Canine Health Issues


   No dog breed is perfect. Many popular dog breeds have been ruined by too high of an inbreeding co-efficient. Many dog breeds look nothing like they did 100 years ago. From the German Shepherd to the Neapolitan Mastiff. Breeding for certain traits has helped some breeds out but ruined many more. Historically the Kangal and/or Turkish Shepherd type dogs are a landrace breed as explained on the home page. Mother Nature selected who was to breed. Which we all know is only the strongest and most intelligent dogs.
   Recently the dogs have been bred with more of a human influence. Many Turks will do their best to mimic Mother Nature when it somes to breeding their Kangal dogs. They do this by not inbreeding their dogs and trying to pick the best working dogs. Size is not the main idea when pairing a mating. Of course it is a positive but only to a point. Certain color dogs or black mask dogs etc are not bred for. The idea is to get the best working Kangal dog, not the best looking dog. They do this buying trying to establish which are the best working dogs and then use those for breeding.
   Turkish Shepherd type dogs are very healthy dogs. They are not free of health problems but they don't have many issues to worry about. As they are a giant type dogs, hip dysplasia a concern. It is the only genetic disease that I have found to occur enough to warrant mentioning. I have seen other genetic diseases in these type of dogs but they are rare. They good news about HD is that it can be tested for before breeding. There are hundreds of genetic diseases that canines pass on to their pups. HD is one of few that can be tested for when your dogs reach breeding age. This means that with selective breeding using xrays we can greatly reduce the percentage of pups that get HD.
    Hip dysplasia is moderately inheritable. Somewhere between 20% and 70% with many studies suggesting levels at .5 or 50%. In one study using a different large dog breed when 2 dogs that had bad hips bred together, 75% of their pups also had bad hips. That would mean 6 pups out of a litter of 8 would have HD. In the same study when 2 dogs with good hips bred together only 25% of the pups had bad hips. This could still be improved upon by only breeding dogs to have been proved radiographically to have normal hips. A study using a closed colony of 584 German Shepherd progeny found that with using x-rays to selectively breed only dogs with normal hips, major improvements could happen in just a few generations. In just two generations the rate of hip dysplasia went from 39% to less than 17%!!
    This is a huge advancement in the well being of the dogs and also the ability of the dogs. A dog with good hips will not go through the pain in life that a dog with bad hips will endure almost from birth. A dog with good hips will work longer days. They will cover and guard more ground and more often. If they do get called to battle they have a better chance as they will have more muscle, therefore speed, agility and power. The dog with good hips will move more fluidly in a fight defending its livestock's life. As Bruce Lee said "be like water". The reasons to have good hips are endless. This is why screening the dogs is imperative. And to be able to get more than a 50% reduction in occurrence in just a few generations is amazing. Overall these dogs are very healthy and here at this kennel things will improve even more and more as time goes on. 
   Environmental effects also play big into HD. What type of food you feed the growing dog. The amount of food you feed your pup. The levels of rest and exercise. Injuries from climbing or falling etc. The bedding provided for the dog.
It is very important to grow your dog SLOW!!!
   The best results are found by keeping your dog in ideal weight through his whole life. This means no fat dogs and obviously no malnourished dogs. Ideally this means you can't see the ribs but you can easily feel them. You will notice in some of the pictures of my dogs you can see ribs. This is always due to the dog being photo'd while eating, drinking or mating. Also it is acceptable to see ribs when the dog is stretching, turning sharply or running etc. When the dog is standing relaxed it should show between no ribs and just a hint of rib.  Not only will keeping your dog in this shape throughout its life lower the incidence rate of dysplasia but your dog will also live longer.
   They way the Turkish dogs are built, HD doesn't debilitate the dog nearly as much as other giant breeds. Turkish LGD's carry most of their weight over their shoulders. They have a greyhound like build due to the Tazi(Turkish Greyhound) infusion in their lineage long ago. So these dogs don't have as much weight over their hips as most giant dog breeds do. From the x-rays and experience I have, it seems like the Turkish dogs relate to the Irish Wolfhound. In the sense that they aren't as affected by bad hips as heavier/bulkier giant dog breeds and that they both will often look boney and/or malnourished to an uneducated person. The problem is that most people know Wolfhounds are supposed to look skinny. Yet when many people see a Kangal they think it is a mastiff and give you a concerned eye or comment because they are "skinny" or "boney" for a mastiff. This is because most people don't know what a kangal is. Also they and their dogs are couch potatoes and don't know what a working dog is supposed to look like. Much less a giant working dog with sighthound influence. When was the last time you saw a fat greyhound or a fat wolfhound?
   All of my breeding Kangal dogs are X-rayed. If the hips are bad they don't get to breed. The dogs that do get to breed are bred with a complimenting mate. This is in regards to the dog as a whole. Including many things like work ethics, size, xrays, stamina, conformation, disposition, power, speed, agility and so on.
   I strive to keep the inbreeding co-efficient below 6.25%... Why 6.25%?? I called over 100 Veterinarians from sea to sea and took a poll. This was the popular idea among 99 of them. An example of the closest acceptable line-breeding co-efficient would be a female to her great grandfather or third cousins. Three away is a term that is used. All of my pups will come with their pedigree's going many generations back. Mainly to insure nobody inbreeds them down the road. I don't want my hard work and sacrifice to be ruined.

   As perfect as these dogs are unfortunatley the Kangal Industry is not. I will do my best to not let myself or my dogs fall into that dark side. I personally have had breeders here in the USA switch my paid and reserved Kangal male pup to a female pup. Had USA breeders lie about deposit refunds($grand down the drain$) And even had a "Lady" breeder send me the itinerary for my pick of litter males flight asking for final payment....only to take my $3,000 and run(pick of litter plus airplane is pricey). I've even had a Turk take hundreds of dollars for collars only to see him join the dark side too.
   These are just my own experiences. I have heard many other stories just like mine, some even worse. Do your homework, ask around for references. Ask breeders what OFA scores their dogs hips. Find out what the inbreeding co-efficient is in their pups. Feel free to ask me any questions about other breeders or myself. As you can see in my photo gallery, I try to show all of my breeding dogs x-rays and aggression tests as some competitors heave actually tried to say my dogs are dangerous around people. I want to prove that they are just lying for their own benefit. My dogs are great around adults and children. The proof is in the pudding. If you're too far away to visit then look at the proof on paper. This is why I post my xrays and aggression tests, to take away power from the haters and to give you access to the truth provided by xrays and Vets. When you buy a pup, pedigrees will be given to show that my dogs are not inbred for money. My goal is to have the best dogs and to be the best breeder.
  

    I have met some real amazing people through the Kangal "family" too. If I don't currently have a litter for sale don't worry. I have friends I could recommend you to with out looking for anything to go in my pocket. I like Karma to work for me not against me. It is very hard to get Kangals in the USA. So if you have the right environment for Kangal I am here to help out any way possible.