While the Kangal is often referred to as a sheep dog, it is not a herding dog, but rather a flock guardian that lives with the flock of sheep to actively fend off wolves, bears and jackals. The Sivas Kangal Dog's protectiveness, loyalty and gentleness with small children and animals has led to its growing popularity as a guardian for families as well, as it regards people as its "flock" and guards them with extreme devotion.
The Kangal dog is calm, controlled, independent, and protective. They may be aloof towards strangers, but a well-socialized Kangal Dog is friendly with visitors and especially children. They must never be shy or vicious. A well-trained Kangal is sensitive and alert to changing situations, responding to threats with judicious warnings and courageous action if necessary. They make good guardians of livestock and humans alike, but they may not be suitable for inexperienced dog owners, as the independent intelligence of the Kangal makes for a difficult pupil.