Showsight Presents The Kuvasz

THE KUVASZ

BY KATHY RINGERING Double Ring Kuvasz & Budagyongye Kuvasz Member of the KCA Judges Education Council

I first became aware of the Kuvasz breed in 1980. I thought they were beautiful but the thing that attracted me most was their willingness to sacrifice themselves to protect their families. Fast-forward 30 years, and I have found them to be incredible companions. It is the closest thing to a 50/50 relationship I have ever had with a dog. They feel just as respon- sible for you as you do for them, and they show it in countless ways. Our first Kuvasz was a show quality male in 1989. We (my husband Chuck and I) showed him to his championship and enjoyed the traveling and the cama- raderie of the sport. When he finished, we purchased two females so we could continue showing. The rest is history, as they say. We thought we would have one litter, and 30 years later we are still breeding under the kennel names Dou- ble Ring and Budagyongye. I have held several positions in the Kuvasz Club of America, the AKC parent club, includ- ing President, Board member, chair of the Health committee, and chair of numerous National Specialties and have been a member of the Judges Education Council for many years. In my admittedly biased opinion, the Kuvasz is one of the best-kept secrets in the dog world. They are often looked upon as just another big, white livestock guardian dog when they are so much more. Those of us who own them and love them know this, but how do we tell the world without also endangering them? The truth is that not everyone should own one.

The Kuvasz can be the perfect family dog but only if you are devoted to train- ing and socializing, especially the first year. They are uncannily smart, with great problem-solving skills. How smart are they? Here are some examples: One male was walking in a field with his owner when the owner fell and lost her glasses. She could not find them and tried to engage the dog to help her look. She thought he did not understand what she was asking. The next morning he showed up at the door, she let him in, and he laid her glasses at her feet. They didn’t have a scratch on them. Or the dog who went to school with his kids for show and tell. When his part was finished, he did not want to go sit in the audience with his kids; he always went to sit with a kid whose par- ents were unable to attend. Their empa- thetic nature is why so many of them are doing therapy work in children’s hospitals and nursing homes. Raised with children, they can be excellent. They still have the skills necessary for livestock guarding but are mostly family companions in the U.S. Kuvasz are clowns and like to enter- tain their families. They can be quite silly and will do just about anything to hear us laugh. They can be excellent guard dogs and still be super friendly; in fact, my most friendly dogs are also my best guard dogs. Those are the dogs I can trust to correctly assess a situation and act accordingly. They generally are not an aggressive breed if they are well- socialized; they manage threats with barking, growling, charge, retreat, etc.

Lovely female in adolescent coat, photo by Ellen Van Der Meijden

Kuvasz being a clown, photo by Ellen Van Der Meijden

Kuvasz with good, correct front, nice forechest with good width, photo by Isidora Miljkovic

“THEY CAN BE QUITE SILLY AND WILL DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING TO HEAR US LAUGH.”

254 • S how S ight M agazine , F ebruary 2019

Powered by