Kuvasz (Hungarian Kuvasz)
Breeds → Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs) → 1.1. Sheepdogs → Kuvasz (Hungarian Kuvasz)
Country of origin:
Life span (years):
white, ivory colour possible
FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NZKC, CKC
Good with kids:
The Kuvasz (or the Hungarian Kuvasz) is a powerful, intelligent and independent guardian dog that can be a good family companion but needs an experienced owner. The Kuvasz can tell a lot of fascinating facts about itself. One of the most interesting is that this breed was always presented as a gift to the royalty and only kings could afford possessing this dog, trusting the Kuvasz more, than people around.
The Kuvasz came from Tibet, eventually developed into the today’s breed in Hungary at the turn of the XIII century, although there’re many theories stating this breed appeared much longer ago – as far back as 2000 BC.
Therefore, it is difficult to find out the direct ancestor of this breed. Some think that among the descendants might be ancient Asian shepherds and nomadic Turkish shepherds (Kumans). The only one can find in the history is that Kuvaszok (plural), as we know them today, were developed by King of Hungary Matthias Corvinus through selective breeding from 1458 to 1490.
Also known as Ku Assa, the breed gets its name from Turkish «kavas» or «kawasz», which means «armed defender of the élite». That time this breed was considered to be noble, playing the role of kings’ devoted servant and an excellent big game hunter. Later, as the Kuvasz had fallen into the hands of regular population, it served as a livestock guardian. Many years later, in 1935 the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed.
Nowadays the Kuvasz hasn’t lost its greatness, living side by side with its worshippers and guarding thousands of happy families. Still, each dog of this breed feels somewhere deep in his heart, that it’s capable of something more than just playing fetch.
The Kuvasz is brave and fearless. Like many other dogs it can be all so goody-goody, but its temperament is sometimes unpredictable and it likes to be a pack leader.
It was bred as a flock guardian and it’s still a true one. This dog will protect its people and territory with aggression. The definite skills of a watchdog are in its blood.
At any rate, the Kuvasz, being a big dog with strong defending instincts, isn’t recommended for every family, since extra responsibility is needed. If at any price you want to keep this breed as your lovely pet, just teach him to behave properly from the very childhood. There’re a lot of families, in which Kuvasz is devoted and gets along well with children.
With strangers this breed is mainly reserved, if you forbid it to jump on humans and teach heeling from the very start. Otherwise, this highly suspicious breed with strong protective instincts can behave aggressively toward unknown people. The Kuvasz always shows its dominancy with all canine animals. Such dog is also better not to be trusted with small animals.
The most common problems for the breed include:
• allergic reactions;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• hypertrophic osteodystrophy;
• osteochondritis dissecans;
• skin problems.
The Kuvasz is easy to groom. Its thick coat needs weekly brushing. The coat repels dirt thanks to oils, which is why you shouldn’t bathe your pet. The more you wash you dog, the more it will need it. You can also check your dog’s ears for matting.
The Kuvasz is an intelligent dog and has to be trained specially. It is better, when each training is assisted by a specialist. The most important thing in this process is to teach your pet, not to fiercely train. You must be patient and not forget, that trainings, as well as socialization are welcome at the early age.
The Kuvasz is a very independent breed that needs a confident and experienced owner. Your dog must trust you, respect you and see a pack leader in you.
The Kuvasz is a kind of dog, which requires active exercise every day. It should be taken on a brisk walk or a jog. Just be sure it’s not ahead you, make him heel behind or beside. You can also play with your pet and, let His Majesty Kuvasz forgive, ask him fetch something.
This active breed won’t feel well in an apartment and needs a yard where it will play and run freely. The Kuvasz loves working, so you provide your dog with some job (like guarding a livestock or even a child), it will be absolutely happy.