Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

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.