Kuvasz

"Snow-White Sentinel"

Photo of Kuvasz

History

The Kuvasz (plural: Kuvaszok) was developed in Hungary to guard cattle, sheep, and horses from predators and thieves. In the mid 1400s, the Hungarian nobility used dogs called Ku Assa (Dog of the Horse) for hunting and protection. King Matthias Corvinus always kept a brace of Kuvaszok with him to guard against assassinations. When the Turks took over Hungary, the dog's name was changed to "Kawasz" (meaning ‘nobility's armed guard'). Over time, the Kuwasz fell into the hands of commoners, who returned it to its original livestock and farm guardian duties. During this time the name was corrupted to its present spelling, Kuvasz. The World Wars decimated the Kuvasz's numbers in its native land, so breeders used German stock to repopulate the breed. The first Kuvaszok came to America in the 1930s, and the first to be recorded with the AKC was a dog named Tamar v. Wuermtal, in 1931. The breed has never been particularly popular here, probably because a dog this big, strong, and dominant can be a real handful. The Kuvasz currently ranks 130th of 155 AKC breeds.

Temperament

Gentle with those she loves, she's equally fierce with those who would threaten her family or home. She's reserved, even wary, with strangers. Although a devoted dog, she's not a terribly demonstrative one, so don't get a Kuvasz if you need to be fawned over. Although very good with the family children, she can misinterpret rough and tumble games of visiting children as assaults, so care should be taken when children are playing. The Kuvasz can be aggressive toward strange dogs. However, she's usually gentle with livestock and other pets. She is a quiet but extremely effective watchdog.

Appearance

The Kuvasz is a large white dog with a friendly face. She's slightly longer than tall, and has medium sized bone and a surprisingly lithe build. Her head is elongated but not pointed, her eyes are almond shaped, and she has medium-sized drop ears. The back is straight and the stomach well tucked up. Her gait is light and agile. The double coat is of medium length, fairly coarse, and ranges from wavy to straight. She comes in any color you want, as long as it's white.

Training

It's important to socialize Kuvaszok early and extensively so that they'll recognize and accept friendly strangers. They should have good experiences with lots of different people. They should also learn basic commands at an early age, when you can still enforce them! Tough but sensitive, Kuvaszok need a combination of reward-based techniques and a firm hand to convince them they want to do want you want them to do.

Grooming & Care

The snow-white Kuvasz coat requires brushing once or twice weekly, more when shedding, which happens twice a year. Trim nails, keep teeth clean, and don't neglect regular vet check-ups. Kuvaszok are easygoing housedogs as long as they get to go for a good walk or run every day. They need a secure fenced yard. Kuvaszok enjoy cold weather, and can spend a great deal of time outside when it's cold.

Health Concerns

The Kuvasz's major health concerns are hip dysplasia and osteochondritis dissecans (degeneration of bone underlying the cartilage of joint areas, most often seen in young dogs of giant breeds). Hypothyroidism is also somewhat of a concern. Ask your breeder and veterinarian about these issues.

Famous Kuvasz

Legend is the only Kuvasz in history to have qualified for the Kuvasz Club of America's Performance Awards in 5 categories.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 5
Home 44
Children 123
Experience 51
Quick Facts
Grooming 110
Exercise 60
Challenges Better for an experienced owner.
Height 26 to 30 inches
Weight 70 to 115 pounds
Life 9 to 15 years
Home Alone 84
With Kids 114
With Strangers 113
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

Location Hours
Monday7:30am – 7:30pm
Tuesday7:30am – 7:30pm
Wednesday7:30am – 7:30pm
Thursday7:30am – 7:30pm
Friday7:30am – 7:30pm
Saturday8:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday5:00pm – 6:00pm

The telephone number at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic is 905-495-9907.