Believed to be named after the Turkish word kawasz, or “armed guard of the nobility,” and the Arabian word for archer “kawwasz,” the Kuvasz has long held a place as the companion of many European rulers. In fact, King Mathias I – the Hungarian ruler from 1458 to 1490 – trusted his Kuvasz dogs when he claimed that he did not trust any people.
The Kuvasz actually originated in Tibet, where he was used by the nomadic tribes to guard their sheep and goats and, in fact, archaeological finds suggest that the Kuvasz may date back prior to the ninth century. If this is the case, this would make the Kuvasz one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dog. Regardless however, it is known that the majority of the development of the Kuvasz dog has occurred in Hungary, hence why he is commonly known as a Hungarian breed.
The Kuvasz was known for his intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. Highly prized, they were a constant companion of King Matthias Corvinus, and no commoner was allowed to own one of these beautiful white dogs. Occasionally, Kuvasz puppies would find their way into the hands of important visitors and dignitaries who were welcome at the court. Considered to be a royal gift, it wouldn’t be until well after the King’s death that the Kuvasz dog would be allowed to mingle with the common folk. Then however, he would become a favorite of Hungarian shepherds, prized for his ability to protect livestock from wolves and other predators.
The protective nature of the Kuvasz is legendary. In fact, during World War II, the breed was deliberately hunted down and killed due to the reputation they had earned as protection dogs. By the end of the war few are then 30 Kuvasz dogs remained in Hungary – some claim that the number had dwindled to a mere dozen. Fortunately, members of the German army had taken the Kuvasz dogs home with them. By using these dogs and that Kuvasz that remained in Hungary, the breed was saved from extinction. It is believed that due to the small gene pool and risk and interbreeding similar breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees, may have been crossed into the line in order to help preserve it.
Upon first meeting of Kuvasz dog, many people are confused as to what breed they are. Often said to resemble a cross between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever, mixed with some giant breed like a Saint Bernard, these large white dogs are indeed captivatingly beautiful. Weighing up to 115 pounds, they are a massive dog with the strength and agility needed to defend their charges from wolves and other predators.
While the coat of the Kuvasz is either white or cream in color, they have dark pigmented skin and brown almond-shaped eyes. The coat can be either straight or wavy, often growing more straight with frequent bathing and brushing.
The Kuvasz’s loyalty and fierce nature is legendary. They are extremely devoted to their families and make excellent home guardian dogs. However, individuals lacking in socialization may prove aggressive to outsiders or antisocial, at best. If you plan on bringing a Kuvasz puppy into your life, early socialization to other people, canines, and other animals is essential.
Kuvasz Exercise Info
While the Kuvasz does require daily exercise, his exercise needs are not as strenuous as other breeds and he is usually quite happy to spend a good portion of his time, relaxing in close proximity to the family. Ideally, most Kuvasz are happy with a couple of short walks to do their business and, perhaps, a rousing game of fetch.
Kuvasz Grooming Info
The fluffy white polar bear of a Kuvasz looks as though he would require a great deal of work, maintaining your Kuvasz puppy’s coat is generally very easy. Ideally, his coat should be brushed once every three days but most breeders will tell you that you can get by with a weekly brushing. For this task, you will need a steel comb, a wire brush, and quite often a rubber curry. Take your time and be sure to remove any potential mats or tangles, and be sure to use lots of praise to keep this enjoyable experience for both you and your Kuvasz puppy.
Kuvasz Training Info
Due to the size of this breed and a rapid rate of growth through the puppy period, early obedience training is vital. Additionally, this will help to socialize your Kuvasz puppy and to teach him how they interact with strangers as well as other dogs. This will also help you to learn the temperament of your Kuvasz puppy and how he will react with others.
The Kuvasz dog is a highly intelligent breed and has a tendency to be rather aloof. For this reason it’s very important to keep lessons short, high energy, and interesting. Challenge that Kuvasz mind and be sure to offer lots of praise, and you’ll find this wonderful white dog is more than willing to try and learn what ever you will teach him.
Kuvasz Health Info
Like many breeds of purebred dog, there are some possible health risks to take into consideration when looking at Kuvasz puppies. Additionally, not only is this a giant breed but he has also come from a limited gene pool. For this reason it’s a very important the take the time to talk to potential breeders in regards to health concerns of the breed, as well as taking the time to visit the kennel and meet both the sire and dam of your potential puppy. Some of the problems that can affect your Kuvasz puppy throughout his life include but are not limited to:
Developmental bone issues
Kuvasz Right Breed Info
The Kuvasz is a wonderful breed of dog for the right family, however, careful consideration must be given before bringing home a Kuvasz puppy. While these dogs were well known for their loyalty and willingness to protect their family, not all lifestyles are well suited to an overly protective dog. One must always take this into consideration.
Additionally, one must also remember that the cute little white fluffy puppy will one day way more than 75 pounds and will stand more than 26 inches tall at the shoulder. This is a big dog and he requires a great deal of work and commitment. Obedience courses are a must, as is being sure to properly socialize your dog.
If you’re looking for a loyal and protect a family pet, who is very intelligent and does not require constant attention, you may find that Kuvasz is a perfect pet!