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The Kuvasz

There are a lot of official, unofficial, right, wrong and even contradictory sources on the internet about the Kuvasz. This is how we, as Kuvasz lovers, and editors of the Kuvasz World blog see our Kuvaszok. However, Kuvasz World, is not about us. It is about all of US who love the Kuvasz and without whose contribution, the Kuvasz and Kuvasz World would not exist.


In Hawaiian, people don't call themselves their pet's owner. They are their pet's Kahu. Kahu has many meanings, among them guardian, protector, steward, beloved, attendant. Basically, someone entrusted. We are all entrusted with this special breed, the official national treasure of Hungarians, a rough diamond of archaic times left to us by our ancestors. A dog that barely survived the whirlwind of history. One never really owns a Kuvasz, but having a Kuvasz in your life is a privilege that is almost impossible to describe to someone who never had one. Due to their very limited number, only so few of us around the world have an opportunity to experience life with a Kuvasz. We trust if you are reading these lines as a Kuvasz owner, the Kuvasz already captured your heart. If you are a newcomer to the breed or considering sharing your life with a Kuvasz, we hope that by the time you are done with your journey into Kuvasz World, you will have a better understanding of the inestimable value, significance and beauty of the White Giant.


First of all, we are proud of our Hungarian Kuvasz. They make an eye-catching, imposing and unusual sight when they walk on our side. Their noble behavior and history hide as much wealth as their character. We are happy that when we return home, Kuvaszok are waiting for us at the gate, we are happy that while we are away, we know that our home, our animals, and our loved ones are safe. We know that we can sleep peacefully, because our sleep is guarded by the Kuvasz. No two Kuvasz owners are the same.


Our cultural backgrounds, living conditions, expectations and needs related to Kuvasz are different. Whether the Kuvasz means a first-class livestock guardian dog, the protector of the family and the house, or an incredibly intelligent four-legged friend and companion, what unites us is the passion and love for the breed, wherever we live in the world.


Kuvaszok are large and protective, but also extremely sensitive. They don't like to be away from us for extended periods of time. They are sensitive to praise, but also to ill-timed or ill-measured condemnation. They are wonderful, loyal and patient companions, but they are not for everyone. Since they were selected and bred to guard their owners and their property, livestock, etc., they can be suspicious of strangers and even people we consider friends due to their independence. This does not mean that the Kuvasz is two-faced, the truth could not be further from that. Experienced Kuvasz owners protest vehemently upon hearing this stigmatizing claim.


The Kuvasz is not two-faced. Kuvasz is the one who does not tolerate bad intentions. Kuvasz is an infallible judge of people. He is able to figure out people's intentions, he is always attentive to signs of danger, he is an almost fanatical guardian and protector. When it deems it justified, it can react with surprising speed according to the level and extent of perceived danger. Kuvasz with the right temperament have stable nerves and are not aggressive for the sake of being aggressive, but they can behave dominantly. You act wisely if you first consciously familiarize yourself with this breed through thorough research and research, and you acquire your preliminary knowledge not from the Internet, but from real life and live contact with Kuvasz owners and Kuvasz breeders. (You can read more about the temperament of the Kuvasz here.)


We never kept our Kuvaszok locked in a kennel, chained, isolated. Under such conditions, they could become aggressive, just like other dog breeds. Our Kuvaszok are active dogs with a great need for exercise, and in addition to keeping them in the yard, (In Hungary yards are fenced) we regularly try to satisfy their needs with several kilometers of walks. We cannot even imagine that they could have a healthy Kuvasz life without providing them with the necessary and appropriate living space and exercise.


Kuvaszok remain playful beyond their teenage years. They have a sense of humor and enjoy teasing their pack mates and their owners. Older Kuvaszok are usually calm and reserved, their most impressive quality is wisdom. Excessive barking has never been a problem with our Kuvaszok, but barking habits, like many other characteristics, can vary from one dog to another. As befits a real working Kuvasz, our Kuvaszok also like to do some kind of work or task, be it taking care of our home, our livestock, supervising the family, or simply monitoring our activities.


Since we grew up with Kuvaszok, based on our own experience, they are gentle with children and they love to play with them. Mature Kuvaszok are already aware of their great power, but Kuvasz puppies, like children, often do not know their boundaries. As in the case of other dog breeds, supervision of the play between the puppy and the children is important.


Our dogs tested our limits several times in accordance with their developmental periods, and we experienced the turning points of dominance. This is not an unlikely scenario for you either, if you decide to welcome a Kuvasz into your life. The love of the Kuvasz and its loyalty to its owner knows no limits, but as a Kuvasz owner, it is a basic requirement to know the characteristics of the breed and to set appropriate expectations for Kuvasz. (You can read more about raising the Kuvasz here.)


In our opinion, being a Kuvasz owner means being a Human. With the right attitude towards animals, ethics and intelligence. A famous Kuvasz breeder once told us that Kuvasz are not for everyone because the Kuvaszok are extremely intelligent and she has met people who were not as intelligent as the Kuvasz. So, please, before you commit to a Kuvasz, consider whether you are worthy of the service and companionship of the Kuvasz, because this dog will figure you out sooner than you know it. (You can read about who the Kuvasz is for here.)


If you decide to invite a Kuvasz into your life, it is crucial that you choose a reputable breeder. Do your research to ensure the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the welfare of the dogs. Reputable breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs, perform the necessary health screenings, and provide a caring environment for the puppies (You can read more about what this exactly means and how to buy a puppy here).


Your active attitude can be the guarantee that you return home with a healthy and happy puppy. Adopting a puppy or an older Kuvasz also has its beauty, but please do not under any circumstances buy a Kuvasz from puppy mills. Puppy mills have caused and are causing enough damage to the Kuvasz breed and hinder the work of dedicated breeders who have preserved the Kuvasz for 30-40-50 years of their lives.


When it comes to the Kuvasz, let's just say that you won't find the sorcerers' stone here or anywhere else. We can't know everything by any means, not the least because our Kuvaszok teach us new things about themselves and about ourselves every day.


It is exciting and interesting to learn more and more about their thinking, decipher the driving force behind their behavior, and read their emotional reactions.


We also learn a lot while collecting the stories of the Kuvasz owners featured in the Kuvasz World Blog, and we hope that these little stories will be useful for you in getting to know the breed.


We wish you a great journey into Kuvasz World!


Kuvasz- Overview


The Kuvasz is an archaic dog breed. It was used for guarding, protection, as a herding dog, and for hunting. They were selected and bred for work.



Kuvasz are large dogs, according to the FCI breed standard used in Hungary, the height at the withers of males is 71-76 cm (27.96-29.92 inch), that of bitches is 66-70 cm (25.98-27.55 inch), the weight of males is 48-62 kg (105.8-136.68 lbs), and that of bitches is 37-50 kg (81.57-110.23 lbs) Their lifespan is 12 years.



Kuvasz have a white, double coat of medium length and wavy.


Kuvasz is protective, loyal, intelligent, independent and fierce.


Energy level

Kuvasz are energetic dogs, they require a lot of exercise.



The coat of the Kuvasz is self-cleaning, combing during the molting period helps to replace the coat, which also contributes to the health of the skin.



Kuvasz are intelligent dogs. Their upbringing and socialization require consistent and loving attention.


The Kuvasz:

 · Intelligent: he is happy to learn and work for the pleasure of the owner, whom he wants to please, but repetitive, aimless actions on command are NOT for him

· He is large and needs a lot of exercise, so he needs space. It is NOT suitable for keeping it in an apartment, in a tight space, without adequate living space and without exercise


Interesting points about the Kuvasz 

White animals are rare in the wild, they are considered sacred in several cultures and are the basis of legends and myths (for example, the white bison of the Lakota Indians, the white elephant of India, the white wolf or the white lion of Africa). The birth or appearance of a white animal is a sign of a new era of peace and restored balance, it represents purity and spiritual fulfillment. In Hungarian tradition, white is the color of the highest spiritual and moral quality.


Previously, it was assumed that the color of the Kuvasz helped shepherds distinguish their dogs from wolves. In fact, the white color is noticeable even from a distance, so it can scare them away, and it makes predators think twice before approaching. There are theories according to which other large white livestock guardian dogs, such as the Chuvash or the Great Pyrenees, originate from the the Kuvasz.


Some Kuvaszok were cross bred with Great Pyrenees or Maremmas, these are referred to as the big white dogs. This may be the reason for the similarities and the fact that many people cannot distinguish between the big white dog breeds. Many people believe that a Kuvasz moves like a wolf, with powerful, graceful steps.


When trotting or running, it seems as if it is gliding, the body hardly moves up and down. Because his gait is light, he can trot 15 miles/ 20-25 km or more without tiring. Kuvasz (pronounced: KOO-vahss; plural Kuvaszok, pronounced: KOO-vah-sok) is probably the oldest of the three ancient Hungarian breeds. Kuvaszok are determined, strong-willed, persistent dogs and tolerate pain very well. 


History of the Kuvasz

The history of Kuvasz dates back to thousands of years of Hungarian history. There are many legends and theories on the Internet about this topic, but most of them are not supported by any reliable historical evidence. Processing the topic requires research work. Count Esterházy presented this breed for the first time at a dog show in Vienna in 1883. Just as the Hungarians were hit by wars, the Kuvasz was also not spared by the currents of history. Even in the 1920s and 30s it was considered the most popular large dog breed in Hungary and Western Europe, until the worldwide destruction of the 1940s put the Kuvasz breed in danger. Fewer than 30 Kuvaszok remained in Hungary by the end of the war. Currently, approximately 200 registered puppies are born in Hungary each year.


Health of the Kuvasz

Kuvasz are among the healthy dog breeds, but they can be prone to some typical diseases of large breeds. For example hip dysplasia. Another problem affecting large, deep-chested dogs can be gastric torsion. (You can read more about the health of Kuvasz here.)


Caring for the Kuvasz

Kuvasz are active dogs that need a lot of exercise and are not suitable for apartments or homes without access to a large, fenced yard. Even Kuvasz who live in the garden need exercise, work, long walks or runs to tire themselves out physically. If left alone for long periods of time, they can become destructive or aggressive. (You can read more about raising the Kuvasz here.)


Feeding the Kuvasz How much an adult dog eats depends on its size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. A Kuvasz in good shape is large, muscular, but not overweight. If you look at your dog and you can see its waist, and you can feel its ribs without applying too much pressure, your dog is in good shape. If you can't feel its ribs with your fingers, your Kuvasz needs more exercise and less food. (You can read more about feeding the Kuvasz here.)


The fur of the Kuvasz

When the Kuvasz sheds, it requires more frequent combing. Unless he's sick or wallowed in something foul-smelling, the Kuvasz' coat is odorless and repels dirt and water. Due to its thick coat, the Kuvasz tolerates both hot and cold weather well, but heatwaves and high humidity wear it down more than severe frost.


Kuvasz and children

Kuvaszok love children, are gentle and protective of them. As with any other breed of dog, including the Kuvasz, it is wise to provide parental supervision. As with all dogs, children should be taught how to safely approach and touch a Kuvasz, and it is important to supervise interactions between dogs and small children (You can read more about raising the Kuvasz here).


The relationship between Kuvasz and other animals

Kuvasz protects the owner's pets and livestock. This breed of dog is also suitable for protection against large predators. (You can read more about the relationship between the Kuvasz and other animal species here.)

Image by Johny Goerend

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