The Hungarian Kuvasz is an ancient breed, that actually originates from Turkey. The breed first appeared in Hungary around 1242, accompanying Turkish refugees who were fleeing the Mongol conquest of Anatolia. The Turkish word 'kawasz' roughly translates to 'guard' or 'protect', and indeed the Kuvasz was used primarily as an excellent guard dog to watch over flocks of sheep. Due to his impressive stamina and fortitude he was also unsurprisingly used as a hunting dog. Later, around 1500 he rubbed shoulders with royalty, most notably King Matyas - who spoke of his Kuvasz highly, asserting he trusted them more than people. Throughout the centuries he has continued to be used as an exceptional herder and defender of his flock, along with some police and military work. He may be related to the Pyrenean Mountain dog and Maremma dog.
A gentle giant with his family, the Kuvasz is solidly built and has an air of grace and elegance. He's bold and intelligent, robust and obedient. Throw in copious amounts of valor and you begin to see why he was keenly used as a guard and why he commanded the attention of kings and queens. Whether it's his majestic gait, playful nature, intelligence or courage, he does't fail to impress - and will make for a faithful companion right to the end.
The adult Kuvasz requires a reasonable amount of exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. At the minimum, regular daily walks of about an hour and a large, secure back garden where you can play fetch and other games with your dog are needed. If you can add such things as hiking, swimming, or other sports all the better. Vigorous exercise for young puppies should be avoided. Bones and joints will continue to develop until the dog is around two years old and over-exercising heightens the risk of permanent damage.
The Kuvasz may have a tendency to want to be in charge, it is therefore important that respect for his owner and the habit of compliance with commands is instilled from an early age. Obedience training will help to achieve this and will also strengthen the owner-dog bond. Short, fun, training sessions are recommended using positive reinforcement in the form of treats and/or enthusiastic praise. Harsh verbal or physical methods are self-defeating. The bond of trust will be undermined and aggression on the part of the handler may be met with aggression from the dog. Firm, fair, patient and consistent handling will accomplish far more. Socialisation from a young age is vital in order that the pup grows into a confident and well-rounded adult. Puppies should be taken out and about as soon as possible to meet a variety of people and animals, and to experience various situations.
- Hip Dysplasia.
Some photographs of the Hungarian Kuvasz...