ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Kuvasz

Kuvasz dog breed
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Popular for its cleverness, fearlessness and sense of humor, the Kuvasz is the perfect addition to any household. This dog breed is not only the best playmate, but it can also provide extra security to your family as it is extremely doubtful to unfamiliar persons. Though it has been traditionally employed to secure livestock, it is now taking the center stage as a popular house pet in countries across the globe.

They aggressively protect properties, family and other household pets. Aside from being a watchdog, they can also tolerate pain, making them ideal companions of kids who can be overwhelmingly active. If you are looking for a loyal pet companion that is more than willing to defend your loved ones the same way you protect them, the Kuvasz is the perfect breed for your household.

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityBelow Average
TrainabilityBelow Average
HealthBelow Average
GroomingHigh
All Around FriendlinessBelow Average
Exercise NeedsHigh

Dog Breed Group:Working Dogs
Height:2 feet, 2 inches to 2 feet, 6 inches tall at the shoulder (Males: 28-30 inches; Females: 26-28 inches)
Weight: 70 to 115 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 12 years on an average

A puppy as cuddly and as huggable as a white fur ball, the Kuvasz grows into a bold, strong-willed dog who’s determined to protect those who are dear to him. Characterized by its almond-shaped eyes, black nose, thick white fur and large size, this dog breed can effortlessly make heads turn. But while they may look elegant and harmless on the outside, they are strong and muscular on the inside.

They possess high endurance, making them a unique breed. The Kuvasz bears great resemblance with wolves because of their undeniable power and strength. The only thing that sets them apart from their veracious counterparts is their graceful and endearing stride.

During the 15th century, the Kuvasz is one of the oldest and most popular Hungarian dog breeds, with most of them serving aristocrats and people from the upper class. The modern Kuvasz plays its role as a watchdog earnestly, silently sizing up strangers before deciding whether they are a friend or an enemy.

If you are considering a Kuvasz, it is best to take this dog breed’s personality into great consideration. Since they are active in nature, they require a spacious home. They are pure country dogs that need a lot of room inside and out.

As a young puppy, the Kuvasz requires exercise that includes daily walks to maintain their overall health and wellness. However, owners must be cautious as they shouldn’t let the dog’s soft growing bones and joints get exhausted and over-stressed. As it grows up, the dog breed necessitates more exercise that can range from long walks to regular runs in an open area so it could be in its best shape.

When exercising, the Kuvasz needs supervision as it can be destructive once it gets bored. Also, bear in mind that this breed is prone to getting stressed due to excessive heat, especially during the summer season so it shouldn’t be over-exercised during hot and humid temperaments.

Training a Kuvasz can be tough. This breed is dominant and independent, which explains why it loves being in charge all the time. To raise an obedient Kuvasz, consistency is the key. Training should be firm, but it should be blended with tenderness so the dog breed won’t develop violent behavior. In addition to that, providing enough opportunity for socialization as they grow old is also important. This way, they would learn how to welcome unfamiliar guests without going over-suspicious.

Furthermore, the Kuvasz loves taking responsibilities for its human companions, so you can provide it simple duties like securing your livestock or watching over your children. They are gentle with kids, and they are extremely patient. Nonetheless, just like in other dogs, adult supervision is still required, especially when the dog breed plays with younger children.

Main Highlights
  • Kuvasz requires a certain, skilled owner, one who earns their respect and understands their independence naturally.
  • Kuvasz shed abundantly, especially during the season of spring and fall.You may want to brush them at least once a week and if possible every two to three days, is highly recommended.
  • Your Kuvasz tends to be violent and disturbed if tethered, or locked up. This kind of breed needs to run and feel free. It requires a huge yard enclosure with fence and a long daily walk or runs once he’s fully grown.
  • Kuvasz is smart and like many guarding dogs, they think for themselves. Training can be challenging because it needs a lot of time, long-temperedness, and consistency.
Breed History

The Kuvasz mainly originated from Hungary. It was a popular breed in thriving European kingdoms and empires eight hundred years ago. According to von Stephanits, a renowned German authority on Central European breeds, the Kuvasz is closely related to the Komondor. He hypothesized that the Kuvasz started to appear when the Kavasz was mixed with native Hungarian country dogs in the earlier years.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, only royalty and those favored in noble classes were allowed to own a Kuvasz. In the second half of the 15th century, the Kuvasz became more popular in different places as this dog breed was employed in protecting huge estates during that time. According to people in the earlier centuries, only the Kuvasz was the most trusted and reliable pet companion during the chaotic times in Hungary.

In the 1920s, the Kuvasz came to America and held its fame with western ranchers, where it is still prized as a patrol dog and livestock watchdog. In 1931, the first Kuvasz was entered in the American Kennel Club Stud Book. The Kuvasz Club of America, founded in 1966, was granted status as the breed’s official parent club in 1993.

Size

Just like other dog breeds, a male Kuvasz is typically larger than its female counterpart. A female’s height ranges from 26 to 28 inches, while the height of males is usually 2 inches higher.  Furthermore, females weigh between 70 and 90 pounds, whereas males can be as heavy as 115 pounds.

Personality and Character

The Kuvasz is a high-spirited dog widely recognized for its enthusiasm, bravery, determination, curiosity and sensitivity to praise and blame. It is dedicated to protecting its human companions, especially kids, which explains why it is highly suspicious in nature. If a member of the family tends to be at risk, it strategizes a plan and acts upon it to put its human companions out of danger. While the adult Kuvasz is tender and patient with children, puppies can be too playful for young kids.

Most Kuvasz have a strong instinct to drive off animals that do not belong in their flock. They can act intimidatingly towards unfamiliar dogs, and they do not really go along well with cats. If owners neglect the importance of early training and socialization, the dog breed can easily be involved in accidents due to improper behavior.

Moreover, the Kuvasz is characterized by its loud and deafening bark. As guard dogs, they can alert and warn their owners once they sense danger. They are most vigilant at night time, making them the perfect home companion not only for families, but of solo homeowners as well. The only problem is, they have the tendency to bark frequently. To avoid this, it is best to train the dog early and correct its barking tendencies.

Health and Potential Problems

In general, the Kuvasz is a healthy dog breed. However, it is also pre-exposed to different health disorders. Even though not all Kuvasz will suffer from these conditions, it is still necessary for owners to be more cautious so they can keep health problems at bay.

To familiarize you with their health issues, below are some of the health conditions common to their bloodline:

  • Canine hip dysplasia: In this condition, the femur doesn’t fit tightly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Hip dysplasia can develop with or without clinical manifestations. Some dogs exhibit pain and lameness on one or both rear legs. As the dog grows, they can start to develop arthritis. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or OFA usually conducts screening for hip dysplasia since those that are suffering from this condition shouldn’t be bred. Consult your vet if your dog shows symptoms of hip dysplasia since new treatments are available to battle against this medical condition.
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans(OCD): In this case, there is a bone deterioration that lies under the cartilage layer of joints. This is often observed at breeds that grow too fast. Jumping off the furniture and being overweight can also contribute to a dog’s risk factors. X-rays are often inefficient in guaranteeing that the dog is suffering from this condition. Commonly, OCD can affect the shoulder, elbow joint or ankle, and often occur during the growth stage of a young dog. As a result of painfulness, the dog often limps, so this is one thing owners should watch out for.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a common blood disorder that is often triggered by lack of clotting factor VIII antigen. The primary indication is bleeding too much after an injury or surgery. Other signs such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or bleeding in the stomach and intestines may also exist.
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus:Also known as bloat or torsion, this disease can be a fatal condition that can greatly affect big dogs with deep chests such as the Kuvasz. It is a common condition for older dogs that grew up with bad eating habits. For instance, consuming one large meal a day, drinking excessive water or exercising right after eating can add up to a dog’s risk of contracting this disease. GDV occurs when the stomach is occupied by gas or air, and then twists. In this situation, the dog will not be able to belch or vomit because of the excess air in its stomach, and the normal return of blood to the heart is hindered. As a consequence, the blood pressure tends to drop and the dog undergoes a state of shock. The dog can die any minute without immediate medical attention. If your dog has a swollen abdomen and if it vomits without throwing up, then it might be suffering from GDV. Other signs and symptoms to watch out for include weakness, sluggishness and a fast heartbeat. If these symptoms occur, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Care Features

The Kuvasz are energetic dogs that require a lot of exercise. Since they are active, they are not suitable for apartments or homes that don’t have a large, fenced yard. Even on open ground, they still need daily exercise such as long walks or runs, especially once they reach maturity.

The Kuvasz can stay outdoors in temperate to cold climates for a long time because of their dense fur. Like any dog, however, they also need to feel loved and nurtured by their human companions, so interacting with them is crucial for their holistic development.

Feeding Schedule

Dogs also need food as much as other dog breeds do. This dog breed’s ideal food intake depends on its age, size, shape, metabolism and level of activity.

The Kuvasz’s recommended daily amount of high-quality dog food ranges from 2.75 to 3. 75 cups a day, and owners are advised to divide it into two equal feedings. The higher the quality of dog food, the greater its impact is to your dog.

Coat, Color and Grooming

The Kuvasz’s thick white coat can extend to six inches in length. To prevent mats from forming, brush your Kuvasz by using a grooming rake or a pin brush a couple of times a week. If the coat of your Kuvasz gets tangled, use a large-toothed comb joined with a conditioning spray to loosen up the fur’s tangles. This dog breed needs more regular brushing during spring and fall because they shed heavily during these times.

The Kuvasz does not require bathing, unless it is already smelly. However, owners who love taking extra care to their dog companions can bathe their dogs once or twice a week, depending on the weather.

The coat of Kuvasz is unscented and it has dirt and water-repelling properties. Bathing this dog breed too frequently could strip the natural protective oils off its coat, making it more vulnerable to dirt. Most Kuvasz owners use sprinkling talcum or cornstarch powder to clean the coats of their dog. Then, they brush the powder afterwards. The fur that grows between its toes should be trimmed down. In the like manner, regular nail clipping is integral in keeping the dog away from harm, especially since dogs can unintentionally scratch their face.

You also need to brush its teeth at least two to three times a week to eliminate bacteria and to remove tartar formed inside its mouth. Daily brushing could also help prevent gum disease.

To make the most out of your dog companion’s grooming session, start as early as possible so the dog will be accustomed to grooming habits while growing up. Handle its paws with care and check out its mouth and ears. Also, incorporate a reward system so grooming wouldn’t be a traumatic experience on your dog’s part.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

It takes time to earn the trust of a Kuvasz, especially since they are highly suspicious in nature. However, once they already build a strong relationship with their human companions, they are extremely loyal companions. In addition to that, the Kuvasz should not be left alone for an extended period of time.

The Kuvaszoks are affectionate to children, and can be overly caring and protective. If your kids are playing with their friends, it’s important to supervise them especially if your dog is nearby. Since it is protective with ‘his’ kids, it can interpret sudden noise or movements as danger or threat. Likewise, puppies can also be too rambunctious for young children.

Just like dealing with other dogs, you should always educate your children how to approach the Kuvasz with additional care. Teach them the difference between dealing with a stuffed toy and a live animal since a dog’s feelings must be recognized. Also, never overlook the importance of supervising pet-children contact to ensure the safety and security of both your child and your dog companion.

If you are looking for a protective family dog, it’s best that you consider the Kuvasz for your next pet. However, always remember that owning a dog is a huge responsibility. If you feel like you can commit yourself to taking care of this dog breed, then it’s time that you welcome your new puppy with open arms.

Heroic, clever and warm-hearted in nature, the Kuvasz is definitely the ideal companion for people who are looking for a trust-worthy pet. Although the Kuvasz may be distrustful at first, gaining its trust and loyalty is more than worth it. By giving them enough attention, care, and friendship, we’ll be the center of their universe.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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