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Kuvasz

Life span: 10-12 Years

Height: 28 – 30 inches (male), 26 – 28 inches (female)

Weight: 100 – 100 lbs. (male), 80 – 90 lbs. (female)

With its origins in ancient Hungry, the Kuvasz is highly-valued as a livestock breed. It is known for being one of the largest working breeds, however, it is incredibly fast and able to react in an instant. The Kuvasz has a thick, white double coat that acts as a shield from the elements. When it comes to large dog breeds, there are few with the energy of the Kuvasz.

Not recommended to first time owners, this breed can be quite difficult to train. They are, however, loving with their family and protective of their territory. Usually, they are reserved with strangers, but they must be socialized from a young age.

Physical Characteristics

Their ears are small and flop down, their tail is medium length and usually remains down when resting. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Their double coat is made up of a dense undercoat and an overcoat that can be straight or wavy. Coat color is always white.

History

Despite it originating in Tibet, it was in Hungary where it developed into its current appearance. It travelled with Turkish refugees while they fled from the Mongols, which led them to taking refuge in Hungary in the year 1200. During the 15th century, they became highly popular thanks to King Matyas, who claimed to trust the dogs more than he trusted people. He often offered one of his dogs as a present to the people who pleased him. From 1458 to 1480, the duration of King Matyas’s reign, this breed was considered a royal breed, but once the king died it went back to being a flock guardian. Given that Hungarians tend to be nomads, the breed is said to contribute to many other breeds such as the Great Pyrenees, Maremma Sheepdog, Anatolian Sheepdog, etc. However, nearing the end of World War II, the breed was nearly extinct, but thanks to a few breeders, the breed was saved.

Personality

This breed is loving with its family but wary of strangers. They were created to be able to solve problems by themselves, and can therefore be independent, which can be difficult while training. This also causes them to be extremely protective of their territory. The owner must be firm yet kind at all times when giving instructions or orders to the dog. They must be socialized early in life and introduced to various people.

Health

This is a generally healthy breed, however, they may suffer from:

  • Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans, in which the cartilage does not grow properly in the joints, causing pain and stiffness. It is usually seen on the elbows and shoulders.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.

Care

This breed is easy to groom, needing only occasional bathing and weekly brushing. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed, and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are not extremely energetic, but they do need daily exercise. A short walk and a fenced area where they can run freely should suffice. Training might be difficult given that they take time to mature and can be very stubborn. However, with patience and positive reinforcement it can be achieved. Early socialization and puppy training are a must for this breed.

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