Type: Guardian Dog
Height: Males: 28 - 32 inches; Females: 25.5 - 27.5 inches.
Weight: 66 - 135 lbs. (Maximum 110 lbs. acceptable)
Life Span: 9 - 14 years.
Litter Size: 8 puppies is average.
Country of Origin: Hungary (Tibet)
Activity: High. The Kuvasz is very spirited and energetic.
Watch-dog: Very High. They are always on the look out and are usually suspicious of strangers.
Guard-dog: Very High. The Kuvasz was bred for this purpose, and will protect anything they own.
Description: The Kuvasz (plural is Kuvaszok) is a working dog of larger size, sturdily built, well balanced, neither lanky nor cobby. Their weight is evenly dispersed on the body, and they largely resemble the Slovakian Kuvasz. They have medium to long fur that requires grooming. They are white in color with no markings. They have medium length drop ears, and a bushy tail. They impress the eye with their strength and activity. A one-family dog, they are extremely loyal, obedient, active and strong but wary of strangers. They are an excellent guard dog, which is what they have been bred for. The Kuvasz needs plenty of exercise, and training would certainly be beneficial. Kuvaszok are wary of strangers, but polite. They can, however, misinterpret rough play for threatening behavior and will act accordingly. A powerful breed, the Kuvasz is impressive in appearance, strength and personality.
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Other Names: Hungarian Kuvasz, Kuvaszok (plural)
Colors: Whites and ivories.
Coat: Long-haired double coat is thick, coarse, wavy or flat. The soft undercoat is woolly.
Temperament: Kuvaszok are protective, loyal and reliable. They are obedient, territorial and suspicious of strangers. They are polite to strangers, though, unless an action is misinterpreted. Kuvaszok are spirited, sensitive and and gentle. They are devoted to family and good with children. They are independent, intelligent and curious. They are compatible with other pets as well.
With Children: Yes, if raised with them.
With Pets: Yes, good with household pets.
Special Skills: Watchdog, guard dog and family pet
Care and Training: The Kuvasz requires daily brushing to keep their coat in good shape and free from parasites. They shed in warm weather. The coat is quite demanding of attention if one is to keep it clean. Long walks or hikes and a large fenced yard for exercise are necessary for the Kuvasz. They need enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight, as they are large, strong dogs. Needs obedience training and socialization as a young puppy to be a well-behaved member of a family. They tend to be very independent in thinking, therefore training is essential, especially if one is to be around neighbors or other people and animals often.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Very Low. Problem Solving - High.
Living Environment: Space is very important for they are a large, active breed. They are more suited for country living, but will adapt if a large fenced yard is provided. Owners of the Kuvasz need to be assertive and firm in their training. The best owner for this breed would be an active, dog-experienced person or family living in a rural or suburban environment.
Health Issues: Eyelid disorders, hip dysplasia and other orthopedic problems, deafness, thyroid problems, and von Willebrand's disease (a blood clotting disease).
History: Kuvasz are thought to have come from Tibet to Hungary many centuries ago, yet other theories state that the Kuvasz started out in Hungary and then moved its way to Tibet, India, and China. Originally bred to serve as the royal guard dog during the eighth century, gradually the breed became popular with the common people who used them as a sheepdog and a cattle herder. They are believed to have been brought by the nomadic Turkish shepherds from Tibet, called the Kumans, in the 13th century. They are very similar to the Akbash Dog, Owtcharkas (Polish Sheepdogs) and Slovakian Kuvasz, all of which may have had a paw in their development. They are all supposedly of the same herding breed. Their name, which in Turkish means "armed guard of the nobility" and in Arabic means "archer", has many theories behind it. Another theory is that the name comes from the Sumerian word "Ku-assa", meaning "dog horse", which was meant to imply a dog that ran alongside horses and riders and guarded them. In Akkad, Mesopotamia, a clay board was found with this word "Ku-assa" carved into it around 3000 B.C. In the 15th century King Mathias I was said to have owned several Kuvaszok. It is said that he trusted his Kuvasz more than the men in his court. He used them for hunting wild boar, which is strange for a Kuvasz, because they are much more prone to stay with the flock and guard it rather than go out and hunt. Kuvaszok were used by both royalty as well as peasants for guarding and herding, and therefore still remain popular in Hungary to this day. The Kuvasz was brought to America and exhibited in the 1920s, then accepted into the AKC in 1931. Today the Kuvasz are used to guard flocks of sheep as they are powerful enough to protect them against large marauding animals and fast enough to run down coyotes and wolves.
First Registered by the AKC: 1931
AKC Group: Working Group
Class: Working Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 1), KC, UKC