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Is the Kuvasz right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Hungarian Kuvasz

The basics:
The name Kuvasz originates from the Turkish word kawasz, which means "armed guard of the nobility," which is a pretty good description of what it was. Hungarian nobles prized the breed's great intelligence and loyalty, and King Matthius Corvinus (1458-1490) in particular made a point of patronizing the Kuvasz, even giving surplus puppies to visiting dignitaries. Eventually, Hungarian shepherds realized that this same intelligence and protective spirit made the breed a fine choice for herding cattle.

Loyal to family and intensely protective, the Kuvasz is a choice for owners who know how to properly manage and socialize large guardian breeds. Because they are true watchdogs that will announce strangers, they may be too noisy in crowded urban or suburban settings.

Appearance / health:
Kuvasz dogs are large, muscular dogs with great strength. The head of the Kuvasz dog from nose to occiput (top of the skull) is slightly less than half the height of the dog at the withers. The width of the head is half of the length. The almond-shaped eyes are dark brown in color and set well apart. The nose is large and black. The V-shaped ears are set between the level of the eye and the top of the head. It hangs close to the cheek. The inside of the mouth is usually black. The lips are black. The neck is muscular and of medium length. The back is of medium length, straight, firm, and broad. The chest is deep and reaches almost to the elbow. The tail is carried low in repose but is elevated when the dog is excited. The tip will curl up slightly.

The stiff, dense coat of the Kuvasz does not require any special grooming. Weekly brushing is sufficient to keep the coat healthy. The breed sheds heavily during the spring and autumn.

They require moderate amounts of exercise every day. Daily walks and short sprints keep the dog healthy and happy. A tired dog is also less likely to be destructive. A midsized yard is ideal to provide them some amounts of exercise.

Hip dysplasia, a condition characterized by badly formed hips, is a major concern in this breed. Eye and thyroid problems, unusual bleeding, deafness, and bloat may occur in some dogs.

Behavior / temperament:
Kuvaszok love to be in the company of their owners. When left alone for too long, they may develop behavioral problems such as depression. Kuvaszok may tend to dominate the weaker members of the family. Owners need to assert their dominance over the dog.

Fiercely territorial, Kuvaszok will guard their areas meticulously. Without adequate fencing, they expand their territories, which may be perceived as a nuisance by the owner's neighbors. They love to roam around and must be kept on a leash when outdoors. They may be aggressive with strangers. The herding instinct in the Kuvasz is not as strong as seen in other breeds. Many dogs of this breed love playing in the snow.

Their stubborn, independent natures require consistent, firm, and kind training. Extensive socialization should start early in the dog's life to help the dog adjust to various situations and people. Praise and positive reinforcement works very well with these dogs.

Some dogs tend to bark a lot while others are usually silent.


great guard dog, dear friend, family members, bright white coat, healthy breed


strong prey drive, vigorous daily exercise, heavy shedders, regular grooming, hot climate


beautiful trusting eyes, shiny outer haircoat

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