AKC Dog Breeds: Kuvasz

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Working Group
Height: 26-30 inches   Weight: 75-115  pounds  Color: White, cream or ivory

The Kuvasz is incredibly intelligent, is very devoted and loyal, and makes an excellent working dog. This breed does have a strong protective instinct over his family and territory, which makes him a good watchdog. One of the world's oldest dog breeds, the Kuvasz was known in Eastern Europe, as early as 2,000 years ago. It is thought this and several other breeds of large European working dogs descended from a single ancestor in the Mesopotamian region and headed west. The Kuvasz has been associated with the Magyar people of Hungary since they were nomadic herds people. The dog was especially valuable because of its ability to herd and guard horses and cattle as well as sheep. The breed received royal attention from 15th century Hungarian rulers who used them for many years as a royal guard. They have also been used to guard the royal children, not infrequently serving as tiny cart horses for toddlers. Today's breed standard is largely unchanged since those times. After being devastated in World War Two, mostly for being fiercely loyal and guarding their charges in the face of mortal danger, the breed was saved by a factory owner who wanted a few Kuvasz dogs to guard his factory from looters. When he had difficulty finding even one, his eventual search found only about 30 dogs left. Today's dogs are descended from those few survivors.

General Appearance
The Kuvasz is a majestic, well-proportioned white sheepdog with a very handsome head. (Some standards accept an ivory coat, but it is usually not preferred.) The stop is well-defined, but not abrupt. The muzzle tapers slightly to a black nose, but is not pointed. The lips and inside of the mouth are black. The ears are folded and close to the head, and the eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown. The medium-boned body is slightly longer than it is tall. The dog is muscular, but not bulky. He is light-footed and agile for his size. The lower abdomen is tucked up. Though the coat is white, the skin is generally dark. The more dark pigment in the skin, the better. The coat is medium-length, either straight or quite wavy, with a thick undercoat. It forms an abundant mane around the neck and chest. The coat is much fuller in the winter. The hair is short on the head and feet, but on the body and legs it is wavy and can be as much as 4-6 inches (10-15 cm.) long. The tail, which is carried low, is raised when the dog is excited. The back of the legs are feathered. Dewclaws on the rear legs should be removed, but those on the front legs should be left natural.


The Kuvasz is a dog that is very loyal and protective, and has plenty of courage, spirit, and determination. The Kuvasz will be very protective of adults, children, and pets in his own family, but can be very wary, distrustful, and overprotective when strangers - adults or children - are around. He can also be aggressive with strange animals in a bid to protect his family and his territory. Early socialization is important with the Kuvasz, and when it comes to training he is a quick learner and is intelligent. However, he can be dominant and can get bored easily, and is best suited to an experienced dog owners who can be assertive, confident, and provide plenty of variety when it comes to physical and mental stimulation. The deep bark and protective nature of this breed makes the Kuvasz an effective watchdog. This is an energetic breed, and it is important to ensure that he gets daily walks and also has a secured and safe area in which to play and run. This is not a dog that is suited to enclosed environments and apartment living, nor is he suited to those that cannot establish themselves as the leader. However, with the right owner and the right environment, he can make a loyal, devoted, and loving family pet.

The Kuvasz should be brushed on a regular basis all the way down to the undercoat. This will remove excess hair during shedding, and will keep the hair free from mats. This breed does best in colder climates mentally, and physically. In warmer climates, the Kuvasz tends to shed quite a bit all year round, while in cooler weather, he sheds seasonally.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Kuvasz is around 10-12 years, and there are a number of health issues relating to this breed. Some of the health issues to look out for include thyroid problems, HD and elbow dysplasia, torsion, OCD, sensitivity to chemicals and drugs, and low metabolism.

Activity Level
The Kuvasz should have regular exercise, preferably daily. This breed bores easily and can become destructive without the proper entertainment, so he should always have room to run. A medium fenced yard will suffice.


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