The Kuvasz, Kuvaszok in plural form, is a large-giant-sized Hungarian working dog. They stand at a height of 30 inches and have a rectangular body outline. They feature a medium-length coat that comes in all shades of white, ears folded forward, and a tail that curves up whenever he’s alert.
Kuvaszok are known to be one-family dogs who can be exceptionally affectionate to their families but suspicious of strangers. They are also known to be patient and gentle companions, making them a perfect fit for families with children.
These are active dogs, and may not be suitable in an apartment living. You have to ensure that you have a secured fence if you want to earn one. They thrive for family companions and must be included in family activities.
|Dog Breed Group||Working|
|Breed Size||Large to Giant|
|Height||28-30 inches (male); 26-28 inches (female)|
|Weight||100-115 pounds (male); 70-90 pounds (female)|
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
The Kuvasz is known to be the oldest of the three ancient dog breeds of Hungary. They are believed to have originally come from Tibet and were brought to the area by Magyar Tribes 1200 years ago.
Where the Kuvasz came from is unknown. However, the modern-day Kuvaszok are said to have been developed around the 15th century during King Matthias I’s rule. The king established the breed in his kingdom by making them his guard dogs.
As these were highly-prized dogs, the king made sure the dogs were protected. So he built large kennels and housed hundreds of Kuvasz. He kept these dogs by his side and trusted them more than he trusted his family and soldiers.
The dogs were also used in hunting large game like bears and wolves. There were also times that the dogs were given as gifts by the king to fellow royalties and nobles.
When King Matthias I died, the dog’s popularity also started to die down among the royal families. Fortunately, the breeds were kept by farmers and horsemen and had them protect livestock instead.
It was only in the late 1800s when attempts to standardize the breed were made. And by the 1920s and 30s, they became the most fashionable large dog in Hungary and most of Western Europe.
They almost went extinct a few times in history, but due to the efforts of many people involved, they were able to survive. In 1884, the first Hungarian standard was written, and by 1931, the American Kennel Club registered their first Kuvasz.
Now, the dogs rank 163rd as the most popular dog in the US, which might be quite low. However, those who own the breed would know how wonderful companion dogs they are.
Kuvaszok are loyal, fearless, and courageous dogs. They are very cuddly balls of fur as puppies, but are considered to be spirited as they mature.
As active dogs, they are the best fit in spacious homes with securely fenced yards that would allow him to run around as they please. Though they may be content on a few daily walks, they should be given the freedom to patrol.
These dogs are considered to be one-family dogs and can be very suspicious of strangers. They are very devoted to protecting you, and though it’s sweet, they can be very discriminating.
Early socialization is very important to make him more well-rounded. Get him accustomed to meeting new people and animals, and experience new things. This way, he’ll be calmer, and he’ll be able to control his temperament.
If you have children at home, there’s very little that you should be worried about. These are gentle and patient dogs for children. As they mature, they become more aware of their size, which allows them to be more well-behaved indoors.
They are very friendly with other pets they grew up with. However, with their territorial instincts, he’ll likely chase strange animals away.
Kuvaszok will need training, and they need someone who knows how to take charge to act as their leader. You need to be consistent and firm if you want them to follow you, but never should you be harsh on this dog.
Kuvaszok Care Requirements
- Nutrition: Kuvaszok don’t rely on any particular diet. The only thing you need to remember is to provide them high-quality and well-balanced meals daily. You should also watch their calorie consumption per day and ensure that they don’t get overweight. Serving them with high-quality ingredients is crucial, so they remain healthy. If you’re going to buy dog food or dog treats, choose the premium-quality ones, read the label, and make sure that it doesn’t contain any fillers, additives, and by-products that may be harmful to the breed. If your dog is allergic to any food ingredient, stay away from those. It’s also best to ask your vet for food requirements specific to your dog’s needs, which would align to his age, activity level, metabolism, etc.
- Grooming: Kuvaszok have double coats that regularly shed, so they must be brushed regularly too. Weekly brushing should be enough to remove debris and keep shedding to a minimum. However, if you feel like you have more time, there’s certainly no problem if you’d like to do it daily. Baths can be given occasionally, but make sure to clean out the ears once a week to avoid ear infection. Nails should be trimmed and kept short not to cause pain and discomfort to your dog.
- Exercise: Kuvaszok are strong and active working dogs, which means they need regular exercise to keep them fit and happy. You can take them out for long walks, but letting them run in a securely-fenced yard would be better for the breed. Keep exercise moderate for growing puppies. Too much exercise may lead to serious health conditions, so be very careful.
- Health: Kuvaszok are generally healthy dogs with a long lifespan. However, they are prone to getting severe health conditions due to breeding issues at times. As dog owners, it’s essential to be aware of this so you’d be aware of what to do if your dog acquires a disease.For this dog breed, elbow and hip dysplasia are very common, so it’s crucial not to over exercise him. Autoimmune thyroiditis, patellar luxation, cardiac conditions, and progressive retinal atrophy are common too. You also need to watch closely what he eats, so he doesn’t develop bloating. Screening tests are made available to early detect some of these conditions. However, it’s still essential to continuously monitor your dog’s behavior, and if you notice any changes, take him to the vet.
- Lifespan: The life expectancy of Kuvaszok is 10-12 years.
Delilah: The Kuvasz in Homeward Bound II movie
Fun Facts About Kuvaszok
- Kuvaszok are believed to have originally come from Tibet and were brought to Hungary by the Magyar Tribes.
- They are the oldest among the three ancient dog breeds of Hungary.
- The name Kuvasz may have come from a Sumerian word “Ku-assa” which means “dog of the horse.”
- They were originally used to guard livestock.
- They were used as guard dogs by King Matthias I in the late 15th century.
- Kuvaszok almost became extinct during world war II; 30 dogs were left after that world war.
- They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1931.