A considerably olden breed, the Kuvasz can be traced back to Tibet and ancient northern Mesopotamia where clay boards from 1300 BC have "ku-assa” inscribed on them. The word literally translates into “dog-horse.” The Kuvasz is a breed of dogs known for being brilliant travel companions, who could guard horses and riders. The Kuvasz, as we know him today, was bred in Hungary. Hungary’s King Mathias I intended to keep the Kuvasz breed as his faithful protectors and helped develop the breed. In addition to serving as bodyguards, the Kuvasz was also for hunting expeditions. The protective trait is still very strong in the Kuvasz and they now act as guardians for sheep, goats and other livestock.
Physique and Personality
A fully-grown adult male Kuvasz will be around 28 to 30 inches tall and weight from 110 to 115 pounds. An adult female will be around 26 to 28 inches with a weight of about 70 to 90 pounds. The Kuvasz has distinct floppy ears and a characteristic double coat of medium length that varies from straight to wavy, and even curly. The usual colour of the coat for the Kuvasz is white, but slight variations of the shade are often seen.
When it comes to personality, the Kuvasz is an alert and extremely protective dog. Having had a history of acting as guard dogs, the Kuvasz is highly caring and defensive of his family. His extreme loyalty makes him a breed not particularly welcoming to strangers. The Kuvasz is often wary of new people or those he considers to be outsiders. However, towards the family where his loyalty lies, the Kuvasz is a warm, friendly dog with high levels of intelligence and an amusing sort of wit. The Kuvasz is usually gentle towards children and thinks of them as his own.
The Kuvasz is equally protective of a large livestock-type family as he is of a small, urban family. However, being often aggressively protective with the desire to roam free, the Kuvasz does not make a very wise family companion, unless trained rigorously for such a lifestyle.
Upkeep and Training
The Kuvasz is an ideal pet for a livestock farm, a ranch or a farmhouse. Having been bred selectively for protecting and guarding purposes, the Kuvasz can be vehemently defensive and often assume a guardian-like role in the household. This makes him the perfect chaperon dog for a sheep and other farm animals. The Kuvasz can also make for a good family dog, but only if trained properly. Usually, this breed is not recommended for first-time owners. Their tendency towards aggression and wariness can be too overwhelming for small urban families. In addition, the Kuvasz is a breed that is fond of free spaces, roaming around and good, hardy exercises that can be hard to come by in the city space. This breed is, thus, the perfect fit for countrysides or a farm.
Apart from the intensive training, taking care of the Kuvasz is not a difficult task. They are light eaters and require minimal grooming for the most parts, which includes brushing the coat once a week. During the heavy shedding season, grooming needs to be handled more attentively and frequently.
A Kuvasz needs considerable human company. While the breed can be trained to act independently, too much lack of human contact or a lack of sufficient activity can lead to damaging habits like unwarranted barking and digging. Being naturally agile and active, the Kuvasz needs substantial amount of exercise and training needs to be challenging, intelligent and non-monotonous. The pups are also little bundles of energy and need to expend the same through sufficient age-appropriate training and exercise.