Kangal Shepherd Dog Lifespan: Average Life Expectancy and More!

Anatolian sheepdog kangal posing against green natural background
© Scarc/Shutterstock.com

Written by Alanna Davis

Published: April 15, 2024

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Also sometimes called the “Turkish Kangal,” the Kangal Shepherd Dog is a wonderful breed that is sure to bring joy and happiness to any family. These dogs are lively, loyal, intelligent, and utterly devoted to those that they love. While this breed is generally regarded as healthy, it’s important for Kangal Shepherd Dog owners to educate themselves about potential health issues they can face. Let’s explore the average lifespan of Kangal Shepherd Dogs and discuss common medical problems diagnosed in this breed.

Kangal Shepherd Dogs: A Brief Introduction

Turkish Kangal dog in winter. Livestock guardian dog.

Making sure your Kangal Shepherd is getting enough mental stimulation is important in maintaining their health as well.


The Kangal Shepherd Dog is an ancient breed that originates from Sivas, Turkey. These dogs were initially developed to serve as working animals. They are famous for their sharp minds and protective nature. These qualities give them the ability to succeed as service dogs, protection animals, or simply household companions. Kangal Shepherds are large, and many will grow to weigh over 100 pounds at maturity. They have high exercise and nutrition needs that owners should be aware of before committing.

How Long Do Kangal Shepherd Dogs Live For?

Typically, we see that larger dog breeds often live shorter lives than their medium or small-sized counterparts. However, this is not the case for Kangal Shepherd Dogs. This breed will live to be between 12 and 15 years old on average.

Health Problems Common In Kangal Shepherd Dogs

Beautiful Turkish Kangal puppy in winter.

Kangal Shepherd Dogs have high exercise needs.


Part of ensuring that your dog lives to a ripe old age is educating yourself about potential health issues they can face. While this breed is generally healthy, they are susceptible to certain health conditions. Two of these such conditions are hip and elbow dysplasia, which are characterized by abnormal growth of hip and elbow joints in young Kangal Shepherds. This condition progresses as dogs age, and may ultimately lead to a lack of mobility.

Another health problem that has been diagnosed in Kangal Shepherds is entropion. While this condition can develop at any point during a dog’s life, in some cases, it is inherited. According to the American Kennel Club, “Good breeders will screen for entropion, in which the eyelids invert, which can be surgically corrected.” Kangel Shepherds may also struggle with skin conditions, ear infections, and vision problems.

How You Can Keep Your Kangal Shepherd Dog Healthy

Anatolian sheepdog kangal posing against green natural background

During a medical emergency, the last thing any family wants to worry about is finances. That’s why pet insurance is so invaluable.


Although these dogs have the potential to live very long lives, owners must consciously protect the health of their Kangal Shepherd Dogs to ensure that they can meet this potential. The most important thing to stay on top of is your dog’s diet and activity levels. Make sure you’re giving them healthy foods and enough exercise to stay healthy. Another excellent safety net to have is pet insurance. Although it’s sad to think about, financial strain can be a roadblock in getting your dog the medical attention that they need. Pet insurance can help offset medical bills for your Kangal Shepherd so that you can worry about what’s most important: the health of your animal.

Finally, owners should ensure that they take their dogs in for yearly health screenings. Kangal Shepherd Dogs are tough animals, and they’ll often attempt to hide their pain and discomfort. By the time owners become aware something is amiss, it might have progressed very far. Annual vet check-ups help prevent this from happening, as it gives your veterinarian a chance to detect something brewing long before symptoms may show. As long as you follow these steps, you can rest assured you’re doing all you can to protect the health of your animal.

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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