What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Kuvasz Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
A cuddly white fluffball as a puppy, the Kuvasz matures into a bold, spirited dog, determined to protect those who are dear to him.
This rugged breed deserves a roomy home with a spacious, securely fenced yard in the suburbs or country, for he feels compelled to announce every strange person and sound, and his deep bark may disturb the neighbors, especially at night when he is most vigilant.
He is content with daily walks and regular opportunities to stretch out for a romp, but he does play hard and needs room to amble about and patrol his territory.
Kuvasz are polite with accepted strangers, but rather suspicious and discriminating in making new friends. This breed needs early and ongoing socialization if his territorial instincts are to remain under control.
With the children in his own family, Kuvasz are gentle and patient, but may become concerned and overprotective when neighborhood kids join in. Similarly, he may be amiable with the pets in his own family, yet think nothing of eradicating trespassing animals.
As a livestock guardian, it is part of this breed's genetic makeup to lead. You must establish yourself as the alpha (number one) so that he will turn the decision-making over to you. This can be a difficult task for first-time dog owners or those with passive personalities who can't take charge.
If you want a dog who...
- Is large and rugged, resembling a majestic white bear
- Will protect your horses, llamas, sheep, goats, or chickens
- Can be found with a strong protective temperament, or a more easygoing mellow temperament
- Tends to be serious and steady, rather than playful and silly
- Is quiet indoors and content with moderate exercise
A Kuvasz may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- A very large dog who wants to sit on your feet and lean his weight against your leg
- Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
- Aggression or fearfulness when not socialized enough
- Aggression toward animals who don't belong to his family
- Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Providing six-foot fences and lots of supervision to prevent wandering
- Deep booming barks, especially at night when he hears a sound
- Heavy shedding
A Kuvasz may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Kuvasz
If I was considering a Kuvasz, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing the proper balance of exercise. Young Kuvasz need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged. Adult Kuvasz need more exercise to keep them in shape, but not in hot or humid weather for fear of overheating. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.
Since you have to minimize their exercise, young Kuvasz can be very rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision. Otherwise, left alone, young Kuvasz become bored and destructive -- and their powerful jaws can literally destroy your living room.
Kuvasz are most satisfied when guarding livestock. You can substitute pulling a cart or sled, or backpacking, or a similar canine activity, but if you simply want a casual pet for your family, I do not recommend this breed.
- Providing enough socialization. Kuvasz need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to biting. Some Kuvasz go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which can lead to defensive biting.
- Animal aggression. Most Kuvasz will treat the pets in their own family as members of their flock. But they have strong instincts to drive away animals who do not belong to their family. Many Kuvasz are dominant or aggressive toward dogs they don't know. Many do not get along with cats. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.
To keep your Kuvasz in, and to keep other animals out, fences should be high, with wire sunk into the ground along the fence line to thwart digging. Gates should have the highest quality locks.
- Heavy shedding. Kuvasz shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, carpeting, under your furniture, on your countertops -- even in your food. Frequent vacuuming will become a way of life. Make sure you're REALLY up for this.
- The strong temperament. Kuvasz are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. They can be manipulative, and some are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Kuvasz to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Kuvasz Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Noise. Unless you live on a farm or ranch away from close neighbors, Kuvasz should never be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. Their booming barks will have your neighbors calling the cops to report the nuisance -- or perhaps letting your Kuvasz out of his yard so he'll wander away.
To learn more about training Kuvasz to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Kuvasz the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Kuvasz. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Kuvasz might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Kuvasz home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Kuvasz...
When you're acquiring a Kuvasz PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Kuvasz who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
MORE OF MY ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY.....
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|Teach Your Dog Words|
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Copyright © 2000-2013 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
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