Its appearance is impressive: with its thick fur and large format, the Kuvasz, alternatively known as the Hungarian Shepherd Dog, is a distinctive animal that is still widespread in Hungary today. In this country, the Kuvasz is often kept as a representative family and guard dog. Due to its autonomous character and a strong sense of a solid hierarchy, the Kuvasz belongs in the experienced hands of someone with “pack leadership” qualities and empathy for the strong-willed animal.
Breed history of the Kuvasz
The Kuvasz is a very old breed that probably came to what is now Hungary during the migration of peoples. Kuvasz is documented with certainty in writing as dogs used for hunting bears in the 15th century. The breed had prestige and was a popular gift at royal courts. Common folk also appreciated the massive and fearless dog as a herding and livestock guardian of their livestock, fighting off larger predators.
Nature of the Kuvasz
The Kuvasz is an intelligent dog that has retained its independence from human guidance. This is a desirable trait for a herding dog, who needs to be able to make their own decisions when their human is out of reach. The Kuvasz tends to behave in a calm and level-headed manner, but is not submissive and does not show unquestioning obedience. The dog behaves lovingly and loyally towards its human pack with a strong protective instinct. The animal follows familiar bipeds out of affection. He generally treats strangers suspiciously and reservedly at first. In addition, he is considered absolutely incorruptible.
Upbringing and attitude
As a livestock guardian, the Kuvasz needs a job that allows him to express his natural talents. When not tasked with watching over a flock of sheep, he is a good watchdog and can excel as a tracking dog. The breed has a high urge to move and should be able to exert itself every day. So the Kuvasz is a suitable companion for cyclists, joggers, and riders. Due to its body size, the animal is not suitable for keeping in the apartment; a home with free access to a garden or larger property is ideal. The Kuvasz loves to be outdoors – master or mistress should therefore be just as close to nature and weatherproof.
If you are getting a young Kuvasz, attending a puppy group and regular hours at dog school are highly recommended. The dog must be well trained so that it does not become a danger. In this way, the initially rather suspicious animal also gets to know other dogs and becomes more compatible with other people and dogs. The Kuvasz also has to get used to dealing with children. The sensitive animal must be able to withdraw at any time.
Care of the Kuvasz
The Kuvasz’s thick coat consists of a top coat and a dense undercoat. It requires a little more care. Brush the dog every other day, daily during the change of coat – then he loses a considerable amount of hair.
Peculiarities of the Kuvasz
A trait of the Hungarian herding dog that you should know: The animals salivate heavily and “drool” quite a lot. Thanks to its long history as an outdoor dog, the breed is robust in terms of health, apart from the disposition to hip dysplasia that is generally widespread in large dogs. Specific breed-related diseases are not known in the Kuvasz.