Şanlıurfa’s Kurtboğan dogs rival Sivas’ Kangal
ŞANLIURFA – Anadolu Agency
Unique to the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, Kurtboğan shepherd dogs have become a national breed rising to world fame following several victories in competitions across the country. They are set to become rivals to the Kangal dogs of the eastern province of Sivas.
Shepherd dogs are very important in Şanlıurfa, the center of ovine breeding, because there are many sheep herds. Known for their giant bodies and being called “Guregh,” the Kurtboğan dogs have become well known in the country in recent years with their triumphs in competitions held in Sivas, Istanbul and Ankara.
The Kurtboğan dogs are raised in special shelters opened by enthusiasts particularly in Karaköprü and Bozova districts and are fed boiled bones.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Harran University (HRU) Veterinary Faculty Dean Professor Murat Sevgili said Şanlıurfa was very dense with animal population. Stating that the city was home to many rare animals such as gazelle, bald ibis, desert monitor and the striped hyena, Sevigli said the Kurtboğan dogs were also common in the region.
He said there was a lack of scientific literature about the Kurtboğan dogs.
“They are raised in Bozova district and also known as the shepherd dog. Kurtboğans have bodies bulkier than those of Kangals. They are strong against extreme hot weather in the region. Their weights are quite striking, as there are many weighing 100 kilograms or more. Males are slightly larger than females and the upper part of their tails are slightly folded towards the back. There are big black spots on their faces, noses and ears. Hoofs at the rear are also unique to this species. Their colors are different shades of white.
[HH] Winners of competitions
Yunus Emre Kılıç has been raising Kurtboğans for many years and currently has 50 dogs. He said he was working to bring together all Kurtboğan species in the city.
Kılıç said the dogs were very expensive and could find buyers for 10,000-20,000 Turkish Liras at least.
He said these types of breeds received more interest in European countries.
“We were the winner of a festival joined by 300 dogs in Ankara. We were also the winner of a festival in Istanbul joined by 500 dogs. Very recently, we ranked first in a dog show in Sivas. The difference of these dogs from Sivas Kangal dogs is that they are very well adapted to this region. Sivas Kangals cannot bear the conditions of Şanlıurfa in temperatures exceeding 45 degrees in the summers. Kangals we brought here from Sivas died because of this reason. Dogs of this breed are the biggest competitors to Sivas Kangal dogs with their success, size and value,” he added.
Kılıç said those willing to buy them as puppies had to make reservations and would have to inform the breeders from months before.
He said the price for the puppies started from 3,000 liras and adults from 10,000 liras. “There are dogs whose prices go up to 50,000 liras. Some dogs weigh 100 kilograms. A dog’s height is about 2 meters when it stands on its two feet. It’s not easy to bargain for these dogs.”