Photo by Sandra Carmen Maschke

Kuvasz - Breed Profile:

Origin: Tibet / Hungary
Size: Extra large
Type of Owner:
Exercise: Vigorous
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Somewhat difficult to train
Combativeness: Can be a bit dog-aggressive
Dominance: High
Noise: Average barker

Physical characteristics

The Kuvasz is a well-proportioned white sheepdog with a sturdy build, medium boning, and strong legs. The chest is deep with long, well-sprung ribs; it reaches almost to the elbows. The abdomen is tucked up. The head is considered the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz. Its length, measured from tip of nose to occiput, is slightly shorter than half the height of the dog at the withers. Its width is half the length of the head. The stop is well-defined. The almond shaped eyes are set wide apart and slightly slanted; they are dark brown. The pendent V-shaped ears are rather thick; when pulled forward, the ear should cover the eye. The large nose is black, with well-opened nostrils. The lips are black, too. The teeth should meet in a scissor or level bite. The long tail is carried low. The gait is free, easy and elastic.
The Kuvasz weighs 70 to 115 pounds. The height is 26 to 30 inches. Females tend to be smaller.


The Kuvasz is not a breed for everyone. It is bold, determined, brave and fearless. An excellent guard dog as it has very strong protective and territorial instincts. Devoted to its family but has an independent streak. Usually patient and gentle with children of its own family but should not be trusted with others' kids. The Kuvasz must be extensively socialized at an early age to prevent extreme protectiveness. The owner must be a firm, dominant, and patient pack leader. The dog must be trained to welcome visitors and accept them as family friends. Due to its wilful and independent nature, the Kuvasz is somewhat difficult to train. All family members should be taught how to treat the dog. Some individuals are much more easy-going than others. Don't leave the dog alone in the backyard for long periods of time as it can become bored and destructive.

Coat and grooming

The double coat can be slightly wavy or straight. The colour is white (or ivory sometimes). The head, muzzle, ears and paws are covered with short smooth hair. The mane extends to the chest and covers it. The body and sides of the thighs are covered with medium length hair. It is common for the breed to lose most of its long coat in hot weather. Regular grooming is necessary.


Prone to bloat, hip dysplasia, and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) - a disease that causes lameness from inflammation of the shoulder joint. Don't overfeed as this can make the dog more susceptible to the diseases. The lifespan is 10 to 12 years.

Other interesting facts

The name of the breed comes from the Turkish word "kawasz", which means "armed guard of the nobility." The dog was originated in Tibet, but developed into a breed in Hungary.