The Kuvasz is a large white or cream-colored flock guardian that is fearless, loyal and protective. The coat is dense, double, and odorless. The texture can be wavy or straight. They have a ruff of fur around the neck that extends to the chest. Though the coat is light, the Kuvasz's hide pigmentation is dark, with the nose, lips, and eye rims being black. The dark brown eyes are almond shaped and wide set. The body is medium boned and is slightly longer than it is tall.
Like its cousin the Komondor, the Kuvasz was useful as a light-colored flock guard, easily distinguished from predators. The Komondor, however, was used in the lower elevations with drier climates of Hungary, and the Kuvasz was used in the wet pastures of the higher mountains. Later, during the 15th Century, the Kuvasz became highly prized as a royal guard and puppies were often given to visiting dignitaries as a gift. By the end of World War II, nearly all the Kuvaszok (the plural form of Kuvasz) in Hungary had been killed by German and Soviet soldiers due to the fierce a reputation for protecting their families. Some reports indicate there were as few as twelve Kuvaszok left in Hungary. Since then, thanks to dedicated breeders Kuvaszok have returned to safe numbers though with a limited gene pool.
The Kuvasz is not the breed for a first-time dog owner. Because of their high intelligence, protectiveness, and independence, firm obedience training and socialization are required by an experienced handler. As a flock guard, they were bred to independently evaluate potential threats and take action, which can make training difficult. Even though they will quickly understand a command, if the person issuing it isn't respected by the dog, they probably will not obey. This breed will fiercely defend his people and territory. If raised from a young age with children and well-socialized, they can be trusted as a good family companion; however, newly introduced children should be monitored with the Kuvasz in case the dog determines roughhousing is a threat to their charges.
Breed Club Links: Kuvasz Club of America
BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: For teaching this dog to heel during walks, we recommend the EzyDog Mongrel Dog Leash for stress-free training sessions with this or any large, powerful dog.
Have any stories about a Kuvasz? Please share!