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Kuvasz Temperament

While the breed standard primarily includes the dog's ideal external qualities, the temperament test (Wesen test in German) is used to measure the internal qualities, instincts, character, and behavior of dogs.

Each breed has its own characteristic temperament, which, in addition to the external characteristics of the dog, makes the given breed unique. Temperament is an individual's natural tendency to respond in a certain way to a stimulus. Behavioral traits and patterns related to temperament can be modified over time by getting used to the stimulus and learning. (Burch and Ljunren, 2019).


A dog's temperament does not include the dog's physical characteristics or learned behaviors such as responding to commands. You can read about the ideal Kuvasz temperament below.


The Kuvasz livestock guardian dog has the basic temperament typical of the breed. His proper temperament include confidence, indifference to animals entrusted to him, and stable nervous system resulting in predictable behavior. The protective instinct of a good LGD enables it to adequately protect the animals entrusted to it. LGDs protect an area, for them a flock, for example, is a moving, unfenced area under their protection. They also protect property, people, and companion animals within a fenced garden based on the same mechanism. They perceive the source of danger either from an external predator or from a person, and reacts with a properly functioning protective instinct, primarily by deterring the source of the danger.


Kuvasz gives an interested but indifferent response to various audio-visual stimuli. Neither excessive aggressiveness nor fear is desirable in a Kuvasz. Kuvasz does not attack unnecessarily. The dog is able to distinguish between real and perceived danger, and is able to react according to the level of the danger source. At the same time, he behaves inquisitively and confidently even under the influence of unknown and unpredictable stimuli. He does not back down even to threatening movements or stimuli with his tail tucked in. A stable nervous system is a basic requirement for this breed. (You can read more about why the confidence and balance of the Kuvasz is extremely important here.)


According to Hungarian legislation, the requirement for breeding a Kuvasz is the successful completion of the breeding test. Part of this exam measures the conformity of the Kuvasz to the breed standard, i.e. the presence of external features. The other half examines the functioning of the Kuvasz' instincts. The obligation to pass the breeding test serves the purpose of ensuring that only those dogs that represent the appropriate quality in terms of appearance and instincts are included in breeding. The dogs with undesirable appearance or character traits should be filtered out.


The temperament test is a scoring system. The FCI breed standard is the basis for judging the appearance of the dog, and the character test assesses the functioning of instincts through several tests. In Hungary, it is not only possible to assess the dog's temperament at the breeding test, but the “Test of courage” organized by Kuvasz clubs or the Gyémánt Kuvasz Cup also serve this purpose.


At these events, anyone interested can participate with their Kuvasz and get feedback on their dog, regardless of whether they want to breed or not. Before we buy a Kuvasz, among other things, these events give us the opportunity to get as much information as possible about the Kuvasz and to get to know the work of the breeders more closely. In addition, we can make acquaintances with dedicated representatives of the breed and get to know the community. In different clubs, the tasks and their complexity and difficulty may differ, but each temperament test aims at the same thing: to assess the Kuvasz with the right temperament in order to continue breeding the best quality dogs. Hungarian breeders believe: "Even though it looks like a Kuvasz, if it doesn't have the right temperament, it's not a Kuvasz"

Temperament des Kuvasz

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