Dog Health & More
The Kuvasz is a large, white flock-guarding dog who hails from Hungary. A one-family dog, he's protective of his people and suspicious of strangers. The Kuvasz thinks for himself and can be challenging to train.
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The Kuvasz (pronounced KOO-vahss; the plural is Kuvaszok, pronounced KOO-vah-sock) is probably the oldest of the three ancient Hungarian breeds. He has a regal bearing and a history (which includes an association with Count Dracula himself) as complex as his personality.
His almond-shaped eyes, black nose, and dense white fur make him an eye-catching breed. So does his size. Males can weigh up to 115 pounds or even more. They're sturdy and well-muscled, very strong with great endurance, yet elegant. Many think the Kuvasz moves like a wolf, with a powerful, graceful stride. When he trots or runs, he seems to glide, with little up-and-down movement of the body. Because his gait is so effortless, he's capable of trotting for 15 miles or more without tiring.
A Kuvasz's white coat is beautiful to behold, and has at times contributed to the breed's popularity as a "fashion dog." But they were bred to have white coats for reasons other than beauty: Their color helped shepards distinguish their dogs from wolves.
The Kuvasz can be a wonderful, loyal, and patient companion, but he's not for everyone. Because he was bred to guard, he can be aloof, independent, and suspicious of strangers. Your Kuvasz will be polite to welcomed guests, but no more — regardless of how hard the strangers try to befriend him. His almost fanatical loyalty makes him very protective; he's always alert for any signs of danger, and when aroused, he can move with surprising speed given his size.
Kuvaszok are extremely intelligent, but they aren't easy to train. Their fierce independence makes them a challenge even for experienced dog owners. Puppies are playful well into adolescence, but older dogs usually are calm and reserved. Excessive barking, however, can be a problem at any age, depending on the individual dog.
In true working dog spirit, Kuvaszok like to have a job to do, whether it's watching over livestock or watching over your children. They're typically gentle with kids and love to play with them. Mature dogs seem to understand their great strength, but Kuvaszok puppies, like children, often don't know their limits, so you should always supervise the play of puppies and children.
Kuvaszok are active dogs who wouldn't do well in an apartment or house without a yard. If kept in a kennel or, worse, tethered or chained, they can become aggressive. Kuvaszok are determined and have a high tolerance to pain, so an underground electronic fence probably wouldn't hold them if they really wanted to run free. But you shouldn't always keep them outdoors. Let them inside so they can be with their family. Everyone will enjoy it.