A photo of a sheep expressing appreciation to a dog for saving its whole herd from a wolf attack has gone popular on social media lately.
But, hey, what dog breed is capable of such feats?
Wolves’ most significant canine species are the top predators in their native environments, whether in Eurasia or North America. They feed on most animals without hesitation since they have no natural antagonists, and cattle are no exception. They do, however, have some internal foes.
In 2019, a brave shepherd dog defended his flock from a band of a wolf attack in the Caucasus Mountains. A sheep was spotted embracing their hero after the dog scared the wolf attack away, and the photo of the sweet incident has since gone viral. But what kind of dog is it, and how much do we know about it?
A Kangal is a dog in the photo above. It’s understandable if you’ve never heard of this dog breed; it originates in Turkey, mainly Central Asia. Due to Turkey’s restrictions on Kangal exports to maintain the breed’s bloodline, they are very uncommon in the United States.
They are often employed to safeguard and guard herds that graze freely in rough mountainous environments where wolves and other predators are frequent. A Kangal has a special bond with its flock since it herds the animals and lives among them. As a result, the cattle understand the value of the dog’s protection.
This might explain why the sheep in the image are so concerned about their protector.
These working dogs may reach a height of 85 centimeters (33 inches) and a weight of 65 kg (143 lbs). Kangals have a strong physique with remarkable agility and speed, particularly successful against predators despite their size. They also have the record for the most potent biting force among dogs, with an average bite force of 743 PSI. On the other hand, pit bulls have a biting force of 235 PSI, while grizzly bears have a bite force of 975 PSI.
Because they live in such a harsh environment, the Kangal has acquired extraordinary features over many generations. They are incredibly bold and strong-willed, with a battling spirit to match. Even if it depicts risking their lives, they will protect their flocks.
Kangals have elastic skin on specific portions of their bodies, which may absorb the strength of particular bites, lessening discomfort and providing them a key edge during battles. Also, some of the photographs of the spiked collars shown on the dogs aren’t there by accident.
Wolves and other wild creatures that kill livestock often bite dogs’ necks, and spiked collars may protect dogs from predators.
On the other hand, when these dogs are not on duty, they are pretty quiet and predictable. They are friendly and compassionate to the people they trust, and they are naturally gentle with youngsters. Because the Kangal believes the people it lives with to be part of its pack, its instincts will instruct them not to be aggressive or unfriendly in our presence.
As a result, these Turkish shepherd dogs are very loyal and dedicated to their owners and protective of their possessions. Kangals, when properly educated, can recognize when to calm down, threaten an opponent, or fight a predator, which is a unique talent.
These creatures, however, are not for everyone. They are frequently owned by those who live in risky places where wolf attacks and bears pose a serious threat to them and their cattle. As a result, the Kangal has developed to serve as a livestock guardian. Not a dog that can be pent up indoors or just left outdoors in an empty yard. They might grow bored and nervous if they don’t get enough exercise and have their abilities put to use, which can lead to destructive behavior and excessive barking.
These strong-willed and independent canines may become gentle guardians that love their ‘flock’ beyond all else in the correct hands and surroundings.
However, since this distinctive breed is not your typical large dog, its owners must be mindful of their particular demands.