It is a breed that has a very ancient history, apparently its ancestors traveled as horse guards that transported carts. Some historians date the breed to between 1,100 and 1,300 AD
The Kuvasz are believed to have come to Hungary from Turkey. Over the years, it became a guard dog for homes. Like many other breeds, it came close to extinction during World War II and worse still during the Hungarian revolt of 1956. Fortunately, thanks to the work of the breeders, their number grew considerably again.
Today it enjoys acceptable recognition on both sides of the Atlantic.
Kuvasz physical characteristics
The Kuvasz is a dog that belongs to the large dog categorization. This shepherd is strong, not heavy at all but solid and has a rectangular-type body shape. Being longer than tall. Its upper line is straight, of medium length and its back is short and robust. They have a broad rump that is slightly raised. Due to their fur in the rump area it gives the impression that these dogs are more robust. The withers are higher than its back and its tail is set low. It reaches to the hocks and hangs down and curves up slightly at the end.
Kuvasz are dogs that have a deep chest and the front of the chest is bulging forward due to the muscles and the sternum. The belly is gathered; high and descending shoulder blades. The front legs are straight and the elbows, although not below the body, are well attached. The hind legs are also quite straight, the front metatarsals are not so straight. The neck is of medium length, muscular and without dewlap.
Quite long but not pointed with a marked stop, but not too much. The lips of the Kuvasz are well coupled and their ears are set high and in the shape of an arrow or "V". These are hanging and have a medium length. The almond-shaped eyes are oblique, and the lids, well attached to the eyeball. The teeth are scissors.
Height and weight
The height of the Kuvasz is between 71 centimeters and 76 centimeters for the male and between 66 and 70 centimeters for the female.
As for their weight, males vary between 48 kilograms and 62 kilograms while females range between 37 kilograms and 50 kilograms.
Kuvasz have short hair, approximately 2 centimeters in the area of the head, ears, feet and legs. On the rest of his body, the hair is longer. In the ruff area and on the tail are the places where they have the longest hair (mainly around the neck). The coat is divided into two layers, the lower layer which is woolly and relatively thin and the upper layer where its hair is coarser, wavy and thicker.
Kuvasz are only presented in white. The animal's skin is grayish. His lips, nose and eyelid edges are white and his eyes are always dark brown.
The Kuvasz is a dog that is characterized mainly by its intelligence and its serenity. They are affectionate and loyal, very attached to their masters, although they also enjoy a lot of independence when it comes to playing or exercising. They are dogs that are considered good watchdogs and good defenders of the property in which they live. They are very close to the family so if there is a child in the house it is very normal for the Kuvasz to protect him jealously. They are brave, strong and dominant dogs.
Kuvasz don't usually bark a lot, if they do it's always for good reason. Another characteristic is that due to their place of origin, they are dogs that can tolerate cold climates. This, added to its degree of independence, means that if the animal has to sleep outside in a kennel, it does not pass it at all unpleasant as long as during the rest of the day it has close contact with both its master and the rest of the family.
They are dogs that one of their first characteristics is that they bear a lot of pain. In addition to this and as we have mentioned previously, they are dominant dogs that if they are well socialized they will not have problems of coexistence with other dogs or other animals. But if the socialization process is null or not carried out well, it could present complications with the coexistence of other animals.
The Kuvasz have a stable character that makes them very tolerant of living with children, but due to their strength, certain precautions must be observed more than anything in games. Not out of fear of a bite, but out of caution, especially in Kuvasz puppies that are unaware of their size and strength and could knock the child down.
These pastors are very protective so they will always defend their home and the members of their family. He is very dominant with other dogs and reacts easily if he feels threatened.
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The Kuvasz's coat is very thick and protects it from any weather conditions that come its way. They are good to withstand cold, strong winds, rains, etc. This great coat that these shepherds have implies a greater dedication in their care and grooming than with other breeds. It should be brushed at least once every five or seven days and in times of shedding it is recommended to do it daily. A good practice when it comes to shedding is to give them warm water baths that will help a lot to control hair loss. It is recommended to use metal bristle brushes for brushing and keeping the dog's nails short.
It is not an ideal dog for those masters or trainers who are beginners. It is a balanced dog but it needs a lot of firmness and tranquility for the training to come to fruition. It is necessary to take into account when training a Kuvasz that a lot of physical and mental strength is needed to carry out this process since in addition to being a strong dog on many occasions the Kuvasz is a bit stubborn. The best results in training will be achieved in a friendly environment with the canine where they are given enough freedom for them to decide for themselves.
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The Kuvasz do not require a huge exercise. With 40 minutes or 1 hour of daily training, this dog of Hungarian origin is in good shape. If you have a park or a large area of land, a large part of the daily exercise will be done by the puppy by himself thanks to that degree of independence that they have. If you do not have a large garden, it will be necessary to take it out for a run at least once a day.
This breed is quite gluttonous, so you have to take care of the rations that you give it so as not to overdo it and lead the dog to become overweight. A dry, protein-rich feed is recommended and, in some cases (it depends a lot on the weather and the dog's work), fat supplements are recommended to keep its coat in optimal condition.
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Uses of the breed
The Kuvasz is well regarded as a watchdog and companion dog that does not adapt well to urban environments. Not the ideal dog for canine sports.
The Kuvasz is incredibly loyal to its family, although it is often reserved, it is capable of doing anything for its owners. It is important to socialize and train them as puppies, because their guardian instinct will make them hostile to strangers. In fact, some specimens can be very annoying because they bark too much.
The life expectancy of the breed varies between 10 and 12 years.
They have good health and great stamina, they usually tolerate pain very well. The diseases that can affect the breed are hip and elbow dysplasia. In some specimens, hypertrophic osteodystrophy and panosteitis have been observed, which are two pathologies, which affect the development of bones. These usually manifest during the first year of life.