The Slovensky Cuvac is boundlessly faithful and courageous and always ready to fight off any intruder, even if they are bears and wolves. In order to distinguish him from wild animals in the night, he is, according to ancient tradition, only bred in white.
The Slovensky Cuvac’s breed characteristics conform in type with those of a mountain dog of firm constitution, impressive appearance and thick white coat. He has a strong bone, a lively temperament and is vigilant, fearless and alert. For centuries, he has been accustomed to the harsh climate of the Slovakian mountains, especially the Tatra Mountains. His vigilance and alertness helped to give him his name, as the Slovak word means to hear.
The Slovensky Cuvac breed is derived from Arctic wolves, whose remains from the pre-ice age have been preserved in the mountainous regions of Europe to the edge of the glaciers. They include the northern slopes of the Caucasus, the Balkans, especially the Rodope Mountains, the Carpathians, especially the Tatra, the northern slopes of the Abruzzi and Alps and finally the Pyrenees.
Slovak alpine farming has a very ancient tradition and the Tatra Chuvach (Slovensky Cuvac), together with the mountain sheep, the Huzul horse and the other typical mountain inhabitants, formed the basis for the economy which utilized the different animals in their own way. These mountain people were largely free people, not suppressed by medieval forced labor, and protected the frontiers, paying their dues merely in the form of “sheep’s cheese.” Centered in Kaschau, they were essentially a herding and military organization, called the Wallachischer Bund, and members carried out their service on the mountain meadows, always with their watch dogs.
As a good guard, watch, and companion dog, as well as guide for the shepherds, the Tatra Chuvach has also proved his worth in the guarding of cattle and driving of poultry and other domestic animals to pasture. Holiday makers visiting the mountain farmers to buy cheese and other products found pleasure in the thickly-coated puppies and so transferred the breed to the lowlands, where they were not seldom regarded as a luxury breed because of their unusual appearance.
The Stud Book of the Tatra Chuvach in Czechoslovakia was founded in the early 1900s by Professor Anton Hruza of the Brno Veterinary College. Since then, the club for Tatra Chuvach breeders, with its headquarters in Bratislava, has kept exact records and held exhibitions, assessments, competitions and shows in all regions of the republic.
Temperament: Alert / Courageous / Faithful
Height: 23 to 27.5 inches
Weight: 68 to 97 pounds
Life expectancy: 11-13 years
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Some dogs may be faced with health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Slovensky Cuvac are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.
Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep the Slovensky Cuvac clean and looking his best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. The strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Options for exercise could include playtime in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, or retrieving balls can provide a good outlet for expending energy. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.
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The Slovensky Cuvac should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.