Kuvasz (Working Group)
The Kuvasz is one of the most beautiful members of the working group and equally as fearless in its protection abilities. It is rated as one of the best guard dogs and most protective watch dogs that a family could own.
Quite loving and gentle with its owners, this dog does well with children in the house but care must be taken that the kids do not play too rough as a Kuvasz dog may interpret this roughhousing as an attack. The Kuvasz was specifically used as a guardian since the beginning of traced origin so the dog’s temperament can be quite aggressive towards strange people and other animals.
A Brief History Of The Kuvasz
The exact origin of the Kuvasz is still unclear but researchers consider this dog a Hungarian breed. It is said that the breed is probably rooted from giant-sized dogs in Tibet, and made its way to Hungary by traveling through Turkey. The name “Kuvasz” is not Hungarian either, but more likely an altered version of the Turkish kawasz, which means armed guard for the nobility.
Kuvasz dogs date back to the 15th century during a period when they were held in high regards. There was even a period of time when only the nobility could own a Kuvasz. The breeding additional puppies were carefully monitored and each one documented in detail. The dogs were useful as hunters, guard dogs, and had the strength and courage to ward off animals of all sizes, even as large as bear.
The breed’s quality was further improved by King Matthias I, who maintained a large kennel and carefully bred quality Kuvasz pups. The breed eventually got into the hands of commoners who used them as livestock dogs. It was during this time that the name of the breed was ironically changed to its current name of Kuvasz, which actually means “mongrel”.
During the 1900s, the breed’s numbers suffered tremendously due to the two World Wars. It was the German stock that helped continue the base for the breed to survive. Many Kuvasz dogs were imported to the United States during the early 1930s and the AKC officially recognized the dog in 1935
Upkeep Requirements For The Kuvasz
Like all members of the Working Group, the Kuvasz must have an ample amount of daily exercise. These requirements can be met with a few long walks on the leash or runs outside in a large field. This dog is at home in the cold and can live outdoors in cold climates but should sleep inside at night with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements consist of a heavy brushing about twice per week, more when shedding season starts.
The average lifespan of the Kuvasz is between nine and twelve years. There are two major health problems that run common in the breed – OCD and CHD. Minor issues include hypothyroidism. Rarely seen is HOD and panosteitis. Veterinarians suggest that all Kuvasz dogs get tested for possible thyroid, hip, and elbow problems.