International convention draws Kangal dogs together
The weekend commencing May 2nd saw Kangal enthusiasts from all over the world gather together in the lovely countryside near Dortmund, Germany.
The weekend started with a visit to Dortmund Show where BOB was awarded to Wim Vanbrabant’s delightful young bitch. BOS went to Marek and Marcels Mostynovi’s striking dog (bred by Char Luthy in USA) On a personal note it was interesting to see for the first time the style of judging in europe - each dog being “critiqued” as he examined the different aspects of the dogs.
From the show we travelled to a hotel about an hour away, set in pine woods and open countryside.
Saturday was the day planned for the convention, which sounds very formal but was a relaxed and enjoyable experience. We walked through the woods to an equestrian centre where we enjoyed a parade of about 35 Kangal dogs – it was a great sight some of the dogs were wearing their festival collars decorated Turkish style. Some of the dogs had travelled from Europe and some were Turkish dogs living in Germany. Three young pups played happily amongst the dogs without a care in the world. After the parade Roz Carr and Onur Kanli were available for owners to ask about certain aspects of showing as some Turkish owners want to show their dogs in the required manner Roz also tactfully answered questions as to how their dogs measured up to the breed standard (Onur translated where necessary)
Inside the centre there were presentations from Char Luthy (USA), Suzanne Edland (Sweden) Sheila Reed (UK). Sheila Reed talked about the history of the breed in the UK and Europe and about our difficulties with the Kennel Club regarding the recognition of our breed as separate from Anatolian Shepherd Dogs. Char and Suzanne gave interesting presentations about the work of the dogs as livestock protectors. Chars pups were working with birds as well as sheep and goats. Suzanne spoke about the use of the breed as livestock protectors in Sweden where the main predators are wolverine and birds of prey. During the evening Eleonore Rosner talked enthusiastically about her rescue work in Germany and her behavioural work with the rescued Kangals.
There was discussion about setting up a data base for the breed – Elizabeth von Buckwaldt has a team of volunteers willing to help.
We finished the weekend with a Turkish barbeque hosted by the owner of three typical examples of the breed – the bitch having a brood of eight 3-day old pups to enchant us.
As we sat enjoying tasty Turkish food and lazing in the sun we had another opportunity to share our experiences of the breed and our hopes for the future.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience and we must thank Elizabeth von Buckwaldt and her team for organising the event included our travel and hotel stays – Well done! I look forward to meeting everyone again maybe when the FCI recognise the breed which we hope will not be too far in the future.