a significant difference between male and female dogs (P<0.05 and P<0.01).
As seen in Table 1 data collected from 735 Kangal Shepherd Dogs were analyzed for traits of BI, LI, HI, FI, MI, AFP, ARP, AS and AH.
Related with effect of sex, there were significant differences for all body index traits (P<0.05). There were no significant differences body angle traits of AFP, ARP, AS, and AH.
For impact of style of breeding there were significant differences for all body index traits (P<0.05). There were no significant differences the other body angle traits of AW, ARP, AS and AH.735 of Kangal Shepherd Dog were analyzed for seven geographical regions of Turkey. According to calculated results there were significant differences among body index traits (P<0.05). There were no significant differences traits of AFP, ARP, AS and AH. On the second stage dogs which were raised at rural area with a flock of sheep
Table 1. Some morphologic traits on Turkish Kangal (Karabash) dogs.
Overall (Male, Female)
|Kırmızı (1991)||Yıldız et all (1993)||Gönül (1996)||Özcan ve Altınel (1997)|
|BI (%)||(95, 93)||(90, 85)||(86, 85)|
Table 2. Descriptive statistics and comparison results of the phenotypic traits of Turkish Kangal (Karabash) Dogs for different sexes.
|BI (%)||89,2 ± 0,33||88,5 ± 0,43||90,3 ± 0,53|
|LI (%)||47,5 ± 0,14||47,2 ± 0,18||47,9 ± 0,23|
|HI (%)||46,7 ± 0,20||47,5 ± 0,25||45,4 ± 0,31|
|FI (%)||114,4 ± 0,60||110,1 ± 0,93||117,4 ± 0,76|
|MI (%)||41,1 ± 0,14||40,7 ± 0,16||41,6 ± 0,26|
|AFP (º)||21,82 ± 0,24||22,04 ± 0,32||21,50 ± 0,37|
|ARP (º)||32,06 ± 0,60||31,57 ± 0,41||32,57 ± 0,54|
|AS (º)||106,9 ± 0,60||106,4 ± 0,44||107,6 ± 0,56|
|AH (º)||132,0 ± 0,27||132,1 ± 0,37||131,9 ± 0,41|
analyzed for seven regions. For this situation all traits changed. There were significant differences for al body index and angle traits (P<0.05).
On this stage the impact of five local regions was analysed for 8 of different traits. The traits those of AFP, ARP, AS and AH there were no significant differences among 735 dogs. The other body index traits were significantly different each others (P<0.05). For second step on style of breeding, 496 of dogs which were raised at rural area with a flock of sheep analyzed for five local regions. There were significant differences among 496 dogs except traits of LI, ARP, AS, and AH (P<0.05).
For body coat colour on body dimensions there were no significant differences for all body index and angle traits only except FI. The other 7 traits there were no significant differences.
Result of BI for male dogs was significantly higher than results of BI belonged to Kırmızı (1991) and Özcan et all (1997) (P<0.05). For female dogs observed result of this study was significantly lower than result of Kırmızı (1991) but higher than result of Özcan et all (1997) (P<0.05). This study result was agreed result of Gönül (1996) for both male and female dogs. About LI there was not cited references at all and could not be compared with other studies. Related with HI, this study result was significantly lower than result of Yıldız et all (P<0.05). For FI this study result was significantly higher than result of Yıldız et all (1994) (P<0.05). About MI there were no cited references; hence there was no comparing with other researches.In this study angles of front pawn, rear pawn, shoulder and haunch were analyzed for impact factors.
In conclusion 735 dogs in different sex, breeding type, region and coat colour were analyzed. It was observed in official breeding farm that dogs were kept in a small room and caged area. Ground was always cemented, but not soil. This situation was not suitable dog’s health and physiology. Turkish Kangal (Karabash) Shepherd dog always need open air and must not be chained. They should be free anytime. Otherwise breed characteristics worsen. Some dog breeders rise to sell this dog in a farm for dog buyers, but generally conditions were worse than official breeding farms for dogs. Those dog breeders assumed this dog like a puppy machine, in order to sell more puppies in shorter time. On the other hand those breeders selected their Kangal dogs to obtain heavier body, bigger head and wider chest, so breed characteristics of this breed were always exacerbated. Actually civil dog breeders tend to rise fighting or wilder dogs. Native examples of Kangal (Karabash) Shepherd dogs can only be seen at rural area in sheep breeders with a flock of sheep. Those dogs were well-behaved with its owner or shepherd, but were very protective without them. They were real examples of guardian dogs bred for centuries.
This PhD study was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ertugrul (Ankara University, Turkey) and I gratefully thank him for his supervising of this PhD thesis and constructive comments. For editing in English, I am gratefully indebted to Dr Peta Jones (Donkey Power, South Africa).
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