Purebred Turkish Kangal: "Oz Tamam"
Status: Foundation Stud ( retired )
Oz was probably my favorite dog of all time !
The smartest, bravest, toughest, best nerved, dog.... you didn't want to take anywhere. We all know guys like that, the best to have by your side in a fight... but the most likely to get you in one.
He had A certain majesty, grace, presence, and subtler qualities that are difficult to capture with words, I'd probably best not try. But I had a lot of respect for that dog. I loved that dog, and I miss him still.
He was the first dog to understand what you wanted him to do, and most of the time he was happy enough to oblige. Unless he had other plans, then all bets were off. Independence is a characteristic of the breed, and his was coupled with an alpha will which made him best left on the farm.
His instincts as an LGD, and guardian across the board, were spot on natural. Physically he was ideally proportioned, poetry in motion, his vision was incredible. And his Penn hip scores ( scroll down for those ) were exceptional, the best in the country at the time, if memory serves.
We Bred Oz heavily. We doubled down on him more than any other. Where there is any Kangal in any dog here, Oz is in the mix.
I spent well over a month traversing Turkey looking at dogs. From Istanbul to Sivas, to Aksaray, to name a few places some may know, and beyond. Oz is the product of that journey, whom I got from perhaps the most well know dog man in Turkey Onur Kanli, who I came to refer to simply as the "Dog father".
Oz was a stand out temperament at a very early age, you don't meet many 5/6 week old puppies who stand there ground, but Onur and I had both seen enough litters to recognize something special when we saw it. Fortunately for me, Oz had some white flashings, which is not considered desirable in "pure Kangals," otherwise I might not have been able to get him at all. Onur was obliged to take the countries preferences into account, but we both saw what we like in little Oz.
It seemed everyone in dogs knew Onur and versa visa, and his name and word were instrumental in opening doors for me everywhere I went. Ultimately though having seen many dogs and met many a Turk happy to sell me one, I came back to Onur and his fearless young puppy Oz.
There is whole back story there, and it's a good one, oft told, as yet not written. Exporting the "Turkish National Dog" is a precarious endeavor. I'm not sure how much of the story would be wise to commit to print, lest I find myself ass bit by it, sitting in Turkish customs some future day. But if/when I do, tell that story, it will be found in the Word of Dog section under Back Stories and entitled
Oz Tamam & the Dog Father
Scroll down to see some photos of Oz, his descendants, and his ancestors in Turkey.
Oz seen above with my second son at about 14. ( sorry internet, you don't need to know my kid's names )
Oz seen above with my Third son
Oz with fourth son and third daughter
Young Oz above eyeballing a Dogo x Akita cross by the name of "Migraine" behind a gate.
Oz Seen above as an adolescent, still towering over a giant Boerboel bust we called "Dragu", aka "Magoo"
Oz above seen meeting his very first newborn goat kid, which he promptly displayed the perfect instincts with.
Oz above at about 7 wks, still in Turkey. We were on foot, and using public transport for three countries, together starting at about this age. I've never seen such a brave, unflappable puppy in all my experience. From the urban bustle of the Ankara train station, to hostile street dogs of all sorts, nothing made little Oz put his tail down. He was remarkably brave from the git go, by nature.
Notable Oz pure Kangal progeny below
"Oz Tamam" Ancestors
"Saddam," Oz's sire seen below with the gentleman I came to refer to as "The Dog Father " Onur Kanli, whose k9 connections spanned all of Turkey. And who was a big enough spirit to make numerous introductions for me, where many a, small minded, breeder would not, for selfish reasons.
Onur Kanli was as upstanding as one might hope for in a breeder, and fluent enough in English to walk away from an academic career in Cyprus, to live they life he preferred in the countryside. And I make a point of saying it because I know the little old ladies at the KDCA went on to slander his name, as they have mine. And people should know. Onur Kanli is a good man in my estimation, and certainly did right by me, trust was established both ways. And I wouldn't hesitate to introduce him to anyone wanting a dog from Turkey.
Onur has a variety of dogs, for a variety of purposes, I saw many. But I was adamant that I wanted a pup from working livestock guardian dogs, which both of Oz's parents were, I met them both. I took the photo, I spent a few days with Onur looking at his dogs. And several weeks exploring turkey looking at others.
I suppose at some point I should put together a little photo selection of this journey, but I don't travel like a Japanese tourist, so there are really precious few photos.