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  • Temperament: Loyal, Fearless, Courageous
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 163 of 196
  • 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 outdoors in the grass.
©Tracey Rice
Kuvasz sitting outdoors in the grass.
©Tracey Rice
Kuvasz head portrait outdoors.
©Agi Hejja
Kuvaszok laying down in a field with sheep nearby.
©Katalin Kokai
Kuvasz leaping over an agility jump indoors.
©Howard George Photography
Kuvasz moving through weaving poles outdoors.
©LeAnn Miller
Kuvasz running in FastCat.
©JOM PHOTOGRAPHY
Kuvasz pulling a cart in draft testing.
©Steve Oppenheimer
Kuvasz puppies exploring in a field.
tom_kolossa/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Find a Puppy: Kuvasz

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.

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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Kuvasz illustration.

About the Kuvasz

The Kuvasz (pronounced KOO-vahz) is a large white working dog of keen intelligence, imposing and majestic. Originally bred to guard livestock, they have adapted to guarding property and family members as well as successfully competing in various canine activities. They are 26-30 inches tall at the shoulder and approximately 80 to 120 pounds. Despite their size and strength, Kuvaszok can be gentle with children, but quick and agile to intervene and protect loved ones. They are capable of problem solving as well as having a great sense of humor.

National 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. Founded in 1966, the Kuvasz Club of America is the official AKC Parent Club for the Kuvasz.
Kuvasz puppies exploring in a field.
tom_kolossa/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Find a Puppy: Kuvasz

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.

Care

NUTRITION

The Kuvasz should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Like many large dogs, the Kuvasz can develop  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

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

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

The Kuvasz is a healthy breed overall, and responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, patellar luxation, cardiac conditions, and progressive retinal atrophy. No ethical breeder will object to questions regarding health testing results of their breeding stock. Large and deep-chested breeds can develop 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.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Kuvasz leaping through a tire jump in an agility course indoors.
©Howard George Photography
A vintage photograph of a Kuvasz standing next to a man on a farm circa 1935.
A vintage photograph of a litter of Kuvasz puppies sitting on a bench outdoors circa 1935.
A vintage photograph of a Kuvasz standing in profile.
A vintage photograph of two Kuvaszok next to a woman sitting in the grass.

History

Kuvaszok 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 Kuvaszok more than his palace guards.

Did You Know?

The Kuvasz was recognized by the AKC in 1931 and is its 89th breed.
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 Kuvaszok 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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Kuvasz illustration.

Colors & Markings

Colors

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