Kuvasz Guide

Working Dog Breeds


The Kuvasz (plural: Kuvaszok) packs a lot of bravery and a lot of brawn. These flock-guarding dogs are among the largest working breeds. This breed came to Hungary by way of Tibet; many still work guarding sheep—their striking white coats let them blend into the flock. Their sweet, gentle natures also mean Kuvaszok often make excellent therapy dogs or canine visitors to children's hospitals and nursing homes.

This large-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 70-115 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.


FAST FACTS
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Guardian
Origin: Herding
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Size: Extra Large
Bark Factor: Moderate

AKC RANKING 128

FAMILY livestock dog, sheepdog, flockguard

AREA OF ORIGIN Hungary

DATE OF ORIGIN Middle Ages

ORIGINAL FUNCTION guardian, hunting large game

TODAY'S FUNCTION sheep guardian, security

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 28-30 Weight: 100-115

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 26-28 Weight: 70-90

OTHER NAME Hungarian kuvasz

Energy level Medium energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Moderately playful

Affection level Somewhat affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Shy

Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Very protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance High tolerance

Heat tolerance Low tolerance


BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A KUVASZ'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

A Kuvasz is like your gruff old uncle: they're not overly showy in their affection, but they always have your back. Their loyalty, patience, and sweet dispositions make Kuvaszok cherished family members. This breed is often protective toward any children she's decided are hers, which makes early socialization and supervision important.

Strangers will most likely get the side-eye until your Kuvasz has been properly introduced, and even then, this dog won't be in a hurry to invite them to stay for tea. They're very picky about which humans they'll consider friends.

WHAT IS KUVASZ BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Kuvaszok have a lot of spunk and energy for such a big dog. They need daily walks and romps to keep their minds and bodies active.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A KUVASZ?

You must understand that the Kuvasz was bred to work independently and make her own decisions, so she'll probably be suspicious of this “training” malarkey. Be patient and consistent with your furry friend; she'll respond well to praise and positive reinforcements of good behavior.

This dog doesn't have much of a sense of humor, so don't try to tease your Kuvasz. They're also sensitive and don't respond well to harshness — be as good-natured and gentle with this dog as she is with you.

Kuvaszok excel in agility, rally, and obedience competitions.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO KUVASZOK SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

Kuvaszok have a fine, soft undercoat overlaid with coarse guard hair. They are seasonal shedders, and they shed heavily when it's warm out. These dogs don't need much professional grooming beyond an occasional brushing and bath, though you'll want to brush them more frequently while they're shedding. Don't forget to check regularly for matts.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO KUVASZOK HAVE?

On the whole, Kuvaszok are rugged and healthy. Some develop eye diseases (including Progressive Retinal Atrophy), hip dysplasia, or thyroid disease.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.

IDEAL FAMILY

ARE KUVASZOK GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?

The American Kennel Club doesn't list Kuvaszok among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.

You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Kuvasz! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.

WHAT IS A KUVASZ'S BEST DAY?

This is a dog built to work long, hard days on rough terrain, so don't be surprised if her idea of “fun” is kind of hardcore. A really good day for your Kuvasz involves long hikes and maybe backpacking to calm her hardworking soul.

SHOULD I ADOPT A KUVASZ?

You'll need to live in a colder climate and be willing to keep up with this active dog if you intend to bring a Kuvasz home. Those in search of a demonstrative lapdog should look elsewhere. But if you're willing to be sweet and patient while this dog grows up with you, while also making sure she gets plenty of physical and mental exercise, you might be Kuvasz strong.

Have you decided that a Kuvasz is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Komondor