We were informed by the UKC that our request to update the official UKC Kangal Dog Breed Standard for our breed was reviewed by the UKC Breeds Committee, who agreed with all of our recommendations and therefore will update the official standard for the breed. The changes will go into effect January 1, 2023.
The KDCA would like to thank the members of the Breed Standard Committee for their work which began in July 2019, as well as all the Club members who attended virtual discussions and voted to adopt our proposed standard revisions.
Rationale for the Standard Review
For some time, we wanted to revise the History section of the Standard, to better reflect what we’ve learned about the actual origin and genetics of the Kangal Dog in the past 30 years.
We also wished to clarify some words in the Breed Description. When the current Standard was written, Kangal Dogs were extremely rare in North America; however, now we have the benefits of breeding and observing hundreds of Kangal Dogs over the past 20+ years, both here and overseas, as well as receiving many imports. Here at home, our breed’s growing popularity has also revealed developing issues of color and type.
Finally, with the recognition and adoption of the new FCI Standard for the Kangal Dog (developed by KIF, the Turkish national kennel club), we wished to include similar language to the international standard where appropriate, while still strongly maintaining the portions of our UKC Kangal Dog Standard which allow for more diversity in our working North American dogs.
For all these reasons, it was a good time to establish a working committee of Board and Club members to take a look at the Standard. Following the guidance of the UKC, we recognized from the beginning that any changes required a vote of the entire club membership and needed to meet the requirements of our Charter and Constitution. We also understood the importance of agreement and consensus among our members and breeders.
Summary of Changes:
As anticipated, the History section received the most changes and was completely rewritten in some portions to reflect what we now know about our breed and to eliminate what we don’t know to be true or cannot verify. The past 23 years have given us more tools in the form of genetic studies of the Kangal Dog and related breeds, as well as field and research work done in Turkey. The situation in Turkey itself has also changed and this has affected the dogs as well.
Changes to the Description include:
Simplify or correct misleading or redundant words or phrases or use a more correct term.
Include word choices more in line with FCI Kangal Dog Standard.
Use correct words to ensure consistency in descriptions throughout the Standard, especially as regards color of the body, mask, and ears.
Simplify the description of the ears to accurately reflect the breed in Turkey and North America. Since ears were historically cropped in Turkey, there was never detailed attention on placement and size of ears as reflected in the current UKC Standard.
Eliminate the disqualification for cropped ears in a North American-bred dog. We are not advocating cropping but we do not wish to penalize an imported dog with cropped ears (from Turkey or elsewhere), prevent the single registration of a qualified dog with cropped ears, or face challenges to the UKC registration of a dog with cropped ears. Again, this is not a preference for cropped ears in any way.
Clarify that the upright curled tail may be carried off to one side; eliminate this as a fault.
Clarify color descriptions to utilize genetically accurate terms and descriptions, as well as to reflect the reality of their expression in our dogs, as well as issues we are seeing in dogs where the breeder does not follow the UKC Standard.
Clarify acceptable white markings. Again, this is an issue we are seeing in dogs where the breeder did not follow the UKC Standard.
Clarify that a lack of masking on the muzzle is a disqualification.
Slightly expand the acceptable range for size and weight to allow for smaller dogs recognized under the FCI/KIF Standard but not to penalize in any way the larger dogs we have always seen here. We feel this position allows for more diversity within our breed and meets the demanding requirements of North American livestock guardian dog work.
The issue of ear cropping itself will be referred to the standing Health and Wellness Committee, chaired by Babette Turk, to include Board members and Club members. This committee will draft a proposed policy on ear cropping, encompassing AVMA directives and including how it should be done if needed for the health of the particular dog.