About the Kuvaszok Dog Breed
The Kuvasz (plural Kuvaszok) is an ancient breed that originated in Tibet around the 13th century. They were well known for their bravery, making them popular with Hungarian royalty. They were also used for hunting and for protecting livestock.
Kuvaszok Physical Characteristics
The Kuvasz is a large bodied dog with a deep chest and high tucked abdomen. The head is triangular with wide set round brown eyes and black nose and the ears are drop.
The Kuvasz is most commonly seen in white.
The Kuvasz’s coat is heavy and thicker around the neck and tail. The outer coat is medium to coarse, while the undercoat is soft and fluffy. The hair is generally wavy, though it appears straight after grooming.
Kuvaszok Personality and Temperament
The Kuvasz is a very brave dog, and for this reason they make excellent guard dogs for families and homes. They are an especially loyal breed, and affectionate and patient toward their families.
Things to Consider
The Kuvasz is very intelligent and independent, making them a challenge. Consistent obedience training is important from an early age. This breed is recommended for experienced dog owners, since first time dog owners may not be able to meet the challenge of this strong bodied and minded breed. This is a big dog, so care should be taken if there are small children in the family; it may be better to wait until the children are older before bringing a Kuvasz to live in the home. Due to their protective natures, they can be aggressive toward strangers, and they also have a tendency to bark a lot.
Ideal Living Conditions
Kuvaszok do well in the country with plenty of space to run around.
Kuvaszok need special grooming on a regular basis.
The following conditions are commonly seen in Kuvaszok:
Kuvaszok History and Background
The Kuvasz is likely to have descended from giant Tibetan dogs, though it is regarded as a Hungarian breed. The name is actually Turkish, not Hungarian, and is derived from the word “kawasz,” which means “armed guard of noblemen.” This is because during the Middle Ages only nobleman favored by members of the royal family could keep these dogs.
Kuvasz breeding in the 15th century was meticulously planned and documented and the dogs became very popular on large Hungarian estates, functioning as both hunting and guard dogs. They were excellent in safeguarding estates against predators and could handle large game like wolf and bear.
King Matthias I, a Kuvasz fancier, worked hard to improve the breed’s quality and built a large kennel on his property to forward research. The cream and white colors were favored for ensuring that the Kuvasz could be distinguished from their darker coated predators, especially at night when the dog would be out acting as protector of the home and livestock.
Centuries later common villagers were able to acquire Kuvasz as livestock dogs, and it was at that time that the breed’s name was corrupted to its current spelling.
The two world wars caused a serious decline in the numbers of the breed and the Kuvasz was nearly extinct by the end of the Second World War. Because of their reputation as capable protectors, the enemy would target these dogs upon arrival. After the Second World War, the final remaining Kuvaszok numbered about a dozen. Through dedication and careful cross breeding, the Kuvasz breed was brought back. In the 1930s, some were imported to the United States, and in 1931 the American Kennel Club formally recognized the breed.