(aka: Hungarian Kuvasz, Hungarian Sheepdog, Kuvaszok)
The Kuvasz is giant in size, and this is something that needs to be taken into consideration if you have small children in the household. He has a sturdy and robust build, and an intelligent, attentive expression. The coloring of the Kuvasz is white, and his coat is long, can be flat or wavy, and has a softer undercoat. A handsome creature, the Kuvasz weighs in at around 70-90 pounds for females and 100-115 pounds for males. The height of the Kuvasz is around 26-28 inches for females and 28-80 pounds for males.
The Kuvasz is a dog that is very loyal and protective, and has plenty of courage, spirit, and determination. The Kuvasz will be very protective of adults, children, and pets in his own family, but can be very wary, distrustful, and overprotective when strangers - adults or children - are around. He can also be aggressive with strange animals in a bid to protect his family and his territory. Early socialization is important with the Kuvasz, and when it comes to training he is a quick learner and is intelligent. However, he can be dominant and can get bored easily, and is best suited to an experienced dog owners who can be assertive, confident, and provide plenty of variety when it comes to physical and mental stimulation.
The deep bark and protective nature of this breed makes the Kuvasz an effective watchdog. This is an energetic breed, and it is important to ensure that he gets daily walks and also has a secured and safe area in which to play and run. This is not a dog that is suited to enclosed environments and apartment living, nor is he suited to those that cannot establish themselves as the leader. However, with the right owner and the right environment, he can make a loyal, devoted, and loving family pet.
The life expectancy of the Kuvasz is around 10-12 years, and there are a number of health issues relating to this breed. Some of the health issues to look out for include thyroid problems, HD and elbow dysplasia, torsion, OCD, sensitivity to chemicals and drugs, and low metabolism. You should ensure that the parents of the Kuvasz puppy have OFA certificates.
One of the world's oldest dog breeds, the Kuvasz was known in Eastern Europe, as early as 2,000 years ago. It is thought this and several other breeds of large European working dogs descended from a single ancestor in the Mesopotamian region and headed west.
The Kuvasz has been associated with the Magyar people of Hungary since they were nomadic herds people. The dog was especially valuable because of its ability to herd and guard horses and cattle as well as sheep.
The breed received royal attention from 15th century Hungarian rulers who used them for many years as a royal guard. They have also been used to guard the royal children, not infrequently serving as tiny cart horses for toddlers. Today's breed standard is largely unchanged since those times.
After being devastated in World War Two, mostly for being fiercely loyal and guarding their charges in the face of mortal danger, the breed was saved by a factory owner who wanted a few Kuvasz dogs to guard his factory from looters. When he had difficulty finding even one, his eventual search found only about 30 dogs left. Today's dogs are descended from those few survivors.
These dogs are very large and can be quite wilful at times. They, like many other herding dogs, are used to making their own decisions and tend to view their humans as either their property or their equals. Socialization training should commence far before any obedience work is done.
They tend to take to housebreaking quite easily, as they're naturally rather clean dogs. However, it is important you don't resort to any sort of punitive punishments during the course of your training. They have a very strong sense of "justice," and don't have any respect for someone who betrays their trust.
Training should begin very young with reward based play training and socialization. This can slowly be made a bit more strenuous, but should not ever include severe punishments. If you must reprimand, do so immediately. Even waiting a few moments will be out of context for your dog and of less than little use.
It is key to remain firm and, above all, consistent with your dog. Don't let other people give him or her commands, as they will usually only accept "guidance" from the alpha. Assuming you've "earned" that role, be sure not to abuse it. If your dog thinks for a moment you're teasing him or her, you will loose respect and may find subsequent commands to be dully ignored.