The kuvasz is a pleasant family dog that used to be used by shepherds to protect their flock. He has the same roots as the Hungarian vizsla but is more of a watchdog than a hunter. Besides being watchful, he is also very instinctive and intelligent. It is an independent and strong-willed dog that can make independent decisions without guidance. He can also be quite dominant, so it is not an easy dog for first-time owners. But with a good upbringing, early socialization, and continued supervision, he can be a great playmate for calm children.
This loyal, reserved dog is by no means aggressive towards his family members but can be very defensive towards unfamiliar dogs. For his family, he has nothing but patient devotion as long as he is not harshly punished, bullied or neglected. The assertive, courageous side of his character allows him to intervene immediately if one of his family members is in danger. He is a bit suspicious of strangers but will thaw out after a while as soon as he gets to know them better.
Kuvaszok are attractive, elegant, muscular sheepdogs with a wedge-shaped head and wavy to slightly curly white coat. This makes them almost indistinguishable from sheep from afar. Ivory is common but less desirable in this variety. In any case, the coat color must be solid. These purebred dogs have a noble appearance with captivating dark almond-shaped eyes. The nose and mouth corners are also dark. The protective coat is slightly shorter on the head and legs than elsewhere on the body. A kuvasz is between 66 and 76 cm high. Typically, this purebred dog weighs between 37 and 52 kg. Males are usually larger and heavier than females.
The temperamental, mobile kuvasz needs a lot of space, preferably an area that he can guard or protect. A large house with a huge garden is ideal, in which he can run around safely and without traffic for hours. The garden must be demarcated by a sturdy, high fence. An underground electronic fence really is not enough for this breed. This intelligent dog needs daily agility, speed and strength training. He has tons of energy and can easily run 20 kilometers. This tireless rascal loves extended walks, so he finds long treks with the backpack ideal! Avoid too intense activities such as climbing stairs before the age of 2. Kuvaszok need their occupation. You can also engage them as assistance and therapy dogs. They like to feel useful and are constantly looking for activities. If the kuvasz is bored for a long time, he can start to behave destructively. Nor is it an outdoor dog for living in a garden hutch. He only feels happy when he can be with his family.
A kuvasz sheds quite a lot of fur. Weekly brushing with a pin brush is recommended, especially during the moulting period. This removes dead hair and ensures a healthy skin and coat. Especially after the summer lose kuvaszok a lot of hair. Because their coat is water and dirt resistant, too much combing is not necessary. The self-cleaning coat is a perfect match for this balanced, autonomous animal. You only need to wash him in an emergency as cleaning too often can affect the harshness of his coat. Furthermore, you have to trim the nails of a kuvasz every 2 weeks and brush his teeth with special animal toothpaste. Yet this breed does not actually require a lot of care.
Kuvaszok are brave and willful. So it is very important to socialize them early and frequently. Missing this can make them suspicious and afraid of new situations. Then they can see a threat in any situation and start barking excessively. This socializing does not stop in adulthood. You should basically keep raising them for life, for example by having them accompany you on trips to neighbors, friends, the local bakery, the supermarket, and so on. Praise and rewards, for example in the form of food, encouragement or a game of play, work very well with these dogs. They accept just correction very well, but they react badly to violence and cruelty. They are best trained consistently by 1 person in authority. These dogs have a long ‘maturation process’ so you have to start training them in time. The life expectancy of a kuvasz is 11 to 13 years.