Showsight Presents The Kuvasz

KUVASZ HISTORY

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By Lynn Brady & Connie Townsend

lthough you seldom see an entry of Kuvasz at a dog show or in perfor- mance events, arche- ologists estimate the Kuvasz to be among

the oldest of all breeds. Many theories have evolved regarding the history of the Kuvasz but the earliest history is highly speculative. It is certain that the Kuvasz is an ancient livestock-guardian breed that has adapted to a variety of working environments over the centuries, guard- ing homes and businesses as well as flocks and herds. Th e Kuvasz guarded nomads’ livestock as they moved their flocks along trade routes between Europe and Asia. Th e dogs followed the Magyar people into the Car- pathian Basin to settle into present-day Hungary around 955 AD. Th e first Kuvasz known to have exhib- ited in a show was shown in Hamburg, Germany, in 1863, and Kuvasz were entered in a Hungarian dog show in 1865. But it wasn’t until 1921 that a for- mal standard for the breed was written by Emil Raitsits. After 1921, the number of Kuvasz increased significantly. By 1935, 1,700 Kuvasz were registered in Hungary. At that time, the standard was revised by Mr. Abonyi, vice president of the Hungarian All Breed Kennel Club and Director of the Budapest Zoo, and Dr. Marki, a veterinarian. Dogs with reddish, wolf-gray, or black were no longer accept- able, nor were dogs with corded coats. For decades, this standard provided guidelines for the Kuvasz breeders. Meanwhile, in the United States, in 1920, the first Kuvasz was imported by a Hungarian couple and placed with Miss Mabel E. Marsh, who registered him with the AKC. She went on to import a female from Hungary and became the first AKC Kuvasz breeder, under the Romance ken- t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& 0 $50#&3 

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