Activities For Kangal Dogs

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Introduction

This gentle giant of a dog hails from the city of Sivas, Turkey and is quickly becoming one of the world's most popular guardian dog breeds. Kangal Shepherd Dogs, often simply called Kangal Dogs, have a very unique outlook on life that many pet enthusiasts feel contributes to the breed's extreme efficacy as guard dogs and protectors. You see, Kangal Dogs don't just look at the members of their households as roommates - they legitimately view humans and other animals that they become well acquainted with as members of their "flock" and will go above and beyond to protect them from harm. Activities like guard dog training, herding training, and obedience training can help a Kangal Dog become that much better at protecting their flock while also refining a number of their innate traits and abilities.

Treat Boxes

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Rainy Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Cardboard Boxes
Treats
Activity description
This activity is great for those rainy days when you can't go outside yet still have to deal with a very antsy pet. All you need to play this game are a few cardboard boxes (which you can buy at a very low cost if you don't already have a few spares lying around the place), some scissors, and a few dog treats. Using the scissors, you're going to cut a small, rectangular hole into the boxes before slipping a treat into one of them. You're then going to take all of the makeshift treat boxes, place them next to your Kangal Dog, and then you're going to stand by your pet's side as they sniff around trying to see which box has their treat inside of it.
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Arts and crafts
You'll feel like a kid again when you start folding up and cutting up the boxes! Don't get too carried away though, as the holes you cut should only be about a few inches in diameter (no less than 2 and no more than 4). We want the holes to be small enough for the scent of the treat to escape out of the box but for your Kangal Dog not to be able to see directly inside.
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Cooperation
We'd like to reiterate that this is meant to be a cooperative game; once your Kangal Dog correctly sniffs out the box that has their treat in it, you'll need to open the box up and directly give your pet their treat (unless you don't mind cleaning up all the cardboard ribbons your pet will make trying to open the box themselves.)
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3
Ramping up the challenge
There are a few ways you can make this activity more challenging; one way is to simply add more boxes to the equation as well as placing the correct box in an unusual area. You can also add difficulty to this activity by paying homage to Christopher Nolan and placing boxes within other boxes (and renaming this activity "box-ception") to really tease your Kangal Dog's brain.
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Obedience Training

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Activity description
Obedience training is an essential activity for helping Kangal Dogs get ready for the rigors of Guard Dog training because it helps these gentle giants gain better control of their natural impulses. Kangal Dogs already have better control over their urges than most other dogs as a result of their even tempered personalities, so helping your dog complete a few obedience training courses will be like helping a B+ student become an A+ scholar. The cost of a professional obedience training course can cost between $40 to $125 plus since prices are typically decided at the trainer's discretion, but the results of a successful course are invaluable. While you won't be able to control any fluctuations in the weather over the course of the 4 to 8 weeks it'll take to complete a full course, we encourage you to try and enroll your Kangal Dog in an obedience training class during the sunnier times of the year as many activities will need to take place outside; although many training clubs have indoor facilities as well.
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1
Finding the right fit
When you first start looking for someone to train your dog, you might initially feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of trainers that are out there. While one might be tempted to either go with the cheapest trainer for the sake of their wallets or, conversely, go with the priciest one thinking the training may be better, it's best to base this sort of thing on compatibility; after learning as much as you can about a specific trainer, decide if their skill set and personality will be a good match for your dog.
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2
Every step they take
You'll want to be by your dog's side every step of the way during this journey; most trainers will eventually gain a dog's respect and friendship over the course of their training, but no one can motivate your dog to fully apply themselves to the various activities and exercises which encompass obedience training quite like you can. Most obedience training classes only meet once a week, so try to find a class that works for your schedule.
Step
3
Practice at home
A great way to help reinforce a particular concept that you and your dog have learned in class is to continue practicing that concept at home. If the two of you learned all about heeling last class, then try to find the time to continue practicing that concept at home whenever you get the time. The next time you and your dog are about to head outside for a walk, try heeling them by your side the entire time. You'll eventually get to the point where you don't even need a leash with enough practice!
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Hiking

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 5 hrs
Items needed
First Aid Kit
Leash
Backpacks
Food and Water
Activity description
Being the hardy, loyal companion animals that they are, we can hardly think of a better breed of dog to bring along for a hiking trip than a Kangal Dog; these big guys will be able to handle all kinds of terrain and will also instinctively warn you and your hiking group of any impending danger such as predatory wildlife or even precarious environmental hazards. Even if one chooses to hike in a calm and serene environment, Kangal Dogs are great companions to have by your side due to their natural intelligence and equally laidback demeanor. We suggest going for a hike on a sunny day no matter where you choose to trek because hiking in cold weather has its own host of challenges. While some of the more illustrious hikes out there cost thousands of dollars to complete, the average hiking trail (the kind we've described above) is usually open to the public for free. The only expenses you'll need to cover are the costs of your hiking equipment and possibly parking, the total of which can range from $50 to $100 depending on what supplies your already own.
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Getting ready
First off, you'll need to pick where you'd like to go hiking. Where you're hiking, how long it's projected to take a person to complete a trip to and fro, and the climate of the trail will all inform what kinds of supplies you'll need to bring and which ones you can leave at home. It helps to outfit your dog with a backpack of their own so that you can bring even more supplies between the two of you.
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Hiking best practices
Try to start your hike as early in the day as possible so that you and your Kangal Dog can trek in the comfort of the sun's warmth and finish long before the sun begins to set (again, hiking in the dark has its own host of challenges.) Sticking by your dog's and your group members' (if you have any) sides is a must while not deviating from the path is only as hard of a rule as you are bad at navigating through wild terrain; if you're especially handy with a map or a compass, then feel free to venture off a bit - but try not to get too carried away if you're an inexperienced navigator.
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Hiking rules
Keep your pup with you at all times and pick up after them as you meander along the trail, leaving it as pristine as you found it. Always leave the folks at home an itinerary of where you plan to trek no matter how long or short the planned hike is. Extra clothing in the backpack is typically considered a must, as well as a small blanket for you and your Kangal Dog in the event of a need to stop. Hydrate regularly!
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More Fun Ideas...

Herding Training

Kangal Dogs were practically bred for the purpose of herding sheep and other types of livestock animals. With herding lessons usually costing about $25 to $50 dollars a day, this activity can be on the pricier side of things in the long run. Still, if you've got the money or are able to save up for it, your Kangal Dog can benefit greatly from herding training.

Dog Puzzles

These devilishly crafty contraptions will provide your dog with both a challenge to solve and a tasty treat for their troubles. Dog puzzles typically cost anywhere from $20 to $40 or $50, with some of the higher end puzzles costing around $60 to $80, with a number of them allowing you to manually place treats of your choosing inside of the puzzle.

Dog Parks

Kangal Dogs do very well around people and other animals, including other breeds of dogs. When you get the chance, take your pet to a local dog park so that they can get the opportunity to socialize with other members of their species and put their good manners on display for all to see. Most dog parks are open to the public, so you likely won't have to worry about your wallet at all when planning a trip to a dog park.

Conclusion

With their kind personalities, loyal dispositions, and defensive mindsets, it's easy to see why Kangal Dogs are steadily earning praise and making fans all around the world. As we mentioned earlier, Kangal Dogs are especially protective of people and other animals with whom they've formed tight bonds with. These gentle giants are also fairly easy to train, especially when compared to other large mastiff type dogs, which is great because they really will benefit from training activities like we mentioned earlier and beyond. These dogs are so personable and endearing that we'd only advise not adopting one if you live in an area with limited space as these big breeds need large amounts of room to play in.