Adopting A Kuvasz

History and origin: The Kuvasz was first seen in ancient Tibet and Turkey and was perfected in medieval Hungary.  His name comes from a Turkish word meaning “guardian of the peace.”  He was used to guard herds, to hunt, and to protect his home.  The original Kuvasz was considerably larger than today’s dog.

Description: The Kuvasz stands 26 to 30 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 70 and 110 pounds.  A powerful, big-bodied, lanky dog, this breed has a medium-length shedding coat and a soft undercoat.  Regular brushing is needed to keep it in good condition.  The coat is highly absorbent of odors and will smell if the dog is kept outside.  The only color is white.

About the breed: This is a smart, patient breed who makes an excellent guarddog and is loyal and devoted to his owners.  He is a powerful athletic breed who is similar to the Great Pyrenees and Komondor in function and in attitude.  Dominant and very independent, the Kuvasz can be a difficult dog to own.  He is very suspicious of strangers and is often dog-aggressive.  Aggression when it comes is sudden; there is usually no posturing or warning beforehand.  Because of his stubbornness and strong guarding instincts, it is difficult to train this breed to adapt to a laid-back family environment.

The Kuvasz is also capable of being aggressive toward his own family.  Therefore, training must begin early and must be firm and consistent.  Though dominant and stubborn, he can become worried and panicky if pushed too hard or fast, so take your time.  Spoiling this breed, though, could create an unconfident, pushy dog that is likely to bite.  The Kuvasz is susceptible to hip dysplasia and bloat.  His thick coat makes him a poor choice for those who live in warm climates.  The breed also has the habit of splitting open the end of his tail by hitting it against walls or furniture.  This can be hard to treat because he may continue re-injuring the tail or chew-off the bandage.

Feeding:  Recommended feeding for the Kuvasz is 1 ½ — 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 5 cupfuls of complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: The best home for a Kuvasz is a sheep ranch or a large house with a fenced yard.  The owner of this breed should be a physically strong, dominant, no-nonsense leader who desires a protective, reserved dog that may not be friendly toward strangers.  This dog is not recommended for families with children or pets, especially small ones.  Weak or cautious owners should avoid this breed, as should the elderly and the disabled.  Time to train, socialize, and handle this breed must be available.  Daily exercise is essential for this breed to remain happy; without it, the dog may become restless and destructive.  Those who live in warm climates should consider another breed.