The Slovak Cuvac or Kuvasz originates from Slovakia and is part of the UKC Guardian Group. This dog breed originated from Arctic wolves. The Slovensky Cuvac is used to the harsh climate of the Slovakian mountains. This breed is vigilant and alert. The UKC recognized the Slovak Cuvac in 2006. It is part of the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service.
The name cuvat means to hear. The Slovak Cuvac is a shepherd and mountain dog breed used to work in the bare high mountain regions as a guard dog for farms and borders. This breed is an outstanding cattle and sheepdog in Alpine farming.
The Federation Cynologigue Internationale (FCI) adds that “As a good guard, watchdog and companion as well as a guide for the shepherds, the Tatra Chuvach has also proved his worth in the guarding of cattle, driving poultry and other domestic animals to pasture, as well as guarding different objects. Holidaymakers visiting the mountain farmers to buy cheese and other products found pleasure in the thickly coated puppies and so transferred the breed to the low-lands, where they were not seldom regarded as a luxury breed because of their unusual appearance.”
The Slovak Cuvac displays breed characteristics similar to those dog breeds that originate from the Slovakian mountains. The breed is powerful and impressive and is a breed that for centuries has been used to harsh climates in the Tatra mountainside.
This is an old breed that was popular for sheep herding. After WW2, the Slovak Cuvac came close to extinction, but breeders helped prevent this wonderful dog breed’s extinction. The School of Veterinary Medicine in Brno in the Czech Republic also helped to maintain the breed.
The Slovak Cuvac is a powerful dog that is large in build. This breed has pink skin with black at the eye rims, neck, muzzle, and paw pads with black membranes. The nose is black during the summer, with the eyelids being black.
The Slovak Cuvac has oval eyes that are dark brown. The skull is long and narrow and broad in between the ears. The ears are set high and are of moderate length. They lie close to the head. The tail is set low, and the gait is light-footed, agile, and quick.
This breed has a clearly defined neck that is strong. The white double coat is a thick and profuse one that is longest at the neck, forming a ruff. The skin is shortest at the head and legs. Sometimes the coat is yellow at the edges. The undercoat hair is fine and dense, with the undercoat being shed in the summer.
The FCI adds that this breed is “The Tatra Chuvach’s breed characteristics conform in type with those of a mountain dog of the firm constitution, impressive appearance, and thick white coat. He has a strong bone, a lively temperament, and is vigilant, fearless, and alert. For centuries he has been accustomed to the harsh climate of the Slovakian mountains, especially the Tatra mountains. His format is well within the shape of a moderate rectangle, the body resting on strong rather high limbs. His vigilance and alertness helped to give him his name, as the Slovak word “Cuvat” means to hear.”
The Slovak Cuvac is a courageous and loyal dog breed that can become protective of home and family. The FCI adds that “he is boundlessly faithful and courageous, always ready to fight off any intruder, be it even bears and wolves. In order to distinguish him from wild beasts in the night, he is, according to ancient tradition, only bred in white.” The AKC adds that this breed is courageous, alert, and faithful.
The Slovak Cuvac is best with an experienced dog owner living in either a suburban or rural home. This dog breed does well on farms and large properties with plenty of land. This powerful dog breed does well with plenty of off-leash exercises.
Puppy training classes are essential for your Slovak Cuvac since this breed can only benefit from dog training classes. That said, the Slovak Cuvac is courageous, protective, and needs to have a fenced yard. Dog training is essential to mold the needs of this wonderful dog breed. Attentive and experienced pet parents are recommended.
Possible Health Concerns
The Slovak Cuvac is a healthy and active dog breed that may be susceptible to the following:
- Hip Dysplasia – the abnormal development of the hip joint in large dog breeds. It’s usually characterized by a loose joint and then degenerative joint disease. The Slovak Cuvac needs to be fed a high-quality diet geared towards the dog’s life stage. Puppies need high-quality puppy dog food: excessive growth, types of exercise.
- Patellar Luxation – can be acquired or be congenital and affects large dog breeds. It may take place at the same time as other limb abnormalities. It is the result of the abnormal development of the patella.
X-rays will help in checking the severity of the displacement. Treatment usually involves surgical options. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
The Slovak Cuvac is an active dog breed that needs plenty of environmental stimuli and exercise. This is a working dog breed that needs to have a job. Slovak Cuvacs were bred to run, so every opportunity to exercise is essential.
There are plenty of American Kennel Club Sporting activities available today, and it’s necessary to allow the Slovak Cuvac to partake in supervised mentally stimulating dog sports to socialize. Frequent trips to the dog park or beach are also required to allow this breed to engage in play with other dogs and people.
The AKC adds that exercise like casual backyard playtime in a fenced and secure area and regular walks works well for this dog breed.
This breed enjoys swimming, hiking, and other outdoor activities, but you’ll need to be careful not to expose this breed to sweltering summers.
Good nutrition is essential for optimal health and longevity in all dog breeds. Always purchase a high-quality dog food formula. Feed the appropriate food for the life stage of your Slovak Cuvac.
A lower protein (20%) based dog food is usually recommended during the hot summer months, while in the winter, a higher protein (32%) works best. Every dog breed is different, and a diet that works for one may not be suitable for another.
Feeding a balanced diet from puppyhood will save you a small fortune in veterinary bills later on. This breed may be prone to gaining weight, so you should monitor your dog’s calorie intake to keep him healthy. Make sure that your Slovak Cuvac has fresh, clean water 24/7.
The Slovak Cuvac performs well with regular grooming and regular bathing, brushing teeth, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. Visits to the veterinarian are recommended for teeth cleaning twice yearly.
The Slovak Cuvac has a double coat, consisting of an undercoat and guard hair. Shedding of the undercoat occurs twice a year. It is necessary to take out the “old coat’ using a soft brush and metal comb.
Adopting a Slovak Cuvac
This is a beautiful breed to adopt, one that adapts easily to family life and children. The Slovak Cuvac enjoys having lots of attention and exercise. With this breed enjoying family trips, hiking, or long walks, active family life is a must.
The Slovak Cuvac needs to be indoors during the hot summer months, and exercise should occur early morning and late afternoons when cooler. Make sure that this breed does not overheat. This dog breed is a happy and outgoing dog breed that makes one of the best adoptions in the right environment with expert pet parents. As with any dog adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your new furry best friend.