German Shepherd vs Kangal: Key Differences Explained

Which breed, a Kangal or a German shepherd, is more robust? Which makes a better livestock guard dog for a family?

The Kangal is one of the dog breeds with the most powerful bites. This makes the importance of training and essential handling for compliance and safety.

German shepherds come in various attractive colours, including solid black, solid white, and black and tan, and are well known for possessing thick, silky coats.

Let’s look at these shepherds to see how they measure up.

Kangal and German Shepherd Comparison

german shepherd

German Shepherd and Kangal Differences

The main difference between German Shepherds and Kangal Shepherds is size. They also differ significantly in how they live, bark, and look.

Let’s analyze these characteristics in more detail before looking at the particular training needs of each dog.

German Shepherd vs Kangal: Size

The most significant difference between the German shepherd and the Kangal is size, which significantly impacts how easy it is to handle both dogs.

German shepherds are between 50 and 90 pounds and 22 and 26 inches tall. They are large dogs. Thus not everyone can handle them.

Kangals, on the other hand, are between 90 and 145 pounds and between 28 and 32 inches tall.

Before getting a giant dog, it’s essential to consider your budget and management finances.

Can you use a leash to control the dog? Don’t intend to train them when they are still very young. Even if it’s a good idea to begin training a dog when young, these pups grow up and have times of disobedience. They could be too huge for you to handle until they are properly trained to utilize a leash.

Both breeds can be unfriendly to strange dogs or people due to their young protective instincts, especially if they are not properly socialized as puppies. You must keep them in check!

Handle your emergency plan and what you’ll do if your dog gets older and less mobile. It isn’t easy to lift a dog this huge.

Kangals will cost significantly more regarding food finances, veterinary expenses, and other expenses.

German Shepherd vs Kangal, in terms of appearance

Solid and medium-sized dogs with deep chests, upright ears, and medium-length coats are German shepherds. Unethically bred German shepherds could have a sloping back for show and aesthetic appeal. Show dogs are bred in an undesirable manner in the US due to a lack of legislation governing animal welfare.

Unfortunately, shepherds are vulnerable to joint problems because of their size, which can lead to a sloping back in later life.

The following coat colours are permitted for German shepherds, according to the AKC breed standard:

  • Black
  • Black and cream.
  • Red and black
  • Black and silver
  • Dark tan and black
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Liver
  • Sable
  • White
  • Bi-color

Compared to Kangal dogs, German shepherds appear more trim. Their ears are floppy, and their tails wrap over their backs. They are short-haired, double-coated dogs. The UKC breed standard permits the following:

  • Gold or grey fur
  • Black face mask
  • Black ears
  • The tail’s black tip
  • Black spot in the middle of the tail
  • Possible whiteness on the chin, feet, or chest

Kangal cannot contain any solids that are black, white, or brown. Additionally rejected are patterns like piebald and brindle, as well as albinism and white markings.

German Shepherd vs Kangal: Lifespan

Sadly, compared to their size, German shepherds have a short lifespan. Their usual lifespan is 10 to 14 years.

Typically, larger dogs live shorter lives. Conversely, the average lifespan of a Kangal is 12 to 15 years.

These averages are just that—and not every dog will adhere to them. While some fortunate puppies pass away much more quickly, others live significantly longer. If you want your dog to have a long and fulfilling life, feed them a good-quality diet, ensure regular exercise, and take them to the vet frequently for checks. Of course, show them affection as well!

German Shepherd vs Kangal: Barking Level

German shepherds don’t frequently bark. They will likely start developing annoying barking habits if they are bored or neglected. However, they do possess protective instincts and frequently bark to warn. This occasionally tends to get out of control without training.

Kangals tend to bark more as part of their responsibilities as guard dogs. In response to actual or imagined prey, they may also “roar.” Since they were bred to work, they perform best when left alone. Thus they don’t usually make good neighbourhood dogs. Farm life is the best for this!

German Shepherd vs Kangal: Recognition

The German shepherd is acknowledged by both the United Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club (AKC) (UKC). However, the UKC is the only organization that accepts Kangal.

German shepherds are reasonably widespread and can be found at most shelters. However, Kangal shepherds are scarce in the Americas.

German Shepherd vs Kangal: Training

The following difficulties could arise when training these dogs:

  • An inherent defensiveness that manifests as hatred or suspicion of strangers.
  • Kangals have been known to break out of captivity due to their cunning and powerful prey drive.
  • Running away because both breeds have high prey drives.
  • Problems with behaviour caused by inactivity, inattention, or a lack of mental stimulation

Both have sharp defensive instincts.

It’s essential to create a secure atmosphere for socializing young guard dogs. However, Kangals may react considerably worse if a stranger approaches their house, family, or other dogs. You don’t want these powerful dogs to misuse their enormous biting force!

Both breeds tend to be highly affectionate with their family members while remaining wary and distant from strangers.

They are Kangal, escape artists.

According to the Kangal Dog Club of America, Kangal are brilliant dogs who can outwit adults and children.

They ought to be given a place to indulge their passion for digging. It’s also a good idea to combine fencing with an underground barrier to contain them.

While we’re on fencing, the Kangal Dog Club notes that Kangals have been known to climb six-foot fences. Yours needs to be higher to account for this.

Strong prey drives are present in both shepherds.

Neither Kangals nor German shepherds should be allowed off-leash in open spaces unless they have a strong recall. High-prey drive dogs may become caught up in the hunt to the point that they forget about training, making recall training more difficult.

Prey drives in these dogs might be viewed as either a pro or a con, depending on who you ask. Both possibilities exist! For instance, farmers appreciate Kangal shepherds for their skill against powerful predators.

But if you live in a community, you won’t want your German shepherd chasing cats in your neighbours’ yards.

It’s critical to make good use of your dog’s instincts. Even if you’re not a hunter or farmer, giving your dog things to shred, like cheap toys or cardboard (as long as these activities are supervised and they don’t swallow little parts! ), will let them “hunt.”

Other great techniques to pique your dog’s interest in hunting without letting him kill anything are retrieve games and flirt poles.

They demand a lot of focus.

Not least of all, these dogs were created to work with their human friends and are intelligent, active dogs. They shouldn’t be expected to stay inside the home all day while you work or left to their devices in the yard.

They flourish in households with constant human presence. However, it’s essential to teach kids a sense of self-assurance in being on their own by presenting the concept in a kind, empowering way. It will help to postpone separation anxiety.

No matter what breed your dog is, it will probably act out if they get bored or neglected in the ways described above. These are giant dogs, so their teeth can get them into a lot of trouble. You might notice excessive barking or destructive chewing behaviours.