The snow-white Kuvasz is Hungary’s majestic guardian of flocks and companion of kings. A working dog of impressive size and strength, the imposing and thickly coatedKuvasz is a beautiful, smart, profoundly loyal, but challenging breed.
Imposing, impressive, majestic, massive, mighty, pick the adjective you like best, they all apply to the Kuvasz (pronounced KOO-vahz; the plural is Kuvaszok, pronounced KOO-vah-sock). This snow-white livestock guardian of luxuriant coat can stand as high as 30 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 70 and 110 pounds. Despite their size and strength, Kuvs are quick-moving, nimble-footed protectors when meeting a threat. The breed’s fans say that the elegantly proportioned head ‘is considered to be the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz.
Kuvaszok came to Hungary in the Middle Ages, but it’s thought their lineage goes back to ancient Turkey and Tibet. As livestock guardians, they had the patience to keep a close eye on their flock for days on end, and also the courage to take on wolves or armed rustlers when duty called. Their prowess eventually came to the attention of Hungarian nobles. It’s said that King Matthais I, whose court was beset by intrigue and treachery, trusted his Kuvaszok more than his palace guards.
Temperament: Loyal / Fearless / Sweet
Height: 26 to 30 inches
Weight: 70 to 115 pounds
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
The Kuvasz is a healthy breed overall, and responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, patellar luxation, cardiac conditions, and progressive retinal atrophy. No ethical breeder will object to questions regarding health testing results of their breeding stock. Large and deep-chested breeds can develop bloat, a sudden, life-threatening distention of the stomach that can be accompanied by twisting. Owners should learn what signs to look out for and what to do should they occur.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Elbow Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
The Kuvasz has a double coat, consisting of guard hair and fine undercoat. His coat is very easy to care for, needing only weekly brushing to remove debris and reduce shedding. Beyond that, an occasional bath will keep him clean and looking his best. His nails should be trimmed every month or so if not worn down naturally, as overly long nails can cause him discomfort.