A Hungarian herding dog, the Kuvasz will not only herd animals but he will round up your children as well. The Kuvasz is truly a family dog as he will dedicate himself to loving and protecting his family for life. He is as headstrong as he is loyal and a better best friend would be hard to find. Although he is not an aggressive dog, his sheer size will frighten any intruder however; when it comes to protecting his family, the Kuvasz will die before he allows his family to be harmed.
The Kuvasz is not for everyone. Kuvaszok (the plural for Kuvasz) need experienced owners who are willing to go to obedience classes and spend a significant amount of time with the dog. They are incredibly gorgeous dogs but they are also incredibly strong and strong-willed. This is not a breed for newcomers in the dog world. Read on for more information on Kuvaszok.
The Kuvasz is truly a family dog as he will dedicate himself to loving and protecting his family for life.
The Kuvasz is believed to have originated in Tibet and traveled with the Magyar when they invaded Hungary some 1,200 years ago. The name Kuvasz was derived from a Turkish word, Kawasz. Kawasz is translated to mean “armed guard of the nobility”. With his size, strength and protective nature, it is no wonder that he is considered a bodyguard for many people and their families.
Once the Kuvasz reached Hungary, the breed was perfected into the gorgeous dog that we know today. In the 15th century, King Mathias of Hungary trusted his Kuvaszok more than he did anyone else. He had monstrous kennels to house hundreds of Kuvaszok on his palace grounds. They not only attended the livestock but also went out to hunt large game as well. These dogs were his prized possessions and it was an absolute honor when he bestowed a gift of a Kuvasz puppy to one of the many visiting royals. In fact, King Mathias gifted Vlad Dracula, who was the Prince of Wallachia, with one.
After World War ll, there were actually less than thirty Kuvaszok dogs left alive in Hungary. The gene pool was so shallow that many of the remaining dogs were bred to Great Pyrenees. This resulted in the remarkable breed that we know as the Kuvasz.
Because the Kuvasz is a large breed of dog, he will require a fair amount of high-quality dog food. Since quantities vary from brand to brand, it is impossible to accurately estimate how much food your dog should consume. Kuvoszok breeders strongly advise that all dogs be fed dry kibble from the time they are young puppies. This can help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. It also helps to cut down on bad breath by leaving less plaque on the dog’s teeth.
Kuvaszok are very strong-willed and tend to have minds of their own.
Kuvaszok are very strong-willed and tend to have minds of their own. This is why they make such great dogs for protecting your home, livestock and family. Training must be started as soon as they have received their first series of vaccinations, if you are going to formal classes. Otherwise, you can start training as soon as the puppy has become comfortable in your home. Training should be consistent and of a positive nature. Yelling, screaming or physical punishment should never be used as it will have a detrimental effect on the dog and can truly come back to bite you in the butt. Positive reinforcement with consistent lessons is the keys to having a well-trained and reliable Kuvasz.
Generally, a male Kuvasz will weigh between 100 and 115 pounds. Females, as with most breeds, are smaller. The female Kuvasz usually weighs between 70 and 90 pounds.
The Kuvasz has an incredible spirit as well as strong determination. His undeniable intelligence, child-like curiosity, blind courage and innate sensitivity make the Kuvasz a great addition to confident and experienced families. His watchful and protective nature makes him cautious when strangers are around his family. To him, his job and main reason for living is protecting those he loves. Adult dogs are rather patient with kids, but puppies are puppies… they will knock down little ones and perhaps use them as chew toys. Although the Kuvasz is a spectacular breed, it is not the best option for first-time dog owners or those who do not have a fair amount of exposure to large dogs.
Common Health Problems
The Kuvasz is a relatively healthy breed of dog. Because they are so large, the breed is predisposed to hip dysplasia. Owners should understand that hip dysplasia can also be caused by slippery floors, falling, jumping too much exercise and excessive weight gain. Other health issues include Von Willebrand’s Disease, Osteochondritis Dissecans and the dreaded Gastric Dilation Vulvulus, more commonly known as bloat. Although these issues are possible issues in Kuvaszok, they are not overwhelming. Ask your breeder for clearances and information about these issues.
The average lifespan for a Kuvasz is 10 to 12 years. This is quite long for such a large breed dog.
The Kuvasz is a large and energetic dog. Think about it; they were bred to protect livestock and royalty. Kuvaszok are happiest when they feel that they are doing a job that will be beneficial to their loved ones. You can get a backpack for your dog and go hiking together; this will make him feel needed. When you must go to work, it would be wise to leave toys out that require the dog to figure out how to get the treat hidden within. As an active dog, the Kuvasz is best suited for an active family. He will have no issue relaxing on the couch after a hard day of work.
The American Kennel Club states that the Kuvasz is an: “Unexcelled guard, possessing ability to act on his own initiative at just the right moment without instruction. Bold, courageous and fearless. Untiring ability to work and cover rough terrain for long periods of time”. The Kuvasz was first recognized by the AKC in 1931.
The Kuvasz has an incredible spirit as well as strong determination.
The Kuvasz is a dog that is all white. There are no other color options or derivatives acceptable to the breed’s guidelines. The coat can be straight, wavy or even a combination of the two. Because of its thickness, a Kuvasz should be brushed several times each week to eliminate debris and dirt from the coat as well as detangle it. Bathing should be minimal and limited to once monthly, if needed.
A Kuvasz puppy is a big white ball of energy. He will want to play until he passes out. This can be harmful to his development so keep exercise to a minimum until he is older. It is of the utmost importance that you socialize you Kuvasz puppy as soon as he has finished his series of puppy shots. This will help him to learn that he needn’t be worried about every person coming to your home. Again, training should start at around 3 to 4 months of age. This will help to ensure that your baby puppy will grow to be a well-mannered yet loyal member of your family.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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