The Kuvasz is an ancient breed believed to have originated in Hungary, but more probably from the much larger dogs of Tibet. It was once only kept by Royalty and was a fierce defender of property and made good hunting dogs, capable of bringing down wolves and bears. It became more available to 'commoners', who discovered it's ability as a protector of livestock. It's pure white coat helping distinguish it from wolves, which were the major threat to farmers.
The Kuvasz is a large, powerfully built dog. They do well with families and like being around people up to a point. They can be aloof and will wander off for peace and quiet when they have had enough attention. Older dogs are respectful of children, but puppies don't realise their own strength, so parents should be aware. They aren't aggressive towards their family, just strong, so play should be supervised (as with all dogs and children). They will tolerate strangers if invited into your home, but will be wary of them. They want to protect you and some can become defensive and possessive of your attention. Bred to think independently, there were used primarily as a working dog. The modern day Kuvasz still has the mentality of the old breed and needs a function. It will not tolerate a quick walk everyday and sitting around the house. It needs something to do. They have immense stamina and can run for miles, so make good jogging partners - you will tire before they do.
Training needs to be gentle. As independent dogs, it is hard going. They react badly to harsh words, so play and treats is the way to train a Kuvasz. Not recommended for a first time dog owner, they are tricky to train, but incredibly loyal and loving. Being a large breed, early socialisation is vital to have control over the dog. Puppy classes, followed by adult classes will help them become used to other dogs and people. They were bred to hunt predators and without proper social skills, other dogs could fall into this category. They dislike being away from their family for too long and can be problem barkers. Again obedience training will help resolve many issues that could arise; if you have the dogs respect, they have yours and will do as requested. However a well trained Kuvasz is a wonderful companion who will cuddle up to you and make you feel safe. They form close connections with their owner/family and will 'intervene' if there is a family row. They shed a lot of fur, more so twice a year when they moult. If brushed 3 - 4 times a week, that will help the fur situation around the home and prevent the vacuum cleaner being completely clogged up with hair.
Like many large breeds, only Canine Hip Dysplasia and Gastric Torsion (Bloat) are major concerns for the Kuvasz.
Kuvasz have loyal and dominant temperaments. Like many herding dogs they are bred to protect whatever their charge is. In most domestic dogs this means his family and the other animals in the family. A vigilant dog that will announce any noise he deems necessary.
This dog may be unreliable with strangers and is likely to see any strange animals as a threat to his family that needs to be eradicated.
Health problems that may affect Kuvasz include canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patella (dislocation of the knee cap), entropion (inward rolling of the eyelid which can irritate the eyeball), cataracts and allergies.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
- Weight: 32 - 52 kg
- Height: 26 - 30"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Herding
- Size: Large
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour