Breed Category: Working
Country of Origin: Hungary
Average Size: 65-75 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 45-80 kg
Average Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: High
The Kuvasz is a large, white guard dog originating in Hungary. This breed has an extremely long history, as evidence of a breed very similar to the modern Kuvasz dates back to 2000 B.C. The breed became popular among Hungarian royalty in the 1400s. It may have gotten its name from ancient words that translate into a description of the breed, such as protector or guard.
This type of dog was originally developed to protect livestock such as sheep, horses and cattle on Hungarian farms and ranches. It has a very brave and protective nature and its white coat helps the shepherd or farmer distinguish it from wolves in at night. Its population was in dire jeopardy following World War II, during which many Kuvasz dogs were hunted and killed by enemy soldiers. Though they were nearly extinct, Hungarian breeders have worked to build the breed’s numbers. Some argue that the breed is no longer pure, as dogs similar to the Kuvasz may have been used in an effort to repopulate the breed. It is still used as a working dog in rural Hungary, though in the past century it has become more common for the Kuvasz to be kept as a companion dog.
One of the most popular characteristics of the Kuvasz’s appearance is its massive size. This large breed can range from 65-75 cm in height and 45-80 kg in weight, with males being a bit larger than females. The breed’s appearance has been compared to other large dogs such as the Maremma Sheepdog and the Great Pyrenees.
The breed generally has a white coat, though it may also be light yellow or cream in colour. The Kuvasz’s double coat is remarkably thick, which helps keep it warm during time spent outdoors in colder weather. This dog’s tail is naturally long and thick. Its fur is long and straight, though some coats may have a wave in texture. Whether the dog works with livestock or is kept as a pet, its coat does need care to prevent it from tangling. A thorough brushing once or twice a week will suffice and will help minimise shedding.
In striking contrast to its white fur, the dog’s skin is dark and it has deep brown eyes and a large black nose. It has large ears that fall naturally on either side of its wedge-shaped head.
In addition to being a gentle protector of livestock and family, the Kuvasz is a breed with a wonderful temperament. It is affectionate, intelligent and has a steadfast loyalty to its owner. The dog works well independently, so while it enjoys human companionship it is also content to spend time alone as long as its physical and mental needs are met.
The Kuvasz needs a considerable amount of exercise, so it needs long and frequent walks with a varying route or a large area of land to roam. Denying this breed adequate stimulation can result in negative behaviours, as can a lack of training. Obedience training will help the dog respond well to its master and will also help minimise undesired barking.
The Kuvasz is susceptible to certain health conditions such as hip dysplasia or bone problems associated with its fast growth as a puppy. Proper breeding will help keep genetic disorders at bay.
Larger breeds tend to have a shorter lifespan than small dogs, but this healthy breed lives an average of 10-12 years.
Kuvasz Dog Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Kuvasz Dog Organisations in the UK
Breed Standard – The Kennel Club
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