THE KANGAL DOG: A NATURAL ATHLETE
The Kangal Dog is very much a "mastiff" in the original sense of the word. Early sources describe a mastiff as a dog of massive size having proportionally large bone, a thick neck, a broad, fairly short muzzle, drop ears, and a stop. A stop is a break or step down from the skull to the muzzle -- a forehead, as it were. That description aptly fits the Kangal Dog and is found in the breed standard.
A distinguishing part of Kangal Dog conformation is the head, with its rather small, dark eyes, broad skull, wide muzzle, and powerful jaws. The bite is level or scissors. The lips as well as the eye rims are black. The ears are usually shaded with black, medium-sized, pendant, and carried flat to the skull.
The Kangal Dog is almost square in proportion, having a straight, strong back and a short, fairly level croup or rump. Its tail is long, but high-set and with a curl in it. It is a powerfully built dog, deep and broad in the chest. The hindquarters are powerful, but not as heavy as the forequarters. The hind legs tend to be moderately straight. When the dog moves the tail is invariably curled over the back, and the gait is relaxed. Some dogs may tend to pace, which is acceptable.
Much of the power of the Kangal Dog lies in the fact that its natural body proportions have not been exaggerated as have many "westernized" breeds. In its native Turkey, the powerful Kangal Dog has been bred for centuries with function dictating form.