THE KUVASZ: Breed Notes
PAT HASTINGS I really don’t have much of a back- ground in the breed as I have never bred them, but I really like them. As a livestock- guarding dog, I am fascinated by just how smart they are and what an exceptional ability they have to reason and figure things out on their own. As professional handlers, we showed numerous ones in the 80s and were very involved with the breeding programs of our clients. That led to evaluating lit- ters for many other breeders and at this point I have prob- ably evaluated over 30 Kuvasz litters. I have been judging the Working Group for 24 years, so I have probably judged the majority of the ones that have been shown in our coun- try over those years. I have also judged in Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand so I have also seen them in other parts of the world. AGI HEJJA
I got my first Kuvasz in 1973, bred under the kennel name Czigany. I won our first national breeder/owner handled. Since then, I’ve bred many Champions and performance titleholders. I started judging Kuvasz and juniors around 1997. I live in northwest Arkansas and still show in breed, obedience, rally and agility. I also have therapy dogs, own a real estate
firm and play lots of tennis.
ARTHUR SORKIN As a kid I owned a Collie and a Sheltie strictly as pets, but I got a Komondor in 1971, which I initially showed in obedi- ence. That dog became the first Komondor CDX and first UD. He later obtained an AKC Championship. I got my first Puli in the early 1980s. That dog was a Champion and CDX. I started breeding Komondors and pulis in the 1980s and now pri- marily breed Pulis, though I have always owned at least one Komondor as well. I first went to Hungary with a group led by Puli breeder Les Benis (“Mr. Puli”) in 1982. Since then I have been there more than a dozen times. I have judged Komon- dors and Pulis in Hungary, Pulis in Austria, all Hungarian breeds in Belgium, and, most recently, all Hungarian breeds and Pyreneess in 2006 (plus PONs) and in 2012 at the large German show in Dortmund. Besides judging them, I have watched Kuvasz judging in Hungary and Germany a number of times. I've also spoken with “old timers” about Hungarian breeds. I first applied to be an AKC judge in the late 1980s, and I was approved for Komondors, Pulis and Kuvaszok as my first breeds. I am currently approved to judge the Herding Group, Komondors, Kuvaszok, Pulis, Pyrenees and Sammies in the Working Group, and a number of Hound breeds. 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Kuvaszok? What do you consider the ulti- mate hallmark of the breed? PH: The four most critical pieces of breed type in all breeds are: 1) Their ability to do the job for which they were created. 2) Identifiable by their head alone. 3) Identifiable by their silhouette alone. 4) Proper temperament and character of the breed. So all of my judging starts with those four pieces of breed type, plus in Kuvasz the coat is
I was born and raised in Hungary and had dogs all my life. I purchased my first Kuvasz while still living in Budapest in 1970. After attending my first dog show in Wallkill, NY, the “show bug” bit. I also dabbled in obedience in my early years in Kuvasz, but decided that it was not my forte. I loved conformation and got the butterflies every time I entered the ring. I
soon realized that the best route to have a great show dog is to breed him/her myself. I raised, trained and showed many of our dogs to their championship. After 45 years in the breed we still have an occasional litter and show our dogs in con- formation. I started judging at AKC shows four years ago, but in my mind I was judging long before that. Being a breeder and exhibitor one must do an honest evaluation at all times so to advance one’s breeding program. Objective judging of our breeding stock has always been first in my mind. My husband and I live in Gum Spring, VA, moving here from Upper Nyack, NY. Our dogs have always been my life while I worked as a microelectronics supervisor, but much more so now that I am retired. Besides taking care of them I enjoy traveling, garden- ing and reading. I also volunteer for breed clubs we belong to and currently I am on the Kuvasz Club of America Board.
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