Kuvasz Temperament

The first step in understanding Kuvasz temperament is understanding what it means to own a livestock guarding dog (LGD). Even if you don't have livestock for the dog to guard, it is these innate qualities that make the Kuvasz what it is that must be acknowledged. These dogs have been bred for literally centuries to guard, and they are territorial guardians. An adult Kuvasz will protect the house and property of the owner, encroaching into neighboring yards if not curtailed.

A good LGD has a distinct independent nature allowing them to make decisions without human intervention. To the untrained eye, the independence can appear to be stubborness or indifference. But in reality, the Kuvasz possesses an independent spirit and ability to think on their own with unparalled loyalty and courage. The Kuvasz on the street may seem rather aloof, but he is loving companion in his home. This is not the breed for everyone or every situation, but not all Kuvsz are the same either. They take their job (whatever it may be) very seriously, but don't discount their highly developed sense of humor. It is imperative that you stay on your toes and one step ahead of the Kuvasz lest they pull one over on you! They are problem solvers, opening doors, stealing something they want, etc. A foundation of mutual respect must be cultivated with your Kuvasz beginning in puppyhood to insure lifelong harmony. The qualities that make a Kuvasz such an excellent guardian are also ones that can be a problem for the unprepared owner. The new owner must gain control of the dog immediately. If left to his own devices, the Kuvasz may be impulsive and unruly.

Kuvasz, by nature, are suspicious. They are bred to think everything is a potential threat. Because of this, early socialization is a must for a Kuvasz. When properly trained, the Kuvasz will be polite to accepted strangers, but might not approach them. Some will retreat from contact with a new person.

Also, Kuvasz are one family, flock dogs. Because they bond so deeply, purchasing a Kuvasz is a commitment for the life of the dog. Kuvasz are versatile, but they should not be expected to make all the adaptations/accomodations in the relationship. They must be provided with a safe, healthy environment in which to live. This means a secure fenced yard so they can get plenty of exercise and fresh air. Arrangements must be made lest barking becomes a nuisance. These are guard dogs after all and barking will occur, but they can be trained not to nuisance bark. Chaining or tying a Kuvasz is not recommended. This causes frustration that will manifest itself in aggression.