Kuvasz has been treasured in Hungary as a livestock guardian and protective companion since the 1400s. The history of the Kuvasz dog breed is shrouded in mystery. Some experts believe that the breed originated in Asia more than 5,000 years ago, while others think the breed is descended from Tibetan Mastiffs imported into Hungary.
The Kuvaszok (the plural of Kuvasz) stand 24 to 30 inches tall and weigh between 70 and 110 pounds. The head is long, the eyes are slanted, and the ears are small, triangular, and dropped. The tail is long. The white coat has a wooly undercoat and a long outer coat that is shorter on the face, lower legs, and feet. The coat should be brushed or combed twice weekly. When the dog is shedding, the thick undercoat should be thoroughly brushed every other day.
The Kuvasz dog breed is active, bright, and curious. Walks are great, as they provide opportunities for socialization. But these dogs also need more vigorous exercise in the form of a jog, game of catch, or training session on the agility course. A young Kuvasz who does not get enough exercise will get into trouble.
Early training and socialization in a puppy kindergarten class is recommended for all Kuvasz puppies. Training can be a challenge, as Kuvaszok dogs are intelligent but can also be independent and stubborn. Training should be structured and firm to help establish the owner as a leader, yet also fun enough to keep the dog interested. Early socialization is needed to balance the breed’s natural protective instincts. An undersocialized dog may be shy and fearful.
The Kuvasz breed needs an experienced dog owner—a person who can be a leader. He also needs someone who enjoys a canine shadow and who will spend time with him. Kuvaszok are not happy spending hours alone. A Kuvasz is great with the family’s children but will not tolerate rough play from visitors. Health concerns include hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and thyroid disease.