What makes a "Boz" a Boz

​The Turkish Boz Shepherd is its own breed, separate from the Kangal, Anatolian Shepherd, Akbash, and other Coban Kopegi landrace breeds.  Visit this page and learn what makes the Boz Shepherd the best choice for a variety of situations and environments!

What Makes a "Boz" a Boz

All dogs on earth are inter-related at a very fundamental level; certain breeds naturally share more genetic material than others, which explains why some breeds may resemble others more closely.  Most Shepherd dogs originating fromTurkey and the surrounding areas share a broad genetic base of the çoban köpeği landrace, which include the Yörük regional variants of the Akbash and Turkish Boz Shepherd, as well as the Kars, Kangal, and Anadolu.  While there are many traits that these Shepherds share, each landrace variant has been specialized by its people, and differences in size, coat, build, strength, structure, and agility do exist to the extent that they are considered separate breeds.  

Turkish Boz Shepherd

As explained in the Breed History page, the Turkish Boz Shepherd is a dog that has developed throughout history as a regional variant of the çoban köpeği landrace and in no way is a new dog or mix of any other modern or aggressive fighting breeds.  Anyone claiming this is urged to visit the Breed History page to better educate themselves.

Each of these landrace breeds and their organizations, breeders, and members are fully respected by the TBBA and our Membership.  The TBBA would like to point out some key differences between the Turkish Boz Shepherd and the Kangal because these two regional variants are often confused and are closely related, yet separate breeds.  Additionally, the Turkish Boz Shepherd is also not considered a Malak dog, and differs greatly in build, temperament, and  function as described below.    

The TBBA intends the following list to be an EDUCATIONAL TOOL ONLY and is providing the information for the general public and the TBBA Membership.  If any organizations, breeders, or knowledgeable members of the Kangal or Turkish Boz have constructive input to help educate the public regarding this list, please contact the TBBA so that we may work together professionally for this purpose.



  • The Turkish Boz Shepherd is typically larger than a Kangal, Boz males averaging 120-190lbs and 28.5 - 35.5 inches at the withers, as compared to a desirable 110-145lbs and 30-32 inches at the withers in male Kangals.   Turkish Boz bitches average 100-170lbs and 26.5 - 33 inches at the withers, as compared to a desirable 28-30 inches at the withers in female Kangals.
  • Turkish Boz Shepherds typically have a heavier bone structure and appear more substantial than the average Kangal.  Kangal bones are typically more elliptical, whereas Turkish Boz Shepherd bones are round. 
  • The Turkish Boz Shepherd profile is much more square than a Kangal, being almost as tall as he is long.  Kengals typically have a more rectangular profile, more similar to other shepherd breeds.
  • Proportionately, the Turkish Boz Shepherd has larger feet for its frame than the Kangal.
  • The Boz skull is more blocky and square with a narrower muzzle, some comparing it to the look of a "racehorse", whereas the Kangal skull is typically more rounded with a softer appearance.
  • The Kangal tail typically has more overall curl than a Boz tail

Here, the differences between the Malak, (Guregh) Turkish Boz, and Kangal bone structure and overall appearance are quite evident.  While they do share similarities, all are distinctively separate and unique to their breed.


  • Kangals typically are a higher-energy dog than a Turkish Boz Shepherd.
  • Turkish Boz Shepherds typically are more calm and have a higher overall tolerance and threshold than a Kangal.  This is NOT to say that Kangals are easily agitated or anxious, but it is a consistently stated temperament difference between the breeds observed by those people who own both breeds concurrently.  
  • The livestock guardian abilities of the boz have proven to be innately ingrained in both their acceptance and protection of livestock.  With their increased size and strength, the Turkish Boz Shepherd provides not only a more intimidating sense of risk from the predator's perspective, but also is more able to contend with a physical encounter, if forced to do so.  Those owners who have both breeds, and are able to compare the two breeds in the exact same environment, have stated consistently that they prefer their Boz Shepherds as instinctual livestock guardians over their Kangals.

Here, the differences in skull structure and appearance between the Malak, (Guregh) Turkish Boz Shepherd, and Turkish Kangal are quite evident.


  • The Turkish Boz Shepherd's skeletal and muscular structure is built for altheticism and agility, which the Malak structure is not.
  • The Turkish Boz Shepherd has sight hound genetic influences, whereas the Malak does not.
  • The Malak typically has an extremely heavy to excessive bone structure and skull with a strong stop.  The Turkish Boz Shepherd skull does not have a pronounced stop and his skull is noticeably narrower with a narrower muzzle.
  • The Turkish Boz Shepherd has a square profile, rather than the rectangular profile of the Malak.
  • The Turkish Boz Shepherd has a much faster speed and reaction time than the Malak.
  • Typically, the Malak is described temperamentally as harsh and stubborn, being a one-owner dog, and is substantially more dog aggressive than the Turkish Boz Shepherd, who is fully submissive to all family members and not overly dog-aggressive.

The Turkish Boz Shepherd is heavy-boned, but not excessively so, with a square profile and no pronounced stop as is seen in the Malak.

The Malak structure is extremely heavy-boned and profile is rectangular.  The skull is wide and stop is very pronounced.