Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kangal Dog Sarah killed a skunk

3 or 4 weeks ago Sarah got sprayed by a skunk. 

Later, I put more sheep in the paddock that she primarily stays in (also where she got scented) and they ate down and trampled some of the tall grass and today we spotted this skunk that had previously been hidden. 

Apparently Sarah killed it, would explain why she got sprayed.

One of her main hobby's is hunting gophers, mice and snakes.   

Monday, October 9, 2017

Lokum update 10-9-17

When we brought Lokum home he was simply wild.  I don’t know how else to describe him.  He was wild and unruly and had hardly any manners.  Very hard to handle!  I had to keep a fairly tight rein on him when I brought him around the family so he didn’t hurt them from jumping on them or bumping into them. 

It’s really only been in recent weeks that there has been a marked change in his wild behavior.  He’s actually settling down and is acquiring some manners.  However the fact that he no longer has any testicles has probably sped up the process somewhat as well I imagine. 

Seeing this change and remembering the “old’ Lokum I am getting a picture in my mind of how he was and how he now is.  He came here basically on his own.  I was little more than an acquaintance who fed him and walked him every day.  But really for some time he was a “free agent” completely on his own in a completely foreign land and running on pure instinct and adrenaline.  Every person and every farm animal I introduced him to were simply acquaintances. 

I think the shift came when he began to bond to me (and is still bonding) and to this place.  He’s no longer ALONE in a foreign land and is finding security in his routine and familiar sights and sounds and smells.  He doesn’t have to run on pure instinct and adrenaline so much anymore.  

Lokum is my 3rd Kangal Dog and it is even more apparent to me now that Kangal Dogs are very smart dogs.  With a millennium or two of selective breeding for this type I see why Lokum was such a handful.  For a dog like this to grow up being left to his own devices was a complete recipe for disaster.  However all those brains and physical capabilities are traits that are vital to how a good LGD responds to a predator threat.  Just trying to stay a step ahead of Lokum shows me that he would probably be very effective against any kind of real threat when all that primitive instinct kicks in. 

Earlier tonight after I got home from working, for the first time I let Lokum be with our main flock of ewes while attached to the 26’ retractable leash.  I was pleased that after the initial greeting he really had no interest in pursuing the sheep.  It was very much like when I first let him be with poultry, he was quite indifferent to them. Didn’t try to chase or fuss with them one bit!  I just had to make sure a couple bossy ewes didn’t try to ram him and turn it into a bad experience. 

Loukm knows these sheep through fences. I’ve had them surrounding him in his high security enclosure that I originally built for him.  The first time I set them up like that he terrorized them through the fence which I suppose is understandable since that was HIS turf.  But in time he stopped that behavior once he got used to their presence.

So I am pleased with tonight’s encounter on the 26’ retractable leash.  I consider it a success.

The top two pictures are of Lokum being nice with my wife Kelli.  And the one with him looking out of the fence was him being on guard after a car drove through the driveway.   


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Update with Lokum


I haven’t had time lately to take pictures, make any videos or write any updates about Lokum, but today it’s raining so I’m inside catching up with some things so here’s the latest. 


Last week was interesting, I have not yet had the time or money to create the bigger secured paddock for Lokum that I had hoped to by now (we had a financial set back with unexpected repairs on our work truck). So one day I was working outside and had Lokum in a larger fenced area adjacent to the poultry yard.  It’s fenced with various kinds of fencing, chain link, cattle fence and cattle panels and at this time still no electric.  But when I’m close by and can keep an eye on him I let Lokum have the run of it which he thoroughly enjoys.  Usually after a while he finds a place to curl up and take a nap.  Well as it went Kelli and I had a quick project to take care of a little ways off out of sight of where Lokum was and I actually forgot he was in there.  On our way back I could see him in the distance and saw that he was no longer in the area I had left him in, so I put the peddle down and raced back.  Well it was not too big a deal somehow he got himself into the poultry yard and was sniffing around in there. 


I stopped taking Lokum into the poultry yard a month or so ago because we have some broody female ducks and they totally freak out when he’s by them they race around quaking up a storm which is just too much to ask out of the dog not to take chase.  So with the broody birds being in there I simply keep Lokum away from them.  But there he was inside the yard with all those spastic females.  I fully expected to find a few dead birds, but to my surprise all was well.  Lokum was happy to see me as he was casually sniffing around looking for any leftover food scraps that we feed the birds. 


I really couldn’t tell exactly how Lokum got past the 4 foot chain link that separates the poultry, did he go under or over?  He could have easily done either. 


Days went by and I had taken Lokum for a good run so he and I wandered around that fenced area adjacent to the poultry I was just describing above.  I was walking around with him as kind of a cool down before I put him away.  I quickly saw for myself how he got into the chicken yard as he did it right in front of me.  He was sniffing rather intently along the fence line and he must have found his spot because in just a few seconds he scooted under the chain link and there he was inside the chicken yard again.  As I saw what he was about to do I began to call him, but he did not heed my protest and went on under anyway.  After all the work I have put into him I was a little disappointed that he did not listen to me.  He knew I was calling him, but like a naughty child just did what he wanted anyway. 


I learned a couple things through that, first not to trust a non-electrified fence for even a few seconds and to not put too much trust in my work with Lokum.  He came to me somewhat wild and strong willed and he still has a big streak of that even after all these months.  However I was very pleased that he did not go after the poultry even those freaky and spastic broody ducks. 


Lokum is actually better with the birds than he is the sheep, but that's another story that I will write about at another time. 



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lokum being my farm buddy as I work

I put Lokum in what's going to be a portable sheep pen that I'm working on. My first portable sheep pen is shot after years of use, so I am dismantling it and using the hardware for the new one.

I give Lokum as much experience around here as I can, routinely taking him around as I do all kinds of chores.

Also in the video are some scenes of Sarah being a great Livestock Guardian Dog while she lounges about with the sheep.

 Sarah is a very good dog and I hope that Lokum will be like this one day too, content to just hang out with the animals even with not much of a fence. The electric fence that Sarah and the sheep are shown here in is not even energized. I only use this set up when I'm around otherwise they are in a more secure paddock.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Brushing Kangal Dog Lokum / shedding 5-6-17

Kangal Dogs shed off their thick winter coats in the spring. Interesting note, Lokum is shedding before Sarah. Sarah really hasn't even started yet, Lokum began shedding a couple weeks ago. We got him from southern IL and I wonder if that has something to do with it, or is there some other reason? It seems to me that his internal clock is still set to southern time. Night times are still pretty chilly here currently so I have a hunch that's why Sarah has not begun to shed yet.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

kangal sarah with sheep 5-5-17

Sarah with sheep May 5, 2017. 

In my opinion Sarah is a perfect Livestock Guardian Dog.  She never wants to leave and doesn't try to escape from enclosures. The electric fence shown here is not even electrified at this point and still Sarah does not even try it.

Another way I think Sarah is a perfect LGD is that she is mellow and will lay around and nap near the sheep, but when something comes up that she perceives as a threat she's all "on".  I've seen lots of pictures and video's of LGD's lazily lounging about by livestock which can make a person not in the "know" wonder how in the world these dogs can be very good at protection, but they become a different animal when fully aroused and Sarah does that perfectly giving a measured response every time. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Using the 26' retractable leash

After seeing myself on video practicing a sit stay with Lokum after he gets tangled up I realize I am rusty at dog training and need more practice my self in consistency and to not repeat commands to the dog.  I need to say it firmly and clearly "one" time and then if he breaks the stay put him back into the sit and keep him there until I release him from it. 

He usually holds his sit stays better than that when we are working on obedience, but here he was being allowed to roam freely and wasn't expecting to have to work for it. 

26' retractable leash

Review and description of my 26' retractable leash and how I use it with Lokum.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

More freedom for Lokum-Kangal Dog

I closed off the old corral that Lokums pen is set up in and let him have the freedom of being loose in there all yesterday afternoon. It is not set up yet to keep him in if he wanted to go out real bad so I kept a close eye on him as I worked nearby all afternoon on some projects. He did good and did not attempt at all to escape.

Lokum had a better view of Sarah our other Kangal and the main sheep flock and kept watching all of them intently on and off throughout the day.

As I was working nearby yesterday I tried to not go more than a couple minutes without glancing over to make sure he didn't try to climb or dig out.  I plan to reinforce it with electric to prevent any of that.

Then the next step will be to get some acreage fenced in.  Even right now as I make this post I have Lokum loose in the corral again and I have my laptop in a spot to where I can see him clearly, I glance out every little bit.  I have enough experience with dogs to know that when they decide to do something it only takes a matter of seconds to accomplish their desired inclination. 

However I am confident in my relationship with this dog that if he did somehow escape that he would come to me if I called.  He is quite happy to be any place I am.  With this in mind I don't know if Lokum will ever be a proper Livestock Guardian Dog with him bonding to me so solidly.  But with his strong personality I wouldn't want to do it any other way, I feel that he needs all this training to be a good and well mannered "canine citizen".  If he never works out to be reliable with livestock then he will be my shop protector and farm buddy. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lokum meets the sheep

The below text is pretty much what I included in this video
which basically gives a run-down of what’s in the video and pictures.

Last week April 14th,2017 I took our new Kangal
Dog Lokum out to meet the sheep for the first time since we’ve had him.  He already knows Sarah our Kangal that we’ve
had for about 5 years. 

Although Sarah knows Lokum also she wasn’t overly thrilled
to see Lokum out by her sheep at first. 
I could tell by her body language that she wasn’t so sure about this.

Notice how her tail goes round and round, this is not her
normal posture when she is at ease. 

Sarah starts to warm up realizing that Lokum isn’t a threat.

Swishing her tail happily.

You might notice in the back ground one of our ewes that
didn’t get sheared last year.

We will get to her when we shear in May.

Lokum meets the ram.

Lokum was uneasy with the ram staring him down and was a
little jumpy.

Lokum definitely had both eyes fixed on him.

This last portion is of Lokum meeting our ram. Since I was
recording by myself the video quality was terrible as I was trying to monitor their
interaction so I only have four pictures to illustrate with.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lokum with the poultry

This is the first time Lokum has had free reign in the poultry yard. I’ve had him in there numerous times on the 26’ retractable leash and he never pays much attention to the birds, so I took a chance and turned him loose in there and still he paid little attention to them. In time I’m giving Lokum more and more freedom as I can trust him to respond to my commands.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sarah and Lokum meet

This is the first introductions of our older 8 year old Kangal Dog Sarah to our newest Kangal 2 year old Lokum. The first meeting was on April 2nd, 2017.

 We really didn't know what to expect, but Sarah seemed to accept Lokum quite well and seemed happy to see him. Lokum showed a little excited aggression, but nothing serious and has since warmed up quite well to Sarah and seems to want to play with her.  However I was a bit cautious at first because I have seen dogs grab noses or what ever they could get a hold of right through chain link fences and I didn't want to take any chances.

 We really see Sarah's age compared to the energetic young newcomer. I hope to get a couple more good years out of Sarah being with the livestock and then we will probably retire her to the house once she gets too old to be outside.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Some Simple Obedience


After some exercise running along with the Gator I practiced some simple obedience with Lokum. He is so high energy it's best to let him run off some steam before any lessons.

Exercising Lokum with Gator



I imagine there could be a number of people who might object to exercising a dog along side a machine like this but, in our situation and at this point I feel it is critical that Lokum have an adequate out-let for all his energy.

 He has more energy than I can him give while walking him on foot even with a 26' retractable lead.


When I first began a couple weeks ago giving him a good run alongside the Gator it finally seemed to match his requirement for exercise.


Until I can get some acreage fenced in for him where he can exercise himself this is what I plan to continue to do.


I do take him out on foot at least every day usually 2 to 3 times a day actually, then every couple days a nice run with the Gator, but I am extremely careful and do not allow myself any distractions so as to prevent any accidents.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Lokum-Kangal Dog


I still feel very much like a novice when it comes to LGD’s and Kangal Dogs in particular even though I’ve been working with them since 2010.  Lokum is my 3rd Kangal. 


I’ve had dogs my whole life and got my first pure bred Rottweiler at age 17.  The breeder I got him from was named Frank Brader and he was a professional animal trainer at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago, IL. Frank required anyone who bought a pup from him to take the dog to a obedience class.  Frank was also a dog trainer that specialized in Rotts so I chose to enroll in one of Franks classes. I don’t remember if it was an 8 or 10 week course, but it was something close to that.  I’ve been using many of his techniques ever since with most of my dogs over the years.  I’ve never competed with any of my dogs, but simply trained them for my own enjoyment and for the better development of the animals.   


I’ve had mixed breeds and purebreds, and probably most dogs I’ve ever had were given to me.  The purebreds were mostly of the working breeds, Rottweiler, Doberman, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky. And some not so common a Fila Brasileiro, Caanan Dog and Australian Cattle Dog. 


Someone gave me a pair of Siberian Husky pups in 1998 when we first moved to our place in northern Wisconsin.  They were great dogs to have up north in the colder climate, but they didn’t make very good farm dogs as they had a strong prey drive and wanted to kill everything from chickens to horses.  I used to use them to pull me while being on ski’s.  Lots of fun!  However the dogs were quite indifferent when it came to obedience training.  The books said Huskies were somewhat "aloof" and I found that to be true with these guys.  They would sit for treats, but it seemed like they only barely put up with me, their hearts really weren’t in it like the other dogs I’ve had who would obey almost in a robotic manner with prolonged sit-stays and downs and heel all with precision. 


I found my first two Kangals to be more like the Huskies in their lack of enthusiasm for obedience training.  They could take it or leave, but I think for them it was mostly leave it! Wear-as the Rott , Dobe and Shepherds thrived on training, it gave them purpose and meaning in life. 


Now enter Lokum my most recent Kangal.  He is a high energy dog something like I’ve seen in some of the hunting breeds that are most common in the area where I live now.  Only Lokum is WAY more powerful, 120lbs and still filling out.  In the first two weeks of owning him Lokum on the other hand compared to my first two Kangals seems to thrive on training.  It gives him an outlet for all that energy and he seems to like pleasing me.  Praises go a long way with him. 


My wife Kelli dried up some chicken livers for Lokum and he is crazy about them!  After just 3 lessons with pieces of a chicken liver he will “down” on command.  But I confess I never tried dried chicken livers for training with my first two Kangals they might have showed more enthusiasm for training. 


Sarah my 2nd Kangal is a great dog.  She’s an almost perfect LDG in my opinion except that I don’t think she has the physical stature to go up against a large predator if it ever came to that God forbid. I don’t think she has good movement compared to my first Kangal Ariella or even Lokum.  Arie as we called her was fluid in her movement, was very strong and athletic, but her temperament was not good as an LGD.  She was extremely gamey with a high prey drive.  She went from zero to kill in a split second.  The last time I took her to town with me in my pick-up truck I thought she was going to break my window trying to get at a couple small dogs that she saw being walked on a sidewalk. 


I’m afraid she would have been a liability had she not died prematurely on the highway.  So far Lokum on the other hand is rather indifferent to other small animals.  He is not fazed by the chickens, ducks and geese or the farm cats that roam around.  Which I think is a good sign for him to be a good LGD.  He is a good guardian without being overly gamey like Arie was. 


I’m glad I had a difficult Kangal to start with in Arie.  Sarah was perfect coming here at 3 years of age and already having had experience with livestock.  Lokum is a different kind of challenge in that he is SO high energy.  At this point I think trying him with livestock would be a disaster.  Right now I’m just trying to get him to be good with people in that he’s so hyper active that he could hurt someone in his enthusiasm.  I feel that the most important thing he’s learning now is the word NO. Come, sit and down are the next most important. 


Right now I do not have him in a big enough space it’s only a run that’s 6’x 26’ so I exercise him every day to try to burn off some excess energy.  There are times when Lokum is an absolute “live wire”. 


I bought a heavy duty 26’ retractable lead to help in getting him adequate exercise.  I really like this tool it’s rated for 200 lb. dogs. 


As an example of him being a live wire just this evening I had him out on it and he got himself wrapped around a light post and he was about to very quickly get both myself and him in a very dangerous situation. I had to act quickly to calm him down.  The last two weeks of training came in handy as he responded to my commands and I rewarded him with a nice shoulder massage which he seems to really like.  I massaged him and spoke soothing words to him and he settled down.  It could have gone bad. Jerry from the rescue who fostered Lokum before I got him nearly had a couple fingers broke when he got them caught in his choker chain.  Lokum tends to go in circles in his hyper activity. 


I’ve been my learning as I go with my relationship with LGD’s and Kangal Dogs in particular.  Some of my life long experience with dogs has come in handy, but really it’s a whole new ball game for me, but I’m enjoying the challenge.  And they are pretty cool dogs! 





Lokum pics 3-30-17

Lokum is adjusting well to his new home! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Adopted a new Kangal Dog

This is Lokum our new Kangal Dog. Our third Kangal. 

First one died prematurely from getting out on the highway and the second one Sarah is doing great.  Sarah is a very great live stock guardian dog.  Sarah is now about 8 years old. 

We adopted Lokum through a rescue in Southern IL called "Howlin 4 Help Rescue" which was working in conjunction with the Kangal Dog Club.  Thanks to Jerry, Liz, Christine and Mary for making it a smooth transaction!  All great folks to work with! 

Lokum is 2 years old and apparently he was too much for his original owner to handle due to some unforeseen circumstances in her life being left as a single mother.  Lokum does require a strong arm as he is 120lb to 125lb and has LOTS of energy. 

We drove down to southern IL on Thursday picked him up on Friday and returned to northern WI Friday night. 

Yesterday which was Saturday I took Lokum out several times and brought him in the house to meet the family and took him out for walks on a 6' leash.  Took him for a long walk of just under a mile.

Today I did the same with several short walks brought him into the house for a couple short visits to see the family and one good long walk this time over 1 mile.  We have 200 acres all together so can walk for miles and never leave our land.

On the long walk I had him on a 30' retractable lead which gave him a lot more exercise than yesterday on the short 6' leash where he mostly walked at heel the majority of time.  With this 30' retractable lead he got lots of opportunity to run around and burn off some energy. 

This is only the second full day here at our farm and he is already doing so well I think he will be a great asset to our operation. 

Sarah turned out to be a fantastic dog but she is aging.  Still doing great as a livestock guardian, but large dogs do not live terribly long so maybe we will have a few more good years with her so it is nice to have a younger dog on hand to move into her role once she is no longer as effective. 

This is Sarah in the house for a visit just over a month ago. 

Comparing Lokum to Sarah, Lokum is built way better in the way he is put together he moves way more fluidly than Sarah.  And he is way more muscular with a bigger head and neck.  Way more capable of going up against a predator if he had to.  However the idea is that the deter the predator rather than go up against them toe to toe.  I would never want any of my dogs to have to actually physically encounter a large predator like a wolf or bear but if it did happen I would want my dog to have a fighting chance. 

Our first dog Arie had a nice build and moved with fluidity like Lokum.  If I were breeding Kangal Dogs I would breed for good movement like that.  On the other hand Sarah is great in that she isn't high energy and she is a real "home-body".  She never tries the fences and never wants to be far from the livestock.  Whenever I take her out for walks or a visit to the house she gets restless and wants to go back to the animals and her place.  Time will tell if Lokum will turn into a "home-body" as well. 

Arie was not a good LGD in that she was a hunter and very "gamey" she wanted to hunt everything that moved.  That's what got her killed as I think she was out chasing deer.  Looking back on it and having pondered what happened with her for years now I think Arie climbed out over one small portion of fence that was not electrified.  It was about a 6' x 6' section that I never got around to putting electric fencing on because it was on the other side of a gate and connected to a building.  Arie would have been a fantastic "hunting mastiff" one that someone could have taken wild boar hunting. 

Well any way this post is mostly about Lokum, but with him being our 3rd Kangal I can't help but compare him to the others.  It's only been a couple days now, but I think he's got the making of a great dog.