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Country/Date of Origin: Hungary/1200s

The Kuvasz and the Komondor, the two large white sheep dogs of Hungary, were first used by the nomadic Magyars to protect their herds from thieves and wild animals. While the Komondor is unique, breeds related to the Kuvasz can be found all over the world. In all these breeds the color of the dogs is either yellowish white or cream. This enabled the shepherd to tell his guard dogs from the wolves, which were darker in color. It is difficult, even for experienced dog people to tell the Hungarian Kuvasz from the Italian Maremma and the Polish Owczarek Podhalanski at a glance. The white herd guardian is both strong and agile, as befits a dog designed to kill wolves. The various strains of the working dogs, which were passed from father to son and rarely left the villages where they were born, were registered beginning in 1905. At first the breed underwent a surge in popularity but it barely managed to survive the storm of World War II. Dedicated dog lovers searched the country for the few surviving Kuvasz and started breeding efforts again in the late 1940s. In 1960 a standard was finally drawn up and it was accepted by the FCI in 1963.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Working

Breed Club: Kuvasz Club of America

Rescue Club: Kuvasz Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • Very large dog of sturdy, muscular build
  • Height: 22-26 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 80-110 pounds
  • The tail is long and carried low. It is never altered
  • The drop ears hang slightly forward and close to the head. They are not altered
  • Eyes are almond shaped giving the dog an oriental expression


  • Highly intelligent and easily trained for guard duties which is the breed's natural bent
  • Loyal to owner but hostile to strangers
  • If mistreated or if a warning is ignored, this breed can be ferocious and uncontrollable
  • Territorial and not inclined to roam


  • Thick double coat is longer on the neck, legs and tail
  • May be slightly wavy
  • Color is pure white or ivory
  • Sheds heavily in warm weather
  • Needs moderate grooming. The coat does not mat without attention

Health Concerns:

  • Generally quite healthy
  • Subject to hip dysplasia
  • Possible eyelid defects
  • Extremely sensitive skin
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • In Turkish, kuvasz means protector
  • Kuvasz are incredible agile for such a big dog
  • Not recommended as a breed for the first-time dog owner
  • The bark is deep and menacing. Often this is enough to frighten a thief away
  • In olden times, the Kuvasz wore a leather collar that had nails protruding from it to protect their neck from wolf bites
  • Kuvasz do not tolerate unjust or undeserved punishment. It is wise not to interfere with their possessions

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