Showsight Presents The Kuvasz

OF AMERICA

or other predators. Finally, the medium- length coat of the Kuvasz was more than practical: it was beautiful. Wavy, harsh, odor- less, and non-matting, its coat repelled dirt and water, requiring no special care to remain attractive. In conjunction with its contrasting dark, weather-resistant skin pigmentation, this rough yet luminous coat made the Ku- vasz not just a hardy worker, but an object of pride and admiration. A sexually dimorphic breed, the male Ku- vasz is masculine and when mature develops a lion’s mane around the neck and chest; the female Kuvasz is feminine, with a more fi nely chiseled head and smaller bone size. Th e ideal height of a male Kuvasz is 28"- 30", withmales under 26" being disquali fi ed. Th e ideal female Kuvasz is between 26"-28" tall, those under 24" being disquali fi ed. A male should weigh 100-115 pounds, weight correlating with height. A female Kuvasz should weigh 70-90 pounds, weight and height in correlation. Many Kuvasz are considerably taller and heavier, occasionally reaching great size. Th ere is no upper limit on height or weight in the American Kennel Club stan- dard, though there is an ideal height de fi ned by the AKC Kuvasz breed standard. KUVASZ IN THE UNITED STATES During its glory days, the Kuvasz gained favor in the United States. It was accepted for registry by the American Kennel Club in 1931, but due to the Depression and World War II, puppies were infrequently produced and the population failed to stabilize until importation resumed in the 1960s. How- ever, obtaining a Kuvasz from behind what was then Hungary’s Iron Curtain presented substantial di ffi culties for North Americans. Importing a Kuvasz from Western Europe was much easier, and most Kuvasz in Canada and the United States during the period prior to 1970 derived primarily from German and Austrian bloodlines. Th e breed was in virtual infancy in the United States in the 1970s and almost all of its owners were newcomers to the breed. Th e Kuvasz Club of America (KCA) was formed,

and recognized as the parent Kuvasz club by AKC. In 1974, a standards committee of KCA was formed to write the Kuvasz breed standard, the ideal by which Kuvasz would be judged in the AKC show ring for decades to come. Th e following are excerpts from Dr. Ko- vacs 1988 paper “ Th e Kuvasz” on the issue of Standards and Judging: STANDARD Our breed standard was the fi rst one writ- ten for a fl ock guard in Mid-Europe and it was written to describe the existing breed. Th e Slovakian cuvac and Polish Owczarek Podhalanski emerged from the same popu- lation, since all of Slovakia was Hungary for over a thousand years. In Poland, the breed exists only in a narrow area at the former Hungarian border. Th is means that some ar- ti fi cial di ff erences had to be created or some small di ff erences stressed, when writing their national breed standards. At present the “ex- cellent” individuals of these breeds are already di ff erent, but the “medium quality” ones are still quite the same. Th e Maremmano-Abru- zzese and Kurdish fl ock guard (which is not always pure white) are also very similar to the Kuvasz. My father, Antal Kovács, traveling in Italy, Iran and Iraq, saw a number of dogs which did not di ff er from the Kuvasz except that in Kurdistan they cropped the ears of working dogs. JUDGING Th e Kuvasz is the only Hungarian breed which has serious standard and/or judging problems abroad. Th e story goes back to Germany, where a “Komondor Club” was established in 1922 and dogs of both breeds were imported and sometimes bred to each other. Th is mistake was corrected a few years later, but replaced by another (as we say in Hungary: the other side of the horse”) - the wavy coat of the Kuvasz came under persecu- tion as a “Komondor-atavism” and has been so thought of ever since. I saw predominantly typical dogs on photos from the 30-s in Ger- many out of the collection of Mrs. Marga- rete Teubert. After the Second World War

there were no imports from Hungary for about 25 years and the German population of the breed became quite di ff erent from the original imports. Polish and Slovak dogs and perhaps even Great Pyrenees were mixed into the Kuvasz abroad. Brushing out the coat for dog shows also destroys the “undulans” (wavy) characteristic of the coat, giving the animal a cuvac Great-Pyrenees-like appear- ance. Th e situation is worsened by a high number of these dogs having also too much stop, round eyes, loose lips and an overlong body with bad hindquarters and movement. I call these “German faults”, but naturally there are also “Hungarian faults”, such as thin ear-leather, high tail carriage and ivory color. Since we imported some German dogs and a few Slovakian and Polish ones may have re- ceived “B” pedigrees TFFOPUF after the war, all of these faults can be found everywhere—of course, in di ff erent proportions. Th e judge may be in a di ffi cult situation when judging beautiful, large, but not quite Kuvasz-like dogs (or perhaps they are exactly that: “Kuvasz- LIKE”) and weighing them against a typical Kuvasz with several faults. Of course there is no general answer, since the situation is never the same and all faults visible in the dogs at that show may be of di ff erent severity but a dog in the Kuvasz ring must be fi rst a Kuvasz and then one can judge it by details. Th ere is no “Hungarian Kuvasz”. “German Kuvasz”, American Kuvasz”, etc., only the Kuvasz and it must be bred and evaluated everywhere in the same way. Th e Kuvasz is a popular breed once again in Hungary, and in other countries, therefore we now have a population which is large enough to use for more improvement. /PUF"i#wQFEJHSFFXBTHJWFOBEPHXJUI OP LOPXO PS OPU QSPWBCMF  QFEJHSFF  BGUFS DFSUJíDBUJPOCZ MPDBM FYQFSUT UIBU JU JOEFFECF - MPOHFEUPUIFBTTVNFECSFFEDzJTXBTBOFDFTTJUZ BGUFS88 ** JO&VSPQF XIFSF QFEJHSFFTXFSF MPTU DMVCTSFDPSETEFTUSPZFEBOEEPHT FTQFDJBMMZ HVBSEEPHT TIPU3FBEFSTXIPBSFGBNJMJBSXJUI PVS EPHT )VOHBSJBO CBDLHSPVOET XJMM íOE TPNFJOUIFJSQFEJHSFFTMJTUFECZBTJOHMFOBNF TVDIBTBi#PESJwPSi#VLTJw

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