Kuvasz, also called a Hungarian Kuvasz, have been known as working dogs, caring for livestock, for most of their history; but as the centuries continued, the Kuvasz has become more of a companion dog than a guardian dog.
Having an intelligent and attentive behavior, the Kuvasz is very loyal to its owners and ensures its space and environment is protected. The beauty of the Kuvasz comes with two types of white coat, wavy and straight. The soft white coat of a Kuvasz is also no accident. The original breeds wanted to be able to distinguish their dogs from the wolves or other predators of the area.
The history of the Kuvasz goes back as far as 896 A.D. when the Magyar tribes moved into the Carpathian Basin in Hungary. They had Kuvasz-type dogs, which served as livestock guardians, that eventually diversified into the dogs we have today.
The reason for this discovery is due to fossilized skeleton structures that were found in 1978 revealing a 9th Century Kuvasz-type dog with almost identical body makeups to the current breed. Interestingly, if this is the true ancestor of the Kuvasz dog, then that means the Kuvasz is among the oldest identifiable dog breeds that have been dated beyond the 9th Century.
Moving from the royal courts in the 15th Century, as the Kuvasz was one of King Mattias Corvinus’ breed of choice, the Kuvasz moved on through history until the 19th Century when most of the Kuvasz in Hungary were killed in World War II. There were a reported 30 Kuvasz left after the war ended, although it has been argued that it could have been fewer than 15. But with the hard work of dedicated breeders, the population of Kuvasz was increased once more in Hungary.
There are some that say the genetic pool was too thin to not have used other animals in the breeding process, but the main concern was for the continuation of the breed and so the issue still stands unanswered. The first Kuvasz was registered in the U.S. was in 1931.
The Kuvasz is considered a large-sized dog. The average height of a male Kuvasz is 28 to 30 inches, while a female is between 28 to 28 inches in height. The weight average for a male Kuvasz is 24 to 35 pounds. On the other hand, the Kuvasz female averages 70 to 90 pounds.
The Kuvasz breed comes with a high intelligence as well as sense of humor. They are a very loyal and patient breed. They love to have attention while at the same time keeping their independence. Having been bred solely for the purposes of being guards over livestock, there is still a level of protectiveness that comes with a Kuvasz. This means the intelligence, independence and protectiveness make for the importance of obedience training as well as socialization skills. Both should be completed at a young age to instill the proper training.
Kuvaszs need to be introduced slowly to strangers or to other dogs due to their instinctive nature of protection, but once the threat has passed, the Kuvasz settles in easy enough. Kuvaszs are not a barking breed but have been known to do so to vocalize a warning or threat to an unknown person or animal.
Living for approximately 12 to 14 years of age, the Kuvasz is a generally healthy animal. As with many large breeds, hip dysplasia is a possible, but proper nutrition can help keep these types of complications at bay.
Having a very efficient metabolism, the Kuvasz is known for rapid growth, so there is no need for vitamin supplements, and they should be avoided.
The Kuvasz has a stiff and dense coat, which can grow up to six inches does not actually need special grooming. A good brushing once a week—or better, once every two or three days—should be sufficient. The best type of grooming product is a grooming rake or a pin-brush. If difficult knots become a problem, use a curry comb or a large-toothed comb.
Shedding will occur twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. A lot of the coat will be lost very quickly and as a result more frequent brushing during this time will be the most ideal.
Here is a link to the Kuvasz Club of America. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.