Courageous, bold, and independent
A livestock guardian breed from Hungary, the Kuvasz is a sensitive soul who enjoys a challenging relationship. He’s eager to please his companion whether this includes lounging around the house, or going for a hike. Sometimes clownish, often affectionate, and always on the watch, the Kuvasz’s loyalty is legendary.
The Kuvasz’s protective instinct surfaces unexpectedly. Rough-and-tumble play with children may seem like a threat, so training must include learning the difference between real and imaginary threats.
This member of AKC’s Working Group needs strenuous daily exercise as the Kuvasz was bred to patrol tough terrain and bores easily without a job.
With an imposing size and a pure white coat, the noble Kuvasz is a handsome natural beauty with a natural distrust of strangers From the family of ancient livestock guard dogs of Eurasia; these large white dogs include the Great Pyrenees, the Italian Maremma, the Turkish Akbash, and the Polish Tatra Sheepdog. The breed’s name comes from kawasz, which translates to “armed guard of nobility.” ~Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz
Official Standard of the Kuvasz
Kuvasz Club of America
General Appearance: A working dog of larger size, sturdily built, well balanced, neither lanky nor cobby. White in color with no markings. Medium boned, well muscled, without the slightest hint of bulkiness or lethargy. Impresses the eye with strength and activity combined with light- footedness, moves freely on strong legs. The following description is that of the ideal Kuvasz. Any deviation must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Height measured at the withers-Dogs, 28 to 30 inches; bitches, 26 to 28 inches. Disqualifications – Dogs smaller than 26 inches. Bitches smaller than 24
inches. Weight – Dogs approximately 100 to 115 pounds, bitches approximately 70 to 90 pounds. Trunk and limbs form a horizontal rectangle slightly deviated from the square. Bone in proportion to size of body. Medium, hard. Never heavy or coarse. Any tendency to weakness or lack of substance is a decided fault.
Head: Proportions are of great importance as the head is considered to be the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz. Length of head measured from tip of nose to occiput is slightly less than half the height of the dog at the withers. Width is half the length of the head. Eyes almond-shaped, set well apart, somewhat slanted. In profile, the eyes are set slightly below the plane of the muzzle. Lids tight, haws should not show. Dark brown, the darker the better. Ears V-shaped, tip is slightly rounded. Rather thick, they are well set back between the level of the eye and the top of the head. When pulled forward the tip of the ear should cover the eye. Looking at the dog face to face, the widest part of the ear is about level to the eye. The inner edge of the ear lies close to the cheek, the outer edge slightly away from the head forming a V. In the relaxed position, the ears should hold their set and not cast backward. The ears should not protrude above the head. The skull is elongated but not pointed. The stop is defined, never abrupt, raising the forehead gently above the plane of the muzzle. The longitudinal midline of the forehead is pronounced, widening as it slopes to the muzzle. Cheeks flat, bony arches above the eyes. The skin is dry. Muzzle – length in proportion to the length of the head, top straight, not pointed, underjaw well developed. Inside of the mouth preferably black. Nose large, black nostrils well opened. Lips black, closely covering the teeth. The upper lip covers tightly the upper jaw only; no excess flews. Lower lip tight and not pendulous. Bite – dentition full, scissors bite preferred. Level bite acceptable. Disqualifications – overshot bite; undershot bite.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck muscular, without dewlap, medium length, arched at the crest. Back is of medium length, straight, firm and quite broad. The loin is short, muscular and tight. The croup well muscled, slightly sloping. Forechest is well developed. When viewed from the side, the forechest protrudes slightly in front of the shoulders. Chest deep with long, well- sprung ribs reaching almost to the elbows. The brisket is deep, well developed and runs parallel to the ground. The stomach is well tucked up. Tail carried low, natural length reaching at least to the hocks. In repose it hangs down resting on the body, the end but slightly lifted. In state of excitement, the tail may be elevated to the level of the loin, the tip slightly curved up. Ideally there should not be much difference in the carriage of the tail in state of excitement or in repose.
Forequarters: Shoulders muscular and long. Topline – withers are higher than the back. The scapula and humerus form a right angle, are long and of equal length. Elbows neither in nor out. Legs are medium boned, straight and well muscled. The joints are dry, hard. Dewclaws on the forelegs should not be removed. Feet well padded. Pads resilient, black. Feet are closed tight, forming round “cat feet.” Some hair between the toes, the less the better. Dark nails are preferred.
Hindquarters: The portion behind the hip joint is moderately long, producing wide, long and strong muscles of the upper thigh. The femur is long, creating well-bent stifles. Lower thigh is long, dry, well muscled. Metatarsus is short, broad and of great strength. Dewclaws, if any, are removed. Feet as in front, except the rear paws somewhat longer.
Coat: The Kuvasz has a double coat, formed by guard hair and fine undercoat. The texture of the coat is medium coarse. The coat ranges from quite wavy to straight. Distribution follows a definite pattern over the body regardless of coat type. The head, muzzle, ears and paws are covered with short, smooth hair. The neck has a mane that extends to and covers the chest. Coat on the front of the forelegs up to the elbows and the hind legs below the thighs is short and smooth. The backs of the forelegs are feathered to the pastern with hair 2 to 3 inches long. The body and sides of the thighs are covered with a medium length coat. The back of the thighs and the entire tail are covered with hair 4 to 6 inches long. It is natural for the Kuvasz to lose most of the long coat during hot weather. Full luxuriant coat comes in seasonally, depending on climate. Summer coat should not be penalized.
Color: White. The skin is heavily pigmented. The more slate gray or black pigmentation the better.
Gait: Easy, free and elastic. Feet travel close to the ground. Hind legs reach far under, meeting or even passing the imprints of the front legs. Moving toward an observer, the front legs do not travel parallel to each other, but rather close together at the ground. When viewed from the rear, the hind legs (from the hip joint down) also move close to the ground. As speed increases, the legs gradually angle more inward until the pads are almost single-tracking. Unless excited, the head is carried rather low at the level of the shoulders. Desired movement cannot be maintained without sufficient angulation and firm slimness of body.
Temperament: A spirited dog of keen intelligence, determination, courage and curiosity. Very sensitive to praise and blame. Primarily a one-family dog. Devoted, gentle and patient without being overly demonstrative. Always ready to protect loved ones even to the point of self- sacrifice. Extremely strong instinct to protect children. Polite to accepted strangers, but rather suspicious and very discriminating in making new friends. Unexcelled guard, possessing ability to act on his own initiative at just the right moment without instruction. Bold, courageous and fearless. Untiring ability to work and cover rough terrain for long periods of time. Has good scent and has been used to hunt game.
Disqualifications: Overshot bite; undershot bite. Dogs smaller than 26 inches. Bitches smaller than 24 inches.
Approved July 12, 1999 Effective August 30, 1999
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