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While the Kuvasz originated in Tibet, it was Hungary where it developed into the breed we know today. To make matters more complicated, the name of the breed comes from the Turkish word “kawasz” – which means “armed guard of the nobility”. The name correlates with the use of the breed during the early days, with Kuvasz’s acting as companions for Hungarian leaders and royalty. As time progressed, the breed acted as a flock guardian before then being used as a hunter for wild boar and bears. As well as these roles, the Kuvasz has contributed immensely in the original development of breeds such as the Great Pyrenees and Maremma Sheepdog. At one point there was doubt as to whether or not the Kuvasz would cease to exist, with numbers dropping at a phenomenal rate. However, the breed has now stabilized and is now known as a devoted pet.
The Kuvasz is a huge breed of dog, with males sizing up between twenty eight and thirty inches while bitches stand a couple of inches shorter. In terms of weight, males usually weight just over one hundred pounds while bitches are significantly lighter with some weighing seventy pounds. Despite its large size, the Kuvasz is of perfect proportion and oozes beauty when prepared for show. The breed possesses a medium-sized coat which comes in the single combination of white and ivory. While the color always remains the same, it can vary in texture with some dogs possessing a wavy coat while others will have a straight one. The dark brown eyes stand out profusely on the light colored coat, as does the nose which is both black and has long nostrils. The breed does not have any other dominating features and has a fairly neutral appearance.
The history of this breed means that it's very protective and territorial, both attributes which suit guard dogs. Once it has bonded with a family, it will do whatever it takes to protect them and this means that firm training from an early age is required. While some will fit into a family scenario perfectly, there are large risks with this breed due to instincts which have been developed through their historical roles. Generally, if a puppy and child are raised together from a young age, there should be no problems. However, once the dog grows older there is an increased risk of them not accepting children. The same applies to other pets and there is more chance of a Kuvasz accepting them if they have known them from a young age. It's only recommended for an experience dog handler to own one of these dogs as they are an exceptionally hard breed to train due to the fact they are always looking to be the dominant force.
Again probably due to its history, this breed of dog does not suit the quiet apartment life. On the other hand, it would not be suited to being stuck in a yard on its own. Instead, the breed requires plenty of activity from an owner who can dedicate time and training. In terms of health problems, the breed's main concerns are hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, skin problems and allergic reactions. While there aren't a huge amount of health concerns, the Kuvasz still has a relatively short life expectancy with many only living between ten and twelve years.
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