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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cheetah's, Tigers, and Anatolians. Oh My!

Photo thumbnail from HUGE pic on Chyril's blog!

Check out the September updates at Shepherds Rest Blog with pictures of cheetahs, tigers and some of her other cool news.

Ann Beckhelling, the Founder of Cheetah Outreach in South Africa, came to the USA this September and visited with Chyril and family at Shepherds Rest. Chyril has sent an Anatolian male named Morocco to Cheetah Outreach (CO) in the past year. Morocco is turning out to be quite promising. He may be used in CO's breeding program of Anatolians for cheetah conservation efforts. The dogs are kept by herd owners in South Africa, to deter cheetahs from preying on their livestock. Morocco's sire is Gandolf, who is owned by Mr. Guvener Isik, and who happened to be in Oregon at the time. Isik has been featured on this blog for some of his Turkish dog research. He joined with Ann and Chyril on a private tour of Wildlife Safari, Oregon. Isik's dog, Turkish born, Gandolf has been on lease as a working livestock guardian and as a foundation sire to Shepherds Rest Anatolian guardian dogs. Gandolf will probably go back to Turkey to work when his lease is complete. Such a globe trotting paragraph!

Chyril has posted a cool photo story as well, showing an Anatolian Shepherd Dog and a cheetah playing together. Lots of pics. Looking at them play and checking out their expressions and body language is fascinating stuff that intrigues me. It's that "animal whisperer" thing, checking out the pics is quite a trip. (If you love that sort of thing too... remember the pics showing the polar bear and husky at play?).

Chyril has had quite an interesting summer. There will be more updates with photos on her blog soon! :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/03/2007 01:04:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Turkish Dog Evolution: Concerning Kangal Dog, Akbash, Kars, Turkish Mastiff, Yoruk, Malak and Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Turkish Dog History is still in the making. :)

The list of classifications and subclassifications of dogs associated with native shepherds of Turkey continues to grow. The Kangal Dog, Akbash Dog, Kars, and Turkish Mastiff, then the Malak, plus the Yoruk and the Anatolian Shepherd Dog are among current classifications of strains and/or (in some cases) breed divisions that have evolved via different sources in the past two decades from widely scattered native landraces of shepherds' dogs or coban kopekleri of Anatolia.

Click to see Malak article
Go to Malak Article

A Turkish-born researcher and traveler, Guvener Isik (website: has published two new articles about the flock guardian dogs in Turkey. One is a recent interview with Turkish Kangal Dog enthusiast and published author, Dogan Kartay, touching on issues of FCI recognition of Turkish breeds. The second article is an exploration of the heavy boned, massive Malak which Kartay mentions during his interview and the possible influences of this dog on other subtypes all across Turkey. Isik has published the Malak article previously (in Turkish) but the article is timely so it has undergone an English translation. Isik has many other articles (much of it is in Turkish) and has used his own collection of photos taken at location in some of his work. It is wonderful that he has taken the time to try to bring more understanding of the dog situation in Turkey to both Turkish and international interests alike.

See the articles linked below. Many thanks to both Isik and to Kartay for helping to bring more light to these subjects!
Taken from his website, Isik writes:
The History or Story Behind This Site

I have been around these dogs and the necessary life style since my childhood. It is obvious that there several views about this subject without any tangible and rational arguments. Most of the information available is time and content wise based on very limited research and is repetitive. Visiting a few villages and flocks for a few days in a limited geographical area and drawing outcomes through the collected or available data would give one a limited portion of the whole picture. This approach in the past gave two basic results: One is considering the whole shepherd dog population of Turkey as one breed "Anatolian Shepherd Dog", the other one is creating new breeds like "Akbas" without looking the meaning of the word and the extent and the content of its usage. The above second international approach affected the Turkish public and consequently manipuated city Turks and Turkish Academicians to accept a new breed. To me this is a breed inflation not a discovery. The Kangal side of the confusion started in Turkey and affected some clubs in other countries. So far there is not any clear remark in Turkey that clarifies the qualities of Kangal Shepherd Dog. Is Kangal a dog from only Kangal region? Is any dog from that region a Kangal? We can say "Yes" to the first question. We should say "No" to the second one, because there is variation of types in that area. Then it must be a type of dog, which can be mostly found in that area in its best form. There is no consensus on the subject, because we are referring to different qualities by using the same word. Recently any fawn colour dog with a black mask goes as a Kangal, and the local strains are being negatively damaged by this attitude.

I am actually concentrating on the Yoruk dogs. They are terribly ignored and even the name "stray" is used in order to elavate the importance of the major two famous strains. I am not intending to create a new breed but bring out whateverelse Anatolia offers. I am here to introduce them to you for them to be recognised.

Others involved in Yoruk dogs

We are a group of people who are trying to locate and preserve the best specimens of these dogs all over Turkey. We definitely deliberate over the traditional methods during the process of our endeavour to perpetuate these dogs. What we feed, how we choose and test are all based on conventional practices.

In Izmir: Aral Altay, Muzaffer Colakoglu
In Denizli: Halil Cokak, Ismail Kara, Ibrahim Kayis, Mehmet Kayan
In Sapanca: Vet. Murat Ilgaz
In Isparta: Mehmed Pir

To me, in order to do a good job of learning about these dogs one needs sensitivity to traditions (both current and past trends); enthusiasm about genetics and actual pedigree research; population & locale studies including formative environment; patiently reading perspectives from different peer and enthusiasts groups -- and the list goes on with other materials. A multidimensional approach!

Examining Turkish Dogs
Isik examining a Turkish dog. Puppies examining Isik.

Check out the puppy up on the dirt bank! An independent LGD in the making? :)

A female with a litter
From Isik collection: a female Kangal with portion of her litter.

For some, it is often 'safer' to just freeze a point in time with one's assumptions and speculations and to go no further toward the truth.

Foundation stock of Turkish breeds to from Kangal Dog, Akbash & Anatolian Shepherds -- and the produce from these dogs, even if acquired from the same areas (often they were not) were not consistent and homogenous, regardless of whether one sings for Akbash, Kangal Dog or ASD.

Foundation stock: Kangal Dog
A Kangal Dog from American Kangal Dog Club founder's foundation stock

Foundation stock: Akbash Dog
Another early foundation stock dog. American Akbash strain

At any rate, many new enthusiasts in these dogs are seeking better understanding. I'm glad that many realize there is so much more to learn! Knowledge, sharing information and being honest will help us all work together to preserve these wonderful dogs. :D B)

Links to the Articles:
Guvener Isik's Interview with Dogan Kartay
Malak and furthermore Greyhound Turca

Related from this blog:
Bozkir Canavari: The Steppe Monster
Previous Turkish dogs blog post with some genetics info

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/05/2006 11:11:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Carina sent us a woof // September 08, 2006

I will perhaps be in Turkey for a visit next year...if I do I am definitely going to try getting out to see some dogs! :)
If you recall, I spent five years growing up in Turkey and well remember the guardian dogs. One had to be careful when walking in rural areas, because they could be quite ferocious and vigilant about strangers approaching.
I have long wanted an Anatolian, but city living just doesn't seem fair for a flock-guardian dog of proper temperament.   

Blogger Arlene sent us a woof // January 28, 2007

I would LOVE to have another Kangal puppy. Fates will probably not allow it as I can't afford to get one from a reputable breeder in the States and won't be getting to Turkey any time soon. I dream of the day though...   

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bozkir Canavari: The Steppe Monster

Bozkir Çanavari: The Steppe Monster is the latest of articles available online, written by Guvener Isik in the ASDI newsletter (Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International, Inc., Choban Chatter ).

It is an authorized English translation of a chapter from the Turkish dog book, Turk Çoban Köpegi Kangal by Dogan Kartay. Thank you Dogan Kartay and Guvener Isik for doing this work!

This chapter explains a little about the mystery and intrigue behind some of the wolf/shepherd dog hybrids of Turkey, the parents of which "can be karabas, akbas or crosses of these two. The possibility of the survival of the cubs from the Çanavar parents is greater in the steppes."

It has been generally understood that wolf crosses have occasionally been used in the breeding of some of the shepherd's dogs, so this makes for some fascinating reading for Turkish dog fans! The robust health and the original diversity of these dogs, the hardships and the cultures behind them can be really appreciated here. Warnings about character of the cubs/puppies are mentioned as well. (lest anyone think that wolf/dog hybrids come without risk)

Here's another bit from the article...
Male Wolf and female Kangal pairs are bred under the control of the villagers of Yesildag region that is in the west of Beysehir Lake, which is located, further north of Toros Mountains.
location of Yesildag, Turkey

I'm really into maps, so I'm always referencing areas when specific regions are mentioned. This helps put a lot of what is said about Turkish shepherd dogs into clearer perspective. The Toros Mountains is the Turkish name for the Taurus Mountains and the region mentioned above can be seen here just at the northern edges of the Toros Mountains and between Konya (east) and Isparta (west) just south of Lake Beysehir...Map of Yesildag TR

Here's a photo of a twisting, winding road to Yesildag going around Lake Beysehir.

Road to Yesildag
Courtesy Lux's World

Here's a fascinating satellite map which helps put the rough terrain into a little more perspective. Pink spot is approximately Yesildag.

The region by USDA satellite

Boone and squeaky toy

Boone ponders a squeaky toy that is not a Steppe Monster.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/27/2006 04:10:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Turkish dogs, working dogs and street dogs

Guvener Isik has a new article online about Turkish shepherd's dogs, working stock, and street dogs.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/10/2005 07:52:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Turkish Shepherds' Dogs: A Journal

If you haven't already, have a visit to Ann Grove's blog, The Turkish Shepherds' Dogs: A Journal. Featuring photos and stories of a recent trip to Turkey that covered 2000 miles in nine days. The group visited some of the famous breeding kennels, spoke with shepherds and attended the 2005 Kangal Festival, Symposium and Show. It is a review of the Turkish dog situation written in a journal format.

It makes excellent companion reading along with Guvener Isik's article which is a balanced view of the shepherd's dogs in Turkey.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 8/03/2005 02:22:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Marcela sent us a woof // August 04, 2005


wonderful pages!!!! I really enjoy it a lot. Marcela   

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // August 29, 2005

My sister, Sara, and I are going to Turkey in November. We read your jounal with great interest and plan to go to some of the places you write about. We will be there 3 weeks with no set agenda, just enjoy the people and culture. It would be wonderful to see dogs too because my dog is what started my interest in Turkey.
Looking forward to the next installment.
If you have any advice for me feel free to email me. I mean as far as being a good tourist and not offending the locals. If you have any wonderful places you think we would enjoy, that too.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Turkish Family: Kids and Dogs

Look at the beautiful smiles and check out the cool looking hat! :)

Turkish family and dogs
Photo credit to Guvener Isik

A Turkish family posing with a handsome young working shepherd's dog and their little "peanut" dog. :)

Guvener explains:
The little black and white dog is generally called "findik" means peanut. because they are so small. One can see them with the flocks sometimes and they are extremely protective.
I have a previous post on Guvener's Turkish dog studies here.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 6/17/2005 07:33:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Great Article by Guvener Isik

UPDATE - I have moved this blog to my domain-

A fascinating article with dozens of photos showing a wide assortment of Turkish Dogs is well worth the read for those of us hopelessly afflicted with a fascination for these dogs! In "Comparative Analysis of Two Different Strains of Anatolian Shepherd Dogs: Yoruks and Kangals", Guvener Isik, a Turk with a shepherding background, explores some of the regional livestock guardian dog strains and explains how each of some of these strains were historically adapted for the type of terrain upon which they work. He also touches upon how much things are changing and why the changes.

Online for only about a week now, it has had over a hundred hits according to its web managment interface. Pretty amazing for a just posted article about our rare breed!

Another wonderful photo of Zoran modeling his gorgeous collar. This is the last picture in the photo snapping series and frankly he looks as though he has had enough of all the picture taking nonsense. Still, he looks fantastic!

Enough Already!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/19/2005 10:48:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Tazkwok sent us a woof // April 26, 2006

Your dog is so cute. Your dog and my dog should meet. However, i am afraid your dog is going to attack my baby.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // April 27, 2006

It usually works the other way around! Small dogs get upset if the other dog is too big. :)