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  • Temperament: Loyal, Fearless, Sweet
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 165 of 192
  • Height: 28-30 inches (male), 26-28 inches (female)
  • Weight: 100-115 pounds (male), 70-90 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Working Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Kuvasz standing in three-quarter view facing forward
Kuvasz head facing left
Kuvasz sitting in three-quarter view facing forward
Kuvasz coat detail

GENERAL APPEARANCE

A working dog of larger size, sturdily built, well balanced, neither lanky nor cobby. White in color with no markings. Medium boned, well muscled, without the slightest hint of bulkiness or lethargy. Impresses the eye with strength and activity combined with light-footedness, moves freely on strong legs.

HEAD

Proportions are of great importance as the head is considered to be the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz. Length of head measured from tip of nose to occiput is slightly less than half the height of the dog at the withers. Width is half the length of the head.

BODY

Back is of medium length, straight, firm and quite broad. The loin is short, muscular and tight. The croup well muscled, slightly sloping. Forechest is well developed. When viewed from the side, the forechest protrudes slightly in front of the shoulders. Chest deep with long, well-sprung ribs reaching almost to the elbows. The brisket is deep, well developed and runs parallel to the ground. The stomach is well tucked up.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders muscular and long. Topline – withers are higher than the back. The scapula and humerus form a right angle, are long and of equal length. Elbows neither in nor out. Legs are medium boned, straight and well muscled. The joints are dry, hard. Dewclaws on the forelegs should not be removed. Feet well padded. Pads resilient, black. Feet are closed tight, forming round “cat feet.” Some hair between the toes, the less the better. Dark nails are preferred.

COAT

The Kuvasz has a double coat, formed by guard hair and fine undercoat. The texture of the coat is medium coarse. The coat ranges from quite wavy to straight. Distribution follows a definite pattern over the body regardless of coat type. The head, muzzle, ears and paws are covered with short, smooth hair. The neck has a mane that extends to and covers the chest. Coat on the front of the forelegs up to the elbows and the hind legs below the thighs is short and smooth. The backs of the forelegs are feathered to the pastern with hair 2 to 3 inches long. The body and sides of the thighs are covered with a medium length coat. The back of the thighs and the entire tail are covered with hair 4 to 6 inches long. It is natural for the Kuvasz to lose most of the long coat during hot weather. Full luxuriant coat comes in seasonally, depending on climate.

HINDQUARTERS

The portion behind the hip joint is moderately long, producing wide, long and strong muscles of the upper thigh. The femur is long, creating well-bent stifles. Lower thigh is long, dry, well muscled. Metatarsus is short, broad and of great strength. Dewclaws, if any, are removed. Feet as in front, except the rear paws somewhat longer.

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About the Kuvasz

Imposing, impressive, majestic, massive, mighty—pick the adjective you like best, they all apply to the Kuvasz (pronounced KOO-vahz; the plural is Kuvaszok, pronounced KOO-vah-sock). This snow-white livestock guardian of luxuriant coat can stand as high as 30 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 70 and 110 pounds. Despite their size and strength, Kuvs are quick-moving, nimble-footed protectors when meeting a threat. The breed’s fans say that the elegantly proportioned head “is considered to be the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz.”

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Kuvasz

Find a Puppy: Kuvasz

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Care

NUTRITION

The Kuvasz should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. The breed can be susceptible to bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren’t fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.

GROOMING

The Kuvasz has a double coat, consisting of guard hair and fine undercoat. His coat is very easy to care for, needing only weekly brushing to remove debris and reduce shedding. Beyond that, an occasional bath will keep him clean and looking his best. His nails should be trimmed every month or so if not worn down naturally, as overly long nails can cause him discomfort.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

EXERCISE

Having been developed as a strong, active working dog, the Kuvasz requires daily activity for his health and happiness. A fenced yard is essential for this large and agile dog. Adequate and controlled exercise is a necessity for the rapidly growing Kuvasz puppy.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

The Kuvasz possesses keen intelligence and determination and is extremely devoted to his family. While these qualities make them wonderful companions, they can also challenge the novice dog owner. Early socialization and puppy training classes are a must for the Kuvasz puppy. Training a Kuvasz takes patience, as this independent breed matures slowly. Sensistive problem-solvers, Kuvasz do not respond well to harsh or repetitive training techniques. The Kuvasz was bred to guard livestock, and he is a natural guardian and will protect family, house, and property.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

As with all other giant breeds, rapid growth and large size can predispose the Kuvasz to structural problems. Although a healthy breed overall, there are some disorders that Kuvasz are prone to. Large and deep-chested breeds are susceptible to bloat, a sudden, life-threatening distention of the stomach that can be accompanied by twisting. Owners should learn what signs to look out for and what to do should they occur. Conditions that can affect the breed include elbow and hip dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, patellar luxation, cardiac conditions, and progressive retinal atrophy. Responsible breeders will screen their stock for conditions the breed can be prone to. No ethical breeder will object to questions regarding health testing results of their breeding stock.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Kuvasz
Kuvasz
Kuvasz
Kuvasz
Kuvasz

History

Kuvs came to Hungary in the Middle Ages, but it’s thought their lineage goes back to ancient Turkey and Tibet. As livestock guardians, they had the patience to keep a close eye on their flock for days on end, and also the courage to take on wolves or armed rustlers when duty called. Their prowess eventually came to the attention of Hungarian nobles. It’s said that King Matthais I, whose court was beset by intrigue and treachery, trusted his Kuvs more than his palace guards.

Did You Know?

The Kuvasz originated in Tibet.
None but those within the favor of the royal circles were premitted to own specimens of the Kuvasz.
In the fifteenth century, the Kuvasz was kept in the court of King Matthias, who claimed to trust only his Kuvasz dogs and not people.
The Kuvasz' name comes from the corrupted spelling of the Turkish word kawasz ("armed guard of the nobility") and the Arabian word kawwasz ("archer") that signified the unexcelled guarding instincts of the breed.
The Kuvasz developed into the form in which he is seen today in Hungary.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

A working dog of larger size, sturdily built, well balanced, neither lanky nor cobby. White in color with no markings. Medium boned, well muscled, without the slightest hint of bulkiness or lethargy. Impresses the eye with strength and activity combined with light-footedness, moves freely on strong legs.

HEAD

Proportions are of great importance as the head is considered to be the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz. Length of head measured from tip of nose to occiput is slightly less than half the height of the dog at the withers. Width is half the length of the head.

BODY

Back is of medium length, straight, firm and quite broad. The loin is short, muscular and tight. The croup well muscled, slightly sloping. Forechest is well developed. When viewed from the side, the forechest protrudes slightly in front of the shoulders. Chest deep with long, well-sprung ribs reaching almost to the elbows. The brisket is deep, well developed and runs parallel to the ground. The stomach is well tucked up.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders muscular and long. Topline – withers are higher than the back. The scapula and humerus form a right angle, are long and of equal length. Elbows neither in nor out. Legs are medium boned, straight and well muscled. The joints are dry, hard. Dewclaws on the forelegs should not be removed. Feet well padded. Pads resilient, black. Feet are closed tight, forming round “cat feet.” Some hair between the toes, the less the better. Dark nails are preferred.

COAT

The Kuvasz has a double coat, formed by guard hair and fine undercoat. The texture of the coat is medium coarse. The coat ranges from quite wavy to straight. Distribution follows a definite pattern over the body regardless of coat type. The head, muzzle, ears and paws are covered with short, smooth hair. The neck has a mane that extends to and covers the chest. Coat on the front of the forelegs up to the elbows and the hind legs below the thighs is short and smooth. The backs of the forelegs are feathered to the pastern with hair 2 to 3 inches long. The body and sides of the thighs are covered with a medium length coat. The back of the thighs and the entire tail are covered with hair 4 to 6 inches long. It is natural for the Kuvasz to lose most of the long coat during hot weather. Full luxuriant coat comes in seasonally, depending on climate.

HINDQUARTERS

The portion behind the hip joint is moderately long, producing wide, long and strong muscles of the upper thigh. The femur is long, creating well-bent stifles. Lower thigh is long, dry, well muscled. Metatarsus is short, broad and of great strength. Dewclaws, if any, are removed. Feet as in front, except the rear paws somewhat longer.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 199

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