The Kuvasz has its origin in Hungary and belongs to the FCI group 1 of herding and cattle dogs. His FCI number is 54/1.1. The breed standard for the Kuvasz provides for a shoulder height of 66 to 76 cm and a weight between 37 and 62 kg. He has a wavy coat with medium-length hair and a fine undercoat. The thick, white coat sheds a lot of hair at times and therefore requires some care. The color varies between white and ivory.
The exact origin of the Kuvasz is not entirely clear. Some experts believe that it came to modern-day Hungary with immigrating Mongolian pastoral peoples from Asia, while other cynologists claim that it was brought to Hungary in the 13th century by the Cumans, nomadic shepherds of Turkish origin. However, it is also possible that these dogs came into the country with much earlier migrations.
They obviously belong to the family of livestock guardian dogs and are at the same time ancestors of other breeds as well as descendants. Their resemblance to the Akbash Dog, for example, is striking.
Another theory is that the Kuvasz was bred by the Sumerians, an ancient eastern people, who owned dogs of this type. “Ku-assa” means horse dog in the Sumerian language and refers to dogs that protected and walked alongside horses and riders.
The term “Ku-assa” can be found as early as around 3000 BC. BC near Akkad on the chalk coast of northern Mesopotamia. In any case, most of the peoples who came to Europe from Asia were mounted tribes with large herds of cattle, which were all their property.
The tribes that settled in present-day Hungary certainly brought their white shepherd dogs with them. In the 15th century, the breed was at its peak at the court of King Mathias I. King Mathias claimed he could trust his Kuvasz hounds more than his coaxing courtiers. He used his dogs both for personal protection and for hunting sows.
However, the Kuvasz was by no means an exclusive dog for the nobility; on the contrary, it was mostly used by farmers and shepherds as a large guard dog. This breed is still very common in Hungary today. The Kuvasz has also been bred in the USA since the 1920s, where it is primarily used on ranches as a guard dog for cattle.
The Kuvasz is a typical livestock guardian dog and is therefore suspicious of anything unfamiliar to him. He also has a very strong loyalty to whatever he considers his property. However, this type of character is generally desired in both the Kuvasz and the livestock guardian dogs.
He is an absolutely incorruptible guardian and protector of his master’s herds and property. The Kuvasz has a strong personality and a strong sense of rank. That is why consistent training must begin with the puppies.
This fast-growing, strong and very temperamental dog places very high demands on the patience and assertiveness of its trainer. From time to time, the Kuvasz will test his owner for dominance, so it is imperative that he finds a responsible owner with enough experience and knowledge to control this dog’s short-tempered nature.
Once the Kuvasz has found its place in the family and accepted its boss, it is a pleasant, trainable housemate and a reliable guard and protection dog that is suspicious to reserved towards strangers and protects its family against all intruders. He is just a typical “single-family dog”.
In addition, he is by no means suited to a cramped life in a city apartment, he needs adequate space to exercise and plenty of exercises, but his hunting instinct must be kept in check by consistent training. He needs early socialization and training to become a reliable family pet.