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The Kuvasz- A Rare Breed

Updated on October 22, 2009


 hmm. Never heard of this breed? It's okay, I'm gonna load you up with so much information you will click of the page with more knowledge. Let's start with their name. The Kuvasz is pronounced Koo-vaz not Kuf-vaz which is always mistaken. The name Kuvasz comes from the first breeder of the dog. His name was Amildian Kuvasz. He was a young Hungarian man who wanted a sturdy light footed hunting dog. Why a white dog as a hunter? They have very cold winters in Hungary in their months of Jan. and Feb. they have consistentsnow. That's why the Kuvasz has a thick fur coat, but we will get into that later. Now the Kuvasz is used as a flock guardian. Amildian mixed a Great Pyrenese with a Golden Retriever and got what he wanted. This sheepdog accompanied the Turkish refugees helping them with their flocks into Hungary in 1200. The Kuvasz was owned by King Matyas I from 1458-1490. The King claimed he would rather trust his dogs then his people with his flock.Kuvasz was also used t hunt big game such as bears and boars. After World War II the breed was almost extinct, without a handful of breeders, they wouldn't be at safe numbers. These dogs are now in recognition by CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, NKC, KCA, AKA, ANKC, APRI, ACR, and DRA.


Description and Temperament

 As you can see from the picture above, the head is considered the most eyecatching part of the dog. The muzzle is just in right proportion of the head. The nose is shiney black with large nostrils. The lips are black. The ears a soft but thick, and perfectly v shaped with a rounded tip. The well set apart eyes are almond shaped and dark brown. The body is longer then taller an very medium boned. The tail is never docked and carried very low. When the dog is happy or in motion the tails rises slightly. The dewclaws on the back feet are removed, sometimes on the front the will remain. The feet are well padded which helps for great traction. The Kuvasz has a mane the grows down to the chest. The hair is long, 4-6 inches except for on the feet and head. The Kuvasz only comes in two colors, white or ivory. They have a double coat which is bad for shedding. They never have curly hair, wavy and straight are very common. The Kuvasz weighs 100-115 pounds full grown. Growing to be about 28-30 inches high.

They are very smart, blod, determined, brave, fearless and curious dog. They are very easy to housebreak. They have very strong protection instincts, which makes it an excellent guard dog. They are still used as flock guards, which still is outstanding. This is not a good first dog for a first time owner, or an owner who could not control the dog. Their large size can be overwelming. Their strong protective instincts demand extra owner care and responsibilty. They will defend their family and property till the death of it. They are very devoted to their bonding family. They are stand-offish breeds and very independent which makes them great strong minded dogs. A Kuvasz should be raised with the children, and the children need to learn how to come across as pack leaders to the young pup. They have never had problems with their families children but may with other outside children. The Kuvasz is very reserved and suspicious of strangers. They need to be socialized as a young pup to gain any type of trustworthiness with strangers because of their protective temperament. The owner needs to be a dominant, experienced owner. They are not easy to train despite their intelligence because they were bred to work independently of people. This dog must never be treated harshly, but calm and firm. The handler must be confident and consistent. They resemble kids at puppy stages, they will always test authority. All family members should know how to handle the dog. If you wish to show the dog they need to know how to handle strangers and the vets office. They are usually gentle with other pets and livestock. Make sure you supervise your Kuvasz when introducing a new dog, even though male to male aggression is common, they usually get along with other dogs. Special training is needed if you are using them as a livestock guardian. From the age of 6 to 7 weeks they should be introduced to the animal they will guard in the future so a strong bond can be formed. The best key in training a Kuvasz is to remember they are an independent guardian. Use the motto, "I will teach the Kuvasz not train it."

Health, Living Conditions and Grooming

 They are prone to hip dysplasia unless you check with your breederto make sure the parents have hip clearance. Some smaller issues are osteochondritis dessecans, which is a disease causing lameness from inflammation of the shoulder joints. Skin problems, allergic reactions and drooling and slobbering have all been reported.

They need daily exercise, if they are not being used for flock guardian. Long walks on a daily basis is needed. Exercising should help with digging and chewing problems.

They have a coat that can easily get matted, so a weekly brushing is recommended. This dog should not be bathed often, the coat has a natural job of pushing dirt out. Bathing too much will make the coat and skin lose too many oils, which they need. Rubbing corn starch in the hair then brushing it out can be used as a cleaning method. Check weekly behind the ears, this is were the matting will take place. In colder climates it will shed seasonally, but in warm climates it will only shed all year around.

This dog is not recommended for apartment life, they are very active and need at least a large yard to freely romp in. They can become destructive and bored at times, they will escape a fence if left out unattended for hours. They should neve be tied out, they will get extremely vicious. They love to be outside during cold weather, but should never live outside during the cold climates. In hot climates they should always have a shadey area and plenty of fresh, cold water.


Kuvasz Puppies

Playing with a Kuvasz


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    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      6 years ago from Mississauga, ON


      According to the dog genome analysis, all livestock guardian dog breeds are very far removed from wolves. The closest to wolves are northern spits type dogs huskies, malamutes Canadian Eskimo Dogs, etc. Needless to mention, all dogs (Canis Lupus Familiaris) are descendants of wolves (Canis Lupus), are closely related and will inter-breed (usually a male wolf with a female dog).

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hy,you are some what right with the origan of the kuvasz.They are do have tiebetan mastif in them but they also are decendent from the wolf.The Hungarian sheeperds needed a dog to fight the wolf,so they used the wolf,grayhound for speed and the mastif.If you look at any wolf they look the same except for the v shaped ears whitch they get from the mastif.The great pyrenees was bread from the kuvasz/stbernard.You have the turkish akbas,slovak Chuvak,Mareamar,all are for the mountains regains and all have Kuvasz in there blood lines.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      7 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Our 8 weeks old Kuvasz boy joined the household today. My son and I took him out to the neighbours to introduce him and everyone was in awe, calling him a polar bear.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      7 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I meant to say, "I think thehun is right on history of Kuvasz).

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      7 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I thing thehun is right on history.

      Also, provided they come from a well known kennel where socialization is taken seriously, this is an excellent dog breed for people who are looking for a hiking / backpacking partner, a good guard for people and property, loves access to both yard and home (the breed loves to stay out and can handle even the winters), is not over-affectionate (will greet you off and on and then retire to his favorite spot), not over-energetic inside home and yard. How do I know this? I have done my research and am in the process of acquiring one :-)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice page with a lot of good info on the dog. On the other hand I think that you are way off about its origins. The Golden retriever was created in Scotland sometime in the late 1800's so it cannot possibly be the ancestor of the Kuvasz. The Kuvasz is however genetically linked to the Tibetan mastif which existed in its present form for over 13 million years. These dogs came to Europe with Genghis Khan and in spain mixed with local dogs creating the Pyrenees dog. So the Pyrenees can also not be an ancestor of Kuvasz. They did use the Pyrenees after WW2 to save some Kuvasz bloodlines as they were "cousins".

    • Stimp profile image


      9 years ago from Upper Midwest

      Hi, I noticed you commented on my ADHD Marley Eskie LOL. If you know anything about Eskies can you help? I posted a question.....but I'm sure you went through the slideshow. I wanted a "fluffy" dog like the Eskies you see in the images in Google. Why does he not look like that? I love him but I feel like the breeder robbed me or took advantage of my grief over the loss of Stimp.


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