The Kuvasz is a very old breed, believed to have originated in Hungary. It was at one time only kept by royalty and was a fierce defender of property and good hunting dog, capable of bringing down wolves and even bears. It became more available to commoners who soon discovered its ability as a protector of livestock, its white coat helping it blend in with the sheep and distinguishing it from wolves, which were the major threat to farmers.
The Kuvasz is a large and powerfully built dog. They do well in a family setting but will wander off for some alone time once they’ve had enough of the attention. Older dogs are respectful of children, though younger dogs may not realise their own strength so parents should be aware. They aren’t aggressive to the family, but rather just strong, so all play (this includes with other dogs as well as children) should be supervised. They will tolerate strangers if invited into your home but will be wary of them until they get to know each other. They have an instinct to protect you and can become protective when around other dogs or strangers.
Primarily used as a working dog, the modern breed still retains the mentality of the old breed and needs a function in order to be satisfied. One walk a day won’t be enough. They need something to do. They have immense stamina and can run for miles, so they make good jogging and hiking partners – you’ll tire long before they do.
Training needs to be gentle, they’re independent dogs and training will take some time. They don’t respond well to harsh words and if anything, this will only slow down the whole process. The best approach is play and treat rewards. This breed isn’t recommended for first time dog owners, as they can be a handful at times. They are a large breed and having control over them is vital. They need to know who’s boss. They should attend puppy classes and later on adult classes. Training needs to carry on throughout their whole lives. They were bred to hunt predators and without proper social skills, other dogs may fall into this category.
They dislike being away from their family for long periods of time. Barking can also be a problem. If you have the dogs respect and you have theirs, they’ll do as requested. A well trained Kuvasz will make a great companion. They form close bonds with their family and in case of a family row will intervene.
They tend to shed quite a bit of fur, more so twice a year when they moult. Brushing 3-4 times a week will help prevent the vacuum cleaner being clogged up with hairs.
Kuvasz are loyal and determined dogs. Like many other herding breeds they have a natural instinct to guard their owner’s land and anyone/anything living on it. This dog can be unreliable with strangers and is likely to see strange animals as a threat that needs to be dealt with.
Issues that can arise in Kuvasz include Canine Hip Dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, entropion, cataracts and allergies.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
- Weight: 70 - 115 lbs
- 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