Description: The Kuvasz is a flock guarding dog; their height is 28 to 30 inches in dogs and 26 to 28 in the bitches. Dogs have a weight of 100 to 115 pounds and the bitches are 70 to 90 pounds. The Kuvasz head should be in good proportion to the body. With a black nose and large nostrils, their head is considered to be their best feature, in the show ring. They have black lips and a good muzzle. Their eyes are dark brown and almond in shape, set wide apart. The ears are set back and are V shaped with slight rounding on the tips, these hang down. The Kuvasz is a medium boned dog and its tail is as long as its hock. This is carried low. This breed has well padded feet and straight legs. The Kuvasz neck has a mane that has longer hair than the head and legs. The hair of this breed can be wavy, and as long as 6 inches. This is a double coat and the colours we see are ivory and white. It has a thick undercoat. The Kuvasz lives around 10 to 12 years.
History: This breed came from Tibet but was developed in Hungary, to the dog we see today. This breed has been around since the age of the Huns, and it has also been said to have come with the Turkish refugees fleeing the Mongols into Hungary in 1200. In the Turkish language the name means "protector". The Kuvasz had favour, in the courts of the 14th century, and were given as gifts, to special guests. After this brief period of royal living the breed went back to being a flock guardian. This dog has been used as a hunting dog, for bears, and wild boar. This breed is in the gene pool of Maremma Sheepdog, Anatolian Shepherd dog and Great Pyrenees Polish Tara Sheepdog. This breed nearly became extinct after World War II and was saved by a group of breeders working hard to bring the numbers up.
Temperament: The Kuvasz is not the breed for everyone. This is a working dog that is a defender of the flock. This means the dog has strong instincts and is a big dog. This dog is devoted to his family and will be ferocious in defending the family and territory. He is intelligent and often has to work and think for himself whilst with the flock. This breed can be good with children, if socialized well with children and raised with children. Natural, firm leadership from the owner is a must for this breed.
The Kuvasz dog has a genetically led dominance inbred, due to their role as a watcher of the flock. This means the dog has a greater sense of wariness around strangers and can be ready to sort out the problems in the dog way. Extensive and thorough socializing is really needed for this breed, to be a pet dog. Check with a breeder about this issue, and it is best not to have this dog as a first dog. Guarding like this is not something that can be trained out of the Kuvasz. Obedience training, due to their ability to think freely, is very hard to obtain. This breed needs a strong minded owner to even begin responding to training. Remember any training has to be firm fair and natural leadership, not with hitting or shouting.
Health issues: Hip dysplasia can happen and needs checking with the breeder. Shoulder joint lameness, hypertrophic osteodystrophy and skin problems.
Grooming: The Kuvasz's coat needs brushing weekly. Bath very rarely, as the coat has natural oils that balance the coat. Check the coat for matting and sort that out. This breed sheds seasonally in a cold climate, but will shed all the year around in warmer climates.
Living conditions: This dog is not good for apartment life. A Kuvasz needs, at the least, a large with an enclosed garden that offers shade when it is hot.
by: Scott Lipe
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