Excerpted from http://www.anatoliandog.org/isik-001.htm

Sheepdogs in Turkey

All the dogs in Turkey are related to each other; there are not sharp distinctions. Nevertheless, it is impossible not to see the variations or strains. These dogs are ecotype dogs and their general structure is shaped by geographical conditions and by the culture of the people who bred them. What I mean by ecotype is an existing species created by natural selection and adapted to a particular habitat. Since these are not wolves, there is a cultural selection as well.

Basic Strains

 Yoruks have relatively square bodies with pointed muzzles.

 Yoruks were known to be larger than kangals, but the remaining population is almost the leftovers of the original populations, because their original keepers are not in the business anymore.

Yoruks are springy in their movements with long strides; they do not pace as frequently as kangals. In general their stomach is tucked up and their chest is deep. Kangals have heavy gaits. Their gaits almost resemble bears. When they are watched from behind, their hips swing to the sides more than Yoruks. The kangal stomach line is close to their chest line. Some of them have apparent barrel-like chest, which they can efficiently use at knocking their opponent. When they accelerate, they can feel the momentum easily. Of course these are how I see them. I am not intending to set rules.

The Challenge of the Terrain

I have seen Yoruk chasing a hare along with two kangals in Denizli. Kangals had very short hair with extremely curly tails and square muzzles. They were really nice specimens and they were being tried by the Denizli shepherd. The yoruks were local to the village. Kangals could not keep up with yoruks when they were chasing the hare up the hill on a rocky surface.

It seemed that yoruks did not feel the rocky surface; they were quite comfortable as they were climbing the hill at full speed, and they made sharp turns with the hare without loosing their speed. Then they disappeared behind a hill. I do not know what happened to the hare, but kangals gave up the chase. This observation cannot be easily generalized and it best not to, but different shepherds have made the same assessment. Of course for the above observation one can say that kangals did better, because they did not leave the flock, which is reasonable. But if there were wolves on the far corner of the flock, yoruks would have been there first. This is an open speculation that one can exercise. My main point here is the speed of Yoruks.

I have seen kangal type dogs in a Kayseri village and watched them when they chased the wolves all night long. There were three dogs and two bitches. They were not as heavy as the standard kangals and the terrain was similar to Denizli and Afyon. I still think that yoruk dogs are swifter in general. These dogs had to move along with the flocks for as long as one month until the flock reached the next pasture, be it in winter or summer. The size of the flocks used to be enormous. I have seen a goat flock that was made up of 5000 goats and I have heard of sheep flocks with as many as 10 thousand. Of course the number of the dogs in protection matters, but distribution of the dogs are not always perfectly random; that is why dogs have to cover hundreds of yards back and forth as the flock moves. When the terrain is hilly, the dogs have to be swifter. I spent a couple of days with shepherds almost every year in western Turkey. Sometimes we cannot see almost half of the flock, because they are either in a valley or on the other side of a hill. Under these circumstances the dogs must not only be swift, but well organized as well. Most of the time an alpha dog will manage the location of the other dogs in respect to the flock. This does not mean that the assigned points are stable; most of the dogs may move a few hundreds yards to another direction and come back to their original locations. This continuous ground covering continues from approximately 6 PM to 6AM in the morning in summer.

This does not mean that kangal dogs are useless shepherds, but their origin is Central Anatolia. It is a high plateau with some mountains. Covering a flock does not require heavy running in flat land. It is easy to see hundreds of yards away. Wolves can see the dogs as well. Wolves will not attack under those circumstances. They would wait for watering time for the sheep. However it is much different in the Taurus Mountain range in the Mediterranean region and in Western Turkey.

If one starts traveling from Eskisehir to Ankara, then to Konya and Kayseri and Sivas, he would be traveling on relatively flat land with some mountains around. However, it is all mountains in the West and in the Taurus region. This does not mean that there are no flat lands in the Western Turkey or in the Mediterranean; the fact is that the ratio of flat land is relatively the reverse.

The people who live in the mountains are all ex-Yoruks. This Akit (white dog) is a goat shepherd. I spoke with his owner who was a shepherd. He said the same words that I have been hearing in the last ten years, "Now the flocks are smaller and wolves are gone and so are the big, handsome dogs".

According to the owner shepherd, he has about 80% old sheep dog blood. He has some Konya dog blood. What shepherds mean by old sheep dog is a Yoruk dog.

Yoruk dog too. It is in a mountain village in Afyon

All the villagers were ex-nomads. Their dogs used to be as big as newborn donkeys. I believe this "colt" analogy, because I was in one of those villages when I was about 12 years old. I could not get out of the car when I saw their dogs. Their dogs were so huge compared to the ones I used to see

One of the distinctions of yoruk dogs is their body structure, not the thickness of the bones. The bones can be thick or thin based on the size of the dog.

According to a deceased army vet General Oncul, the largest dogs were nomad dogs. He did not consider Sivas dogs as the largest and fiercest.

a huge kaba Yoruk karabas. That dog looked like a lion to me, size wise.

Then I realized their existence. If there are Yoruks and they are nomads, then their dogs must be called Yoruk dogs; not Turkish, Anatolian or nomad.


Excerpted from http://yorukanatolian.com/Articles.phphttp://yorukanatolian.com/The-Anatolian-Book.php

"The largest dog I ever saw was in 1978 in the Bursa-Gemlik military breeding plant. It was over 39 inches tall and was a semi-long-coated, yellow, black-masked male. It weighed about 200 lbs. It looked like a lion. However, generally the ones that can be seen in the highlands are about 27 ½ to 31 ½ inches tall (70-80 cm). Knowing what I know today, my impression is that the 39-inch dog was a Yoruk type. I encountered dogs of his type later on in 1978-88 in the Gemlik villages and in Keles Bursa."


Excerpted from http://www.turkdogs.com/index.php?topic=20.0. Translation from Turkish

"Guregh ç.k (gray shepherd dogs, the new name)

Boz shepherd dogs instrument used to measure length, shoulder and elbow pressure point behind the shoulder from the ground up jidago we call the height measures.

Large head, broad and deep chest, long legs, thick wrists, round and very strong bone structure, slightly drooping lip, scorpion tail style, lush sound, dislocations connected with non-high top çene.uzun The mouth of the structure of your collective fingers vardir.ince waist, muscular structure and long with the mouth wide chest looks like a real lion.

Walking, Sivas Kangal degildir.daha style like nothing so the lion pacing trot speed type, on his shoulders, chest and back legs, arms down yururler.alarm separate the head and tail angles, keeping the head tilts up.

2) HEAD; oval structure, eyes on the sides, forehead slightly curved structure, long mouth, nose, black, teeth, scissor-style correctly settled in the lower jaw combines with the tip of the nose straight, lips weakly overhanging, high structure of the upper jaw, the distance between the two ears is strictly not very wide.

3) Neck, thick, strong, long and sheepdogs kaslidir.BOZ a characteristic structure of the neck.

4) The rib cage; hand goes down to the elbows, (turbot type) and the abdominal part of the right hand to pull up the long, thin kisadir.bel than the last two ribs, rump of medium length.

5) SIRT, the shoulders broad, thinner towards the abdominal region, back line parallel to the horizon, strong neck, shoulders up and combine with dikleserek.

6) The legs, on legs, thick, round boned, thick wrist, public fingered, young dogs (18 months young) puppies belirgindir.ozellikle growth plates from 2.5 months-8 months, shows a very serious apparent.

The rear legs, heels, medium length, muscular and wide side calf, rib from the abdomen combines with inceldigi, significantly above the bones of the bones konumlanir.topuk straight slots and fingers to the heel side at 90 degrees and goes down relative to the horizon

7) TAIL; toros types, long and straight, long, thin type tutarlar.toros guregh spiral types of scorpion tails stilidir.nadiren, gureglerde is of medium thickness.

POST AND HAIR STRUCTURE; Taurus types are thin and short-haired, fully visible to the muscles and bones, coarse pelt sekildedir.guregh types, thick and feather structure vardir.guregh types of 2-storey conservation tasks was used in more than one version, a very bogus types of toros, the safety of dairy , home security and is therefore much shorter haired selected from using machinery.


9) COLOR; Kirli white, the color varies from dark soil.

10) disqualifications E; albinos, teeth error, a single testis in male dogs, kuyruksuzluk, excessive aggression or cowardice adult dogs.

11) CHARACTER; BOZ shepherd dogs, walls animals, farm animals, children, and good-natured dogs, not you, never saldirmamalidir.gorev hours, foreign people, dogs, foxes, wolves, bears, pigs, etc., etc. cussesi giant deep voices, like all living things , is protecting the area with a stimulant to the point where the buffer must be calm olmalidir.son, Drives kapilmamali should take the chance of killing a protective warrior

Males: 80 cm -90 cm (65-90kg)

Females: 73 cm -84 cm (50-70)"


Excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatolian_Shepherd. (The Boz Shepherd are a Regional type of Yoruk, sometimes refered to as a Toros Dog by outsiders.  This reference is due to the Yoruk Nomads still living a Nomadic Lifestyle as a Pastoralist in the Taurus (Toros) Mountains.)

"The Turkish Mountain Dog is descended from ancient livestock guardian dog types that migrated with the transhumance, guarding flocks of sheep fromwolvesbearsjackals, and even cheetahs.[2] It is probable that dogs of this type existed 6,000 years ago in what is now Turkey.[3] Since Turkic people did not arrive on the Anatolian Peninsula until the 11th century A.D. it seems unlikely that it came in its current form with the Turks from central Asia. The dogs are called Çoban Köpeği (shepherd dog) inTurkish language, and over the centuries, regional variations or landraces developed.[citation needed] Anatolian shepherd dogs are mainly yoruk dogs brought from middle Asia. There are very similar dogs in middle Asia. Turks brought 70 million sheep with them when they came to Anatolia, and that means they had many shepherd dogs with them. There are many types of yoruk dogs in anatolia. Turks call those types of dogs according to how they look: ala, boz, karabash, akbash, alabash, karayaka, çapar, dalkır, etc. There are also kars, karadeniz sheepdogs. To generalize a name under "Anatolian" is a bit misleading; rather it is better to call them all yörük dogs. Anatolian shepherd dogs include kangals, akbashes, boz (toros type), aksaray malaklı, and many other types of dogs. Kars dog is rather different in appearance and temperament. Karadeniz dog is also very different from other breeds of Turkey. The karaman type dogs are not the same as the other breeds. Akbash is genetically akin to far eastern Asian dogs. yörük dogs have affinity to the Turkmen alabai and middle Asian dogs. Kangals are also related to middle Asian dogs. Anatolia is an immense region and there is no one type of dog, which is more logical in terms of defining the dog breeds. In brief, there are many dog types in anatolia: tuzköy shepherd dogs toros type of yörük dogs, uzunyayla type of yoruk dogs (kangals), haymana type of yoruk dogs, aegean type of yoruk dogs, malaklı type of dogs, a kbashes, the white haired dogs that are not akbashes, ala (pinto) type of yoruk dogs, yellow and somewhat kızıl (reddish) type of yoruk dogs, long haired yoruk dogs in color variations, and many more. In the 1970s, breeders in the West became interested in the dogs and began developing the landrace natural breeds as modern breeds by documenting their descent from particular ancestors and writing breed standards. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was imported from central Turkey into Petoria by author and archaeologist Charmian Hussey.[4] Many Turkish breeders believe that the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a cross of the Kangal dog and the Akbash dog."