Recognising the Kangal as a separate and distinct breed, implies that the ANKC is taking the approach of recognising each subtype of the Coban Kopegi (Turkish Shepherd).
Which is all fine and well, as the Kangal Dog IS a type of Turkish Shepherd
however so is the Yoruk, Haymana, Aksaray, Akbas, Tuzkoy etc
the ANKC also has simultaneous recognition of Anatolian Shepherd Dog, which incorporates all of the above.
So the ANKC is in the unique position, where it effectively has two classification systems, and so two breed standards that describe one group of dogs with the same pedigrees.
Tsar, male Anatolian in Victoria, Australia
The problems the ANKC is facing with Kangal and Anatolian registrations, exist because the ANKC has two classification systems for the dogs of Turkey, when the FCI, AKC, KC and Turkey only have one.
A significant factor behind the FCI, KC, and AKC refusing separate recognition of the Kangal, is that by standard definition, the Kangal is a subset of Anatolian - and there is no effective means to definitively separate one from the other.
Consequently, a registry either takes the 'lump all Turkish Shepherd regional variants together' approach - and classifies all regional types under the name of Anatolian Shepherd
it classifies each regional subtype seperately (ie: Yoruk, Kangal, Haymana, Malak, Akbas) as they do in Turkey.
The ANKC by recognising both Anatolian and Kangal simultaneously, and attempting to separate and distinguish the two VIEWPOINTS on how to classify these dogs - which Turkey itself has not reached a national concensus on - has created a farce.
(NOTE: This is not whether the Kangal dog is a seperate breed debate, but rather what DEFINES a Kangal, Yoruk, Haymana, Malak etc).
Haymana; Yoruk; Malak
In Turkey, the dogs are not known as the breed 'Anatolian' but rather described as Yoruk, Kangal, Haymana, Malak -depending on their function, physical form and the region from which they originate.
Also confusing to many, is the Turkish tradition of describing types of dogs by their colour - Karayaka, Akyaka, Sariyaka, Kizilyaka, Bozyaka, Karabas, Saribas, Alabas, Akit, Akbas.
Indeed this Turkish tradition of using different names with similar words and meanings,
resulted in American, Australian and UK Kangal breeders, promoting a simplistic generalisation that was 'easier' to understand -
a Kangal is a fawn/dun coloured dog with a black mask and ears - any dog with a longer coat, no mask, too much white, or not dun/fawn in colour (ie: brindle, white, pinto) - is not a 'real' kangal.
Correctly coloured dogs are the 'kangal' breed, white dogs are 'akbas' breed and the rest are 'Anatolian'.
Although this generalisation might make it easier for those in USA, Australia and UK to 'understand' the dogs of Turkey and enable breed standards to be conjured and joined to our kennel clubs -
it is not accurate of Kangal and Çoban Köpegi breeders / owners / researchers in Turkey,
who speak a language where Kangals may also be brindle (Karayaka), red (Kizilyaka), black or white (Ayaka).
Karayaka photographed in Turkey
The use of colour uniformity as a breed identification indicator, has no practical application to the ÇobanKöpegi of Turkey - as Yoruks, Kangal, Haymana, Malak, may ALL be fawn with a black mask.
Their colour may also be:
white with no mask (Ayaka is a white kangal; Akit, Akkus and Akbas refer to a white Yoruk),
be red colour with or without black mask (Kizilyaka Kangal)
have a black or brindle coat with or without a black mask (Karayaka)
be pale yellow or beige with a black mask (Saribas Yoruk; Saribas Haymana; Sariyaka Kangal)
be tones of beige with a black mask (Bozyaka)
have a red mask, sometimes with red nose or a pinto face (Alabas Yoruk)
any colour other than white with a black mask (Karabas).
White male Kangal puppy in Australia -
this dog is line bred to Sivas Regals Pasha (Kangal Import)
and will lighten in colour as he matures.
In Australia, the conformational difference in the Anatolian and Kangal breed standards, is that the Anatolian Standard calls for a rectangular muzzle, and the Kangal a square muzzle. But essentially the ANKC has two breed standards describing the same conformed dog.
The Kangal standard does not allow long (rough) coated dogs, but this does not imply that long coat dogs are not found in the Kangal population in Australia - currently there are more long coated 'Kangals' than long coated 'Anatolians'.
The Australian Kangal standard only allows fawn with a black mask - although in Turkey the 2006 Kangal FCI submission allowed for brindle, brindle and white, and black Kangals.
Long coat Kangal Dog in Australia, this dog comes from two registered short coat Kangal parents -
Sire: Arkadas Cesur
Dam: Cooetong Belarisi
The doppleganger effect seen between Anatolians and Kangals in Australia, is not really a surprise if you consider, that for an Anatolian to be reclassified as a Kangal, the ANKC simply required that the presented dog meet the Kangal Breed Standard,
but as the Anatolian and Kangal breed standards describe the same conformed dog, every black masked registered Anatolian in 1997 could have been reclassified as a Kangal.
Furthermore, while one owner may have taken their Anatolian along to the Kangal panel to be reclassified as a Kangal, the same dog's littermates may not have been, and so remained on the Anatolian register, while their littermate was now regarded as being a different breed.
Anatolian male in Victoria; Kangal female in Tasmania.
Ten years after the ANKC breed split, Kangal and Anatolians in Australia are closer in pedigree than prior to the split. Kangal and Anatolians share the same dogs in their pedigrees ie: one of my Anatolian stud dogs and the most prominent Kangal being shown at the moment, have the same sire; and even Anatolians and Kangals which do not share pedigrees still look ‘identical’, because they share the same breed characteristics: type, movement, conformation, tail set, coat colour, coat length, temperament, purpose.
But because both are rarely exhibited at shows or seen together, many people are not aware that the Anatolian Shepherd and Kangal in Australia are the same dog.
Because the ANKC has classified the Anatolian and Kangal as being two different breeds - one would expect there to be seperate and distinct charcteristics between them - but there is not.
Nevertheless in an attempt to make sense of a difference that does not exist, lots of different myths exist in Australia as to what the illusive difference is.
The most common misconception, is that the difference between an Anatolian and Kangal is the existence of a black mask - ie a Kangal has a black mask and an Anatolian doesn't.
Both Kangals and Anatolians can be with or without a black mask. Kangal semen import Sivas Regals Pasha consistently produces Kangal puppies with no mask. The Anatolian CobanKopegi Babayani also produces puppies with no mask.
Kangal puppy with no black mask
Another common misconception, is that the Anatolian can be 'any colour' because it is not a true pure bred - whereas 'pure' Kangal Dogs always breed true (ie dun with black mask) and any variation from this is indication of cross breeding.
Colour variation in Kangals exists just as it does in Anatolians.
Black masks are not indicators of an Anatolian Shepherd's or Kangal Dog's registered breed -
similarly a dun/fawn coloured kangal with a black mask, is just as 'pure' as a long coat Kangal, non masked Kangal, or different coloured Kangal.
Kangal female with black Kangal puppy
Kangal female Hakiki Lafebesi from imported Sivas Kangal lines (Sivas Regal Pasha x Ayla)
produces coloured Kangals when bred with a Kangal male also from 100% import Kangal lines -
Hakiki Lafebesi and Hakiki Kasil (Hakiki Hazine x Ayla)
have produced a cream Kangal, Kangal with no black mask, and a black Kangal.
Most Kangals (and Anatolians) will be dun/fawn with a black mask, but sometimes - rarely - in a litter there may be one or two which inherit a set of recessive genes which gives them a different colour to their siblings.
Kangal puppy with light brown mask: