(Hungarian Kuvasz)The Kuvasz is a massive, muscular, well‑proportioned white sheepdog, with a medium‑boned body, slightly longer than it is tall. The accepted coat color is white - it also comes in ivory but this is not a preferred color. The skin must have a dark pigmentation. The ears are folded over and lie close to the head. The dark-brown eyes are almond‑shaped, and look over a muzzle that tapers slightly to a black nose. Both the lips and interior of the mouth are black. The coat is medium‑length, with either straight or quite wavy hair. The Kuvasz has a recognizable mane around the neck and chest, short hair on the head and feet, and wavy hair on the body and legs. The back of the legs are feathered. The tail is carried low, but is raised when the Kuvasz becomes excited. Dewclaws on the rear legs only should be removed.
These dogs came from Slovakia as well as Hungary. They have different names depending on which country they are bred in. They are referred to as the Hungarian Kuvasz if they originated from Hungary and the Tchuvatch when originated from Slovakia.
The Kuvasz is a large, confident breed, very territorial and with a strong protective instinct, which makes it an excellent guard dog or herder. They are intelligent and easy to house train. They are also independent, and although loyal t their owners, may sometimes be aloof. They must be socialized from a young age to work well with children - but while it will get along well with its own family, this may not be the case with other children, and the Juvasz must never be left unsupervised with them. The Kuvasz was bred to work on its own, and retains that trait to this day, so they are difficult to obedience train. Training must not involve harsh measures. Adult Kuvasz are dog-aggressive, and will resent other pets in the household. If they are trained to handle livestock, however, they will be quite protective of their charges. Special training is necessary for that, as well. The Kuvasz is a drooler and a slobberer.
The Kuvasz is neither drools nor slobbers. This breed should be well socialized from birth if it is expected to live with other small animals in the household. Training a Kuvasz to herd sheep and other live stock is fairly easy. Most trainers recommend having a young Kuvasz sleep with the herd while they are puppies. This helps develop a natural bond to the livestock and they may become protective of them. Traditionally they were used for guarding livestock, running off wolves, coyotes and other predators/varmints. They were not used much for herding.
The mouth of the Kuvasz is tight and dry compared to similarly-sized breeds such as the Great Pyrenees or the Newfoundland.
As with all large breeds, the Kuvasz is prone to hip dysplasia. Other diseases to check for include osteochondritis dissecans (inflammation of the shoulder joints), hypertrophic osteodystrophy ((HOD) another bone problem that causes lameness), skin problems and allergic reactions.
On average a Kuvasz's lifespan is 9-12 years.
As with many ancient dog breeds, the origin of the Kuvasz is unclear. Their name is thought to come from the Turkish word "kavas," meaning "guard" or "soldier." Some sources theorize that the Kuvasz was a sheepdog that accompanied the Turkish refugees and their flocks who fled from the Mongols into Hungary in 1200. They were used not only to herd flocks such as sheep, but also to hunt wild game. As with most European dogs, the Kuvasz did not fare well during World War II, and at war's end only thirty were left. However, the breed was rescued and over the last seventy years or so has gradually become popular as a house pet.
The coat of the Kuvasz should be brushed weekly. The coat of the Kuvasz possesses oils which allows it to sheds dirt naturally - give it a bath and you remove those oils. Always check the ears for matting. The Kuvasz sheds seasonally when it is in cold climates, but in warmer climates (where it will not be comfortable) it will shed all year round.
The Kuvasz is not suited for apartment life. They need a large fenced-in yard in which to roam - but they also need to be exercised frequently, to use up their energy. If they become bored they will become destructive. Preventing the Kuvasz from roaming the yard while it is outside (by chaining or tethering) is not a good idea - it will lead to resentment and anger. The Kuvasz can live outdoors all year round in climates that are temperate to cold – but it will suffer in warm or humid climates thanks to its dense coat .
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- Great Pyrenees or Hungarian Kuvasz?
I rescued what I was told was a Great Pyrenees from our local shelter but he seems to have more Kuvasz characteristics. Is there a definitive way to tell the difference?Asked by Anonymous - 2 answers