Let's talk Kuvaszes

The thick white coat and pleasant outlook of the Kuvasz dog has been a winning combination in their native land of Hungary. Sturdy and noble, the latter trait made them the perfect dog to serve the country’s nobility, usually in a flock-guarding capacity. Now, home and property owners alike value this great all-around dog not only for their robust build and sharp intellect but for their affectionate side and family-friendly approach. And that plush pearly coat makes them some of the best arm candy around.

Official name: Kuvasz

Other names: Hungarian Kuvasz

Origins: Hungary

Close-up of Kuvasz dog in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Medium

Warm weather? Low
 Shedding level High
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* High Family Pet?* 
Very low
 Compatibility with other pets Low
Can stay alone?* Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of Kuvasz dog
Male
71 - 76 cm Height
48 - 62 kg Weight
Female
66 - 69 cm Height
37 - 50 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 15 months
 Adult age 15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 years to 8+ years
 Senior age  From 8 yeats

Kuvasz dog lying on grass

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Get to know the Kuvasz

All you need to know about the breed

The ever-eager Kuvasz is courageous and warmhearted, a winning combination of traits that only begin to define this convivial breed. Developed to guard flocks of sheep and other livestock on the Carpathian Plains in central Hungary, the breed is fearless in their approach to all things, even if it’s in a more domestic setting. They’re smart and willing, and their determined manner has helped them stand the test of time as their origins date back possibly thousands of years.

With their guarding instincts, the Kuvaszok - as they are known in the plural in Hungarian - is always ready to protect their family, and can be wary of strangers, with a tendency to be very dominant. Obedience classes are a very good idea to instil the best behaviour in your Kuvasz puppy early on. Boldness is in their nature, as is sensitivity, so they’ll need a knowledgeable owner who’s just as forthright. Be aware that although the Kuvasz is good with kids, they are a large dog and their playful nature may be too much for very little ones.

When it comes to that lovely dense coat, the Kuvasz is a shedder for sure so weekly brushing is best. Once groomed, your Kuvasz will be glad to strut their stuff up and down the street, making you the envy of the neighborhood.

And make no mistake: This is a very active breed who needs to run. Exercising your Kuvasz can take many forms - long walks or runs, they’ll enjoy both. The breed will benefit most from a large, fenced-in yard and a family who’s just as active as they are.

Kuvasz dog lying on in snow and rocks

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2 facts about Kuvaszes

1. Whiter than white

The Kuvasz keeps things simple each season, making their debut in only one colour:  white. History has it that the dog was bred this colour so shepherds could distinguish them from wolves when among the flocks. Their thick, plush fur forms a double coat, and the single hue has become their most recognisable aspect.

2. Passes the smell test

One undeniably great trait of the Kuvasz is the fact that their coat is odourless and it repels dirt and grime. Lucky humans we! A traditionally working breed used to being out in the field, they are predisposed to being less smelly than many of their fellow canines. A quick trick to clean them up if need be: Sprinkling cornstarch on their coats then brushing it out.

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History of the breed

With a history that dates back thousands of years, the amiable Kuvasz can take their place among the more storied breeds in the canine kingdom.

The pride of Hungary, the Kuvasz is said to have emanated, according to one theory, 8,000 years ago from Sumeria, present-day Iraq. Another theory says the breed hails from ancient Turkey and Tibet, introduced to Hungary by the Magyar, Asian nomads who migrated west in the 10th Century. Their name comes from the Turkish word “kawasz” or “armed guard of the nobility.”

During the Middle Ages, the Kuvasz were used as guard and flock dogs for Hungarian nobility. In the 15th Century in a very tumultuous time, King Matthius bred hundreds of Kuvaszok, trusting them more than his family and guardsmen. The breed maintained their place in noble and fashionable circles into the early 20th Century, with the Kuvasz Club of America being founded in 1966.

Kuvasz dog sitting looking at camera in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Kuvaszes

1. Ears

Ears set slightly high, v-shaped, fairly rounded ends.

2. Head

Long, slightly rounded head, medium in width.

3. Body

Big, sturdy body, although not imposing.

4. Coat

Medium coarse thick double coat, can be wavy or straight.

5. Tail

Bushy tail, carried well-arched, tip slightly curved up.

Close-up of Kuvasz dog

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Kuvasz
Three Kuvasz dogs running on grass

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Caring for your Kuvasz

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Stroking the super plush white fur is one of the pleasures of owning a Kuvasz but grooming is a must, to keep it mat- and tangle-free. Use a comb to groom the hair - which can grow as long as four to six inches (10 to 15cm) sometimes. The Kuvasz breed is known for an absence of smell, a boon for owners, especially those who use the dog for working purposes. Bathe them only if very necessary. One easy fix if they do need a quick cleaning: Sprinkle the dog generously with cornstarch or another absorbent powder made for dogs followed by a good combing through. Since they love going outside, do check their coat regularly for any detritus, like twigs, patches of grass, or thorns that could get stuck. The Kuvasz is a highly energetic dog so a good deal of exercise will need to be a part of their very daily routine. This is a breed that needs to run so going jogging with you is just fine with them, or at least nice long walks. Training the Kuvasz will require patience. They are not the simplest breed to wrangle, as a result of their high intelligence. That and the breed’s over-the-top loyalty makes them want to comply but it may take some doing. Socialising them well from puppyhood should help the Kuvasz grow into the best breed they can be.

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All about Kuvasz

The Kuvasz dog got used to living outside for long periods of time, having been bred over the years to protect flocks of sheep and livestock. Their hardy disposition and thick white double coat help them withstand being in the great outdoors and windy, cold climates as well, such as those where they spent their formative years.

Who doesn’t love a fluffy, white dog? The Kuvasz and the Great Pyrénées are similar in appearance and both top-notch breeds, but the Great Pyrénées is endowed with a slightly larger build and even fluffier coat. The Kuvasz dog is snow white with no markings and wavy fur, whereas the “Pyr” can have reddish-brown, tan, or gray markings.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/