Spotted hyena VS Turkish Kangal

Who would win a potential fight between these two beasts

Imagine a fight between the Turkish Kangal, one of the strongest of guardian dog breeds, and Africa’s best predators and lion rivals–the spotted hyena.

So what are their strengths?

We will compare a male Turkish Kangal first with a female hyena as both gender reps of their species are much larger and more powerful than their opposite-sex counterparts.

Size & Body Description

The Turkish Kangal is a very big dog with bulky muscles but without the bulkiness of a Mastiff.

Their neck is robust and may have a slight overlap of skin that helps them gain an edge in battle by stopping from getting immobilized.

Their back is well-endowed but not too wide, curving to the group and the start of the tail, which typically falls low and is kept in a curve.

Males have an impressive height of 3.4 to 3.7 feet or 74 to 81 cm tall at the withers, while females stand between 2.3 to 2.6 feet or 71 to 79 cm tall.

Though this dog breed doesn’t have a standard weight, males typically weigh approx. 136 to 176 pounds or 62 to 80 kilograms and females 110 to 154 or 50 to 70 kilograms.

The spotted hyena is the biggest species of hyenas, as it measures 4 to 5.9 feet long or 1.2 to 1.8 meters and 2.5 to 2.6 feet tall or 77 to 81cm from paw to shoulders.

They also weigh between 88 to 190 lbs or 40 to 86 kilograms.

Unlike other animals, spotted female hyenas weigh 10% more than males.

They have a tan brown to sandy coat with yellowish or gray tips and dark brown markings covering most of their bodies.

The spotty hyena is well-endowed, with a big neck and a big head crowned by circular ears, setting them apart from other hyenas.

Their jaws are perhaps the most powerful compared to the size of any mammal.

The front legs are longer than the back legs, giving the hyena’s back a kind of weird and sloppy curve.

Range and Habitat?

Turkish locals claim that the Kangal dog is a very old guardian type of breed, believed to descend or relate to the ancient mastiff-like dogs shown in Assyrian artifacts.

The dog breed is named after the Kangal area of Sivas province in the heart of Turkey, where it probably came from.

Despite its geographical roots, many Turks consider Kangal dogs as symbols of their culture and the country’s dog.

This dog breed as well as eventual importations have brought the Kangal dog to the U.S.

On the other hand, the spotted hyena is found in Africa, in the southern region of the Sahara desert.

They are able to live in dry areas like savannas as well as semi-planted spots, and even forests in high altitudes.

Instead of sleeping in dens, mature spotted hyenas choose to sleep in hollow spots or shallow waters or under bushes and anything that gives them shade and protection throughout the heat of the day.

Hyenas will also rest in water holes to cool off themselves or to conceal food.

Spotted hyenas are active both during daytime and nighttime, based on their needs and whether humans are near, but they are typically active during nighttime.

Their Diet

In the past, Kangals used to eat dairy products from villages like cheese, milk, and yogurt. Sometimes they also eat bread.

Their diet isn’t very rich nutrient-wise, as it doesn’t contain sufficient amounts of protein–therefore, if you plan on getting one, you should go for high-quality ground pet food and occasionally red meat.

Kangal dogs are considered a large dog breed and their appetites match their big size.

An average Kangal needs around 3000 calories daily to live a healthy and joyful life.

For convenience and simple care, most of these dogs are fed with class-a kibble, specially developed for larger breeds and active dogs.

Lions and hyenas are eternal rivals, fighting over the same prey in commonly inhabited areas.

In some cases, hyenas do all the tough work of planning, hunting, and finally killing their prey only to have lions steal it or vice-versa.

Lions will not hesitate to wound or kill hyenas as they battle over a kill.

The bigger the group of hyenas, the larger the prey they will go for.

Their prey can include animals as big as zebras, baby rhinos, and cape buffalos.

The hyenas collaborate with members of their group when they have to go after larger animals, and it takes some years for young hyenas to become successful hunters.

Smaller groups of hyenas are found to hunt down impalas, gazelles, and warthogs.

When they hunt isolated, a spotted hyena may choose to prey on a smaller animal.

Their Behavior

The Kangal dog, despite its reputation and history of being a cattle guardian dog, is actually more people-oriented.

He is very active and territorial, capable of protecting his family and residence.

He is also quick to bond with a human family for years and the bond is so strong that it’s hard to re-home a natural Kangal dog.

He is especially good with kids but can easily become aggressive towards strangers.

In order to adapt to a home environment, kangal dogs need training and the development of social skills from an early age.

Due to his territorial instinct, if he is not confined in a safety fence, he can get quite aggressive and attack domesticated animals and even humans.

The Kangal dog does need repeat training and it’s typically best to include some training exercises in his schedule.

The spotted hyenas are considered to be on par with certain ape species, intelligence- wise.

They have excellent night vision and so they prefer to hunt during nighttime, sleeping or resting near their daytime.

They have a matriarchal family hierarchy, with one dominant female hyena leading the clan.

Hyenas mark their range by digging and spoiling the ground with a fatty substance that they release from their anal glands.

They have a pretty vast vocal range and interact with other clan members with yells, giggles, growls and grunts–their giggles also sound like a burst of manic high-pitched laughter, hence the name laughing hyena.

Now let’s get back to the question you’ve all waited for! Who would win a fight between these two large animals?

Although their sizes are similar, the spotted hyena is obviously more powerful and agile than any member of the canine family, including the Turkish Kangal.

They are also more prone to survive as spotted hyenas have been able to tolerate direct bites to the neck by lions. They also have a double bite force capable of crushing a bone. Additionally, spotted hyenas are more skilled hunters and killers.

The Kangal has settled in some areas of Africa, where farmers encounter problems and losses because of lion attacks and other big felines, the Kangal is there to help protect from these terrorizing predators.

But, there purpose here is just to repel these animals and don’t really engage in a fight, mostly exercising intimidation.

Spotted hyenas, on the other hand, are born hunters and killers so if a hyena bites the dog’s neck, the battle is over.

The Turkey Kangal won’t be able to kill the hyena with a suffocation bite because if these wild animals can survive the fearful bites of lions and other felines, it will most likely live through the Kangal’s bites as well. We bet the Kangal, when faced with such an enemy, won’t use this strategy but rather try to intimidate it while the Hyena will attempt to kill its opponent from the beginning.

So in brief, the Kangal will be the loser here because of its poor fighting experience and even if it attempts to bite the hyena, it won’t be able to inflict much damage. On the contrary, even a single bite of the hyena is enough to put the kangal down, with the dog fatally wounded from the direct bone crushing force of such strong jaws.

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