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Kuvasz

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Kuvasz

The Kuvasz (pronounced KOO-vahz) has a white or ivory double coat. The outercoat is moderate in length and the undercoat is thick. The hair is short on the head and feet but can be as much as 4 to 6 inches long on the body. The hair is either straight or wavy and the abundant mane stretches from the neck and covers the chest. The legs are feathered and the coat is more substantial during the winter months. The skin generally has a dark pigment. They have a distinct stop and slightly tapered muzzle. Their almond shaped eyes are dark and their v-shaped ears are pendant. The teeth should meet in a scissor-like bite and the lips and inside of the mouth should be black in color. Their abdomen is slightly tucked up and their round feet are tight. The tail is carried low and is raised when the dog is excited.

Temperament Kuvasz' are curious, bold, strong-minded, and fearless dogs. They are extremely territorial and have keen protective instincts, making them an excellent guard dog. Although they are not very affectionate, they are devoted to their families, protecting them ardently. They are an independent breed and may seem aloof. If this breed is to be raised with children, then their parental lines should be reviewed for affirmative behavior towards children. Kuvasz' are generally gentle and well-behaved around their family's children, however they should not be trusted around other children, being supervised at all times. This breed is very distant and suspicious of strangers. Due to this, they should be socialized extensively from an early age. Some lines have a more subdued personality than others. Puppies are generally accepting of other animals however; as adults they can become combative, especially among males. They should not be left alone with other dogs until you are certain they will not fight. Make sure to choose from a line that has not been bred to be aggressive. They can be gentle around pets and livestock, but need special training. The Kuvasz has been known to defend flocks against wolves, coyote, bears, etc. They should not be left alone or tied up for long periods of time or they will become destructive and vicious. They do best in large enclosed yards.
Height, Weight Male Height: 28-30" ; Weight: 100-115 lbs.
Female Height: 26-28" ; Weight: 70-90 lbs.
Health Problems Kuvasz are prone to hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, skin problems and allergic reactions. This breed may drool and slobber. Brushing your dogs' teeth, hard biscuits and rawhide chews help to limit tartar buildup and gum disease.
Living Conditions It is not recommended that this breed live in an apartment. They do best with a large yard. If this dog is left alone for long periods of time, they can become destructive. Leaving this dog chained outside can lead to viciousness. They do best in colder climates and are very uncomfortable in warmer climates.
Exercise This breed needs daily vigorous exercise. Proper exercise should take care of the digging and chewing problems.
Life Expectancy About 10-12 years
Grooming The long and thick coat of this breed should be brushed weekly. Its coat naturally sheds dirt so only bathe when absolutely necessary. Dry shampooing or a rub with talcum powder is all this breed needs. Check behind the ears for matting. They shed heavily in warmer climates and occasionally in cooler climates.
Origin The origin of the Kuvasz is still unknown; however, there are a couple of theories concerning this breed. The first theory is that they have existed since the age of the Huns. The other theory is that in 1200, Turkish refugees brought them with their flocks to Hungary when fleeing the Mongolians. It is believed that the name Kuvasz came from the Turkish word "kavas", which means "protector". During the late 15th century, this breed was very popular with the Hungarian nobility. This breed was also given as royal gifts for many centuries. They were used to hunt big game, such as bear, wild boar, etc. The medieval King Matthias was so enraptured by this breed that he claimed to trust them more than the people around him. The first written reference concerning this breed came from the 16th century. Many years later the Kuvasz became popular as a sheepdog with local villagers and herdsmen. This breed is believed to have contributed to development of the Polish Tatra Sheepdog, the Marema Sheepdog, the Great Pyrenees and the Anatolian Shepherd. Due to the introduction of other sheepdogs, the number of Kuvasz began to diminish and only thirty Kuvasz remained worldwide by the end of World War II. After this, several breeders began reviving this noble breed. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC Working, UKC Guardian Dog