Showsight Presents The Kuvasz

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KUVASZ FANCIERS

K uvasz Fanciers of America, Inc., a 501(c) (3) charitable organiza- tion, was founded in 1985 and has remained dedicated not just to the preservation and promotion of the Hungar- ian Kuvasz, but also to the support of ethical breeder conduct, rescue of Kuvasz in distress, public education, and sponsorship of Kuvasz events and activities. We are inaugural spon- sors of the AKC Canine Health Foundation Bloat Initiative, support the Rabies Challenge Fund, and have published an annual Kuvasz Rescue Calendar for the past 9 years. In order to support our breed, we also o ff er trophies at AKC shows. In conjunction with the Coyote Cluster, KFA will be holding a multi-event fi lled long weekend this year, and will be of- fering Kuvasz themed trophies in Tucson, AZ November 15-18th, 2013. Look for the schedule at KFAWeekend 2013. It is our great pleasure to introduce you to one of the oldest andmost unique dog breeds in the world, $BOJTGBNJMJBSVTVOEVMBOTIVO - HBSJDVT the “Hungarian wavy-coated dog.” A proud and highly intelligent dog, the beauti- ful white Kuvasz is an intensely self-assured, strong-willed breed that has performed for thousands of years as a livestock protector, watchdog, and steadfast companion. Th e Kuvasz is thought to descend from the Arabian wolf, the Kuvasz is likely one of the most ancient of dog breeds and is considered to be the ancestor of many livestock guard- ian breeds of Asiatic origin. Archaeological evidence places a dog of Kuvasz appearance in what is today North Iraq in 6600 BC, al- though the Kuvasz is thought to have existed as early as 9000 BC. Th e Kuvasz arrived with nomadic tribes in Hungary’s Carpathian Basin in 896 AD. It was used and bred fi rst by herdsmen and

shepherds, and later by Hungarian nobility. Th e most notable benefactor and breeder of the Kuvasz was the renowned and beloved King Mátyás, who ruled renaissance Hun- gary from 1458 - 1490. According to legend, King Mátyás kept at least one Kuvasz beside him at all times for protection from assassins. He also used packs of Kuvasz for hunting large game on his estates. Specially selected puppies from the king’s breeding kennels were given to favored noble visitors. Centuries after the reign of King Mátyás, the Kuvasz remained the most popular of the unique native Hungarian dog breeds. Rural folk pooled their money and bought pairs of these expensive dogs to protect their entire village from bandits. In early twentieth-cen- tury Hungary, Kuvasz police dogs replaced foreign, less formidable breeds. ONE KUVASZ Prior to World War I, the Hungarian Ku- vasz was a fashionable breed at home and abroad, and many were exported to Ger- many. As wars and bitterness separated the two countries, the German population of Kuvasz became isolated from its Hungarian source. German breeders almost certainly introduced Great Pyrenees dogs into their Kuvasz breeding programs to bolster num- bers. Compounding the problem, desperate Hungarian breeders imported and used Ger- manKuvasz during their e ff orts to salvage the breed after World War II. Th rough judicious breeding the historically typical Kuvasz is thriving again not only in its native land, but also inGermany, the United States, and other countries worldwide. MEOE (Hungarian Kennel Club) Judge, Dr. András Kovács dis- cusses this in his paper “ Th e Kuvasz.” KUVASZ Q & A Q: When I went to an American Kennel

Club dog show, I became very confused. Th e dogs competing in the Kuvasz ring looked like two or three di ff erent breeds. Are there several varieties of Kuvasz? A: Th ere is only one real Kuvasz, and it cannot be mistaken for any other dog breed. Bred to trot all day, chase and fi ght if nec- essary, it is a big, tall dog, but not a giant breed: its body is wolf like and slightly rect- angular, with lean musculature, medium bone size, and long legs. Traditionally an outdoor sentry, the Kuvasz has an insulating double coat, harsh on the outside, soft and woolly beneath. A natural, unexaggerated breed, there is no dewclaw removal, tail-docking, ear trim- ming, or other alterations to its appearance. Th e Hungarian Kuvasz has an elegant, wedge-shaped head; whose distinguishing length is nearly half the height of the dog at the withers. Th e bridge of the muzzle is level; the top skull is fl at, and the ears are high-set and triangular. Th e eyes are dark and slanted slightly upward. Seen in pro fi le, the planes of the bridge of the muzzle and the top of the skull are identical, and there is a characteristi- cally subtle, almost invisible stop rising from the muzzle through the gentle forehead to the top of the skull. An equally characteristic furrowdissects up themiddle of the top skull. Although white animals are revered as benevolent spirits in Hungarian folklore, the creamy-white color of the Kuvasz coat evolved for more pragmatic reasons. Histori- cally, the journey of the Kuvasz across Eurasia closely followed the journey of domesticated sheep. To be accepted rather than feared by sheep, the Kuvasz was bred to be sheep-like not just in size and general appearance but also in color. Furthermore, for its own safety, the Kuvasz on guard had to be visible to the herdsman at night, in order to distinguish it from wolves

RECOMMENDED LINKS

Scan with a smart phone to visit the AKC Canine Health Foundation Bloat Initiative

Rabies Challenge Fund (http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/) Kuvasz Rescue Calendar (http://kuvaszinfo.com/kuvasz_calendar.html) Kuvasz Fanciers of America, Inc (http://kuvaszinfo.com) Dr. Kovacs 1988 paper “ Th e Kuvasz” (http://kuvaszinfo.com/kovacs.htm)

KFA attending the World Dog Show in Budapest, Hungary, May 2013

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