The Kuvasz is an ancient breed originally from Tibet. Farmers in the region of modern-day Hungary utilized these dogs to guard livestock. The name comes from kawasz, a Turkish word that means “armed guard of nobility.”
In 1883, the Kuvaszok made their first European appearance in a dog show in Vienna. Unfortunately, the breed neared extinction after World War II. A factory owner wanted to utilize them as guard dogs and could not find more than 30, which is an example of how dangerously close to extinction they came. However, with some dedicated breeders, the factory owner worked hard to revive the breed.
Kuvasz Breed Standard
This is a large, rugged dog with slightly rectangular proportions and moderate bone covered in an abundance of white. They possess a muscular neck; a straight, broad back; and a well-developed forechest. The tail reaches to the hock and hangs low. The dog’s wedge-shaped head is long with flat cheeks, a well-developed underjaw, and a black nose. Their eyes are wide-set, dark, and almond-shaped. Its ears are v-shaped, are slightly rounded, and hang close to the head.
Centuries of livestock guarding has instilled this breed with courage, boldness, and independence. With proper socialization, Kuvaszok are polite and tolerant of strangers, and they are wholly devoted to protecting their territory and pack. These dogs are determined, assertive, and noted for their loyalty, and they need an equally robust and consistent leader. The breed grows quickly but matures slowly. Kuvasz dogs are susceptible to praise and do not easily forget mistreatment. This dog responds well to positive reinforcement, and early socialization and obedience training is essential. However, forceful training can lead to aggressive behavior.
Do not let the sweet looks fool you; this dog is a fierce protector, which would fearlessly defend its family and home. Also, Kuvaszok are friendly and highly protective of children in their own family. They’re very gentle with other pets and livestock. However, they can be aggressive toward other dogs.
|Energy level||Watchdog ability|
|Exercise requirements||Protection ability|
|Affection level||Cold tolerance|
|Friendliness toward dogs||Heat tolerance|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Friendliness toward strangers|
|Ease of training|
Activity level: Breeders created these dogs to patrol rough terrain tirelessly and are nearly impervious to inclement weather. This dog needs daily hard running in an enclosed area. Also, fencing must be 5 to 6 feet high. Growing puppies should avoid strenuous exercise.
- POPULARITY: Very rare
- FAMILY: Livestock Dog, Flockguard
- AREA OF ORIGIN: Hungary
- DATE OF ORIGIN: Middle ages
- ORIGINAL FUNCTION: Guardian, hunting large game
- TODAY’S FUNCTION: Sheep guardian, guardian
- OTHER NAME: Hungarian Kuvasz
Grooming: Brush weekly with a pin brush, bathe frequently, and trim the feet as needed.
- Coat: The double-layer combines coarse, straight, wavy guard hair and a short, fine undercoat. Its coat is shorter on the head, muzzle, ears, feet, front of forelegs, and hind legs below the thighs. There is feathering on the backs of the forelegs, a mane on the neck, and 4-6 inches of hair on the tail.
- Color: White
- MAJOR CONCERNS: CHD, OCD
- MINOR CONCERNS: hypothyroidism
- OCCASIONALLY SEEN: panosteitis, HOD
- SUGGESTED TESTS: hip, elbow, thyroid
- LIFE SPAN: 9-12 years
- WEIGHT: male: 100-115 pounds; female: 70-90 pounds
- HEIGHT: male: 28-30 inches; female: 26-28 inches
Kuvasz Breeder and Buying Advice
Meet the parents to gauge the puppy’s temperament. A reputable breeder is the only source from which you should obtain a puppy. Also, consider an adult or rescue Kuvasz.
- Parent club: Kuvasz Club of America (www.kuvaszclubofamerica.org); founded in 1966
- Kuvasz price: Adopting a Kuvasz will be a lot cheaper than buying one from a reputable breeder, of course. The cost to adopt will be about $300, which will cover the expenses accumulated before you take the dog. A rare breed like this is naturally going to be expensive. However, depending on the breeder and location, it could cost you anywhere from $3000 to 10000.