Learning how to breed kuvasz dogs can be quite lucrative. The breed has been steadily growing in popularity for the last 70 years. So, now is the perfect time to jump in.
The Kuvasz breed is a native Hungarian breed that was brought to the US as guard dogs. In other words, the kuvasz dog breeding began in the US as a form of raising working dogs. But with time, people came to love the breed for how affectionate and loyal it is. And it quickly rose in popularity, giving breeders incentive to produce litters.
Things to Know Before Breeding Kuvasz Dogs
It is no secret that breeding dogs requires in-depth knowledge about the particular breed. From knowing the history of the breed to determine the health concerns, a breeder must take everything into account from the get-go.
Origin and History
The history of Kuvasz dogs is interesting, to say the least. They are native to Hungry. But some people believe the Kuvasz may have originated in Tibet and people brought them to Turkey and then to Hungry. While we may never know the answer for sure, one thing is certain; they are ancient and as such go back hundreds of years.
Being an ancient breed, people bred the Kuvasz dogs primarily for protecting the livestock. Staying guard on cold winter nights, or being on the foot, chasing the wolves during the day, people know the Kuvasz dogs for their commitment to protecting their family.
And they were ferocious protectors, to say the least. So much so that the Hungarian people swear by their loyalty to this day. But because the Kuvaszok live for protecting their family, it has garnered them a bad reputation when it comes to treating strangers.
The Kuvasz may have gone into the background in recent years, but they have enjoyed their fair share of the limelight. From the times of the Kings, the Kuvasz dogs have been associated with royalty. This association started when Matthais I, a king of Hungary, kept the Kuvaszok by his sides for protection. He is claimed to have said that he trusted his Kuaszok more than his guards.
This unprecedented loyalty proved to be a double-edged sword and almost drove these dogs to extinction in the second world war. During the war, the Russian and German soldiers actively killed these dogs because they wouldn’t let anyone near their families. By the time of the Soviet invasion of Hungry, the whole population of the Kuvasz dogs dwindled to as few as twelve puppies.
Fortunately, the situation has improved quite a lot since that time. People now breed Kuvaszok all over Europe and America. The AKC recognized Kuvasz dogs in 1931. And since then the breed has seen a steady rise in popularity. Although it is far from the most popular breed in America, people do like to keep it around.
The Kuvasz are big dogs. Some may even consider them massive. From the shape of their body to the proportions of their head, this is not a dog for people that like smaller breeds.
The head of a Kuvasz dog is considered to be its most beautiful feature. According to the AKC breed standard for the Kuvasz, the length of the head should be half of the height of the dog measured from the withers. Here are some of the breed standards:
- The length of the head is measured from the tip of the nose to the back of the head
- The width of the head should be half of the length
- The proportional nature of the head gives it quite a balanced and powerful look
- Moving on, the eyes are almond-shaped, set apart, and slightly slanted. And the color is often dark brown
- Finally, the ears are V-shaped and long enough that the tip of the ear can cover the eyes
Back and Chest
Since the Kuvasz is a medium-sized dog, it has a medium-sized back. The back is straight, strong, and muscular.
The same goes for the chest. When viewed from the side, the chest appears to protrude a little in front of the shoulders. It is deep, muscular, and the ribs are well-defined, sometimes reaching up to the elbows.
Finally, the loins are also straight albeit at a slight angle. They are short, tight, and full of muscles. Couple all of this with a tucked in belly and you have a dog that looks strong both in shape and form.
The front legs of the Kuvasz dogs are medium-boned, short, and muscular. The shoulders also have increased length and muscle mass.
On the other hand, the joints on the legs are dry and tight. This gives elbows a balanced position relative to the shoulders. In other words, the elbows are neither tucked in nor flaring out. The Kuvasz dogs have functional dewclaws on the forelegs. And if you didn’t already know, removing them is a bad idea.
Lastly, the feet have pads on them. The pads are often black. They are hard, and tight so much so that they look like cat paws.
The Kuvasz dogs have a white, coarse upper coat with a smooth and fine undercoat. The upper coat is medium in length and covers the back, sides of the thighs, and some portion of the tail. 4 to 6-inch-long hair cover the back of the thighs and the majority of the tail.
On the contrary, finer short hairs cover almost the entirety of the front body including the head, ears, muzzle, and paws. However, a mane extends from the neck to the front of the chest. The front of the forelegs has a fine coat that extends to the elbows. The same is true for the hind legs.
Overall, the coat is thick and coarse which means heavy shedding is imminent.
The portion of the hindquarters after the hip joint is muscular, long, and wide. Due to a long thigh bone, the stifles are bent quite well.
Similarly, the lower thigh is muscular and long. The feet are exactly like the front feet except that the paws are a bit longer. That said, the dewclaws on the hindlegs are removed because they are not functional.
In short, the Kusazok are strong dogs, full of muscles, and have an upright posture. They have a wide back which makes them look bigger than they are. And due to the double coat, their appearance is rugged and yet regal. If you want to know more about their physical stature, check out the complete breed standard.
Knowing the Kuvasz dog breed’s temperament is extremely important before you start breeding it. Due to the way the Kusaz dogs have been bred for centuries they have developed a temperament that leans towards the aggressive side. We don’t mean aggressive with hostile intent as the Kuvasz, though.
The aggressive temperament of the Kuvasz dogs is attributable to their instinct to protect. As they are first and foremost sheepdogs that protect the flock, they are very protective. This means if they sense that their family member is in danger, be it an adult, a baby, or a sheep, they will act. The acts can range from barking to taking physical action.
On the flip side, the Kuvaszok are gentle and playful with children. The adult dogs show incredible restraint when playing with kids and are quite protective of them. The puppies, however, are on the naughty list. They can and will bite if you leave them to their devices.
Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees
Although many people confuse them owing to their similar looks, the Kuvasz and the Great Pyrenees are different breeds. And being different breeds, they differ quite a lot.
First up, where the Kuvaszok are medium in size, the Great Pyrenees dogs are giants. The latter can grow up to 32 inches in height compared to the former’s 26 to 30 inches.
Secondly, if you train them properly, the Great Pyrenees can dwell in an apartment without any issues. On the other hand, the Kuvaszok need a lot of physical exercise and open spaces to roam around. That said, they have quite a lot in common as well. Many people believe that the Great Pyrenees were used to restore the Kuvasz breed. This can explain the huge behavior overlap the two dogs display.
Health Concerns When Breeding Kuvasz Dogs
Like every other dog breed, the Kuvasz breed has a few health concerns. Most of these are common issues.
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a pretty common health issue in dogs. It is a condition in which the thigh bone (femur) doesn’t fit perfectly into the pelvic socket. Due to this, the hip mobility of the suffering dog takes a heavy hit.
Hip dysplasia can also lead to issues like arthritis, limpness in one of both of the hindlegs, and acute pain. That said, hip dysplasia can be present without any visible signs like pain or limpness. This is a major concern since you don’t know if your dog has the condition.
Fortunately, your vet can screen your dog for hip dysplasia early on in his life. Early screening can prevent the condition from worsening. And with proper medication and lifestyle changes such as a proper bed, your dog can have a happy life.
Osteochondritis Dissecans or OCD is a condition in which the inside bone in the shoulder, ankle, or elbow joints degenerates over time. And because this condition is quite painful, the dogs end up limping and show reduced activity.
OCD attacks young pups belonging to larger breeds including the Kuvasz. The onset of the problem happens between six to nine months of age.
Finally, to resolve the issue the vets either prescribe rest or surgery.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid glands don’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Not having enough thyroid hormones can introduce a range of issues including the buildup of mucopolysaccharides in the face. This accumulation results in the ‘tragic’ look that some dogs have on their face. The signs of hypothyroidism include:
- Fur loss
- Weight gain
- Dullness of coat
- Excess skin pigmentation
- Inability to tolerate cold
There can be many more. Vets can perform blood tests to determine if a dog is suffering from this condition. After the identification of the condition, vets prescribe oral thyroid hormones. Pet parents administer these hormones orally twice a day or as instructed by the vet.
How to Breed Kuvasz Dogs
As the popularity of the Kuvasz dogs is growing with each passing day, it can be a lucrative business to breed them. They make great house guards as well as lifelong friends which means your target demographic is widespread.
Choosing the Bitch and Stud
The first thing you need to do before picking a bitch and a stud is to check if they are purebred. This means checking if they are registered with a kennel club.
Secondly, ensure that the pair you choose is healthy in every way. From the temper to the quality of the coat, make sure everything is as it should be. To do this, refer to the breed standard and compare the description to the actual dog you have in front of you. Make sure everything checks out.
Lastly, and this is the most important thing to note, see if any one of the pair has any genetic issues. Even if one of the parents has a genetic defect like Hypothyroidism, there are high chances that the offspring will have it as well. Above all, remember that to have a great litter, you must start with the best possible parents. Then you can consider mating, the proper timing with her heat cycle, and care before birth.
The average litter size of a Kuvasz dog ranges from 6-8 pups. Of course, anomalies exist in which case the bitch can produce a litter of more than 8 or less than 6. So, make sure you are ready to take care of up to 8 pups at a time.
During whelping, or birthing, a female dog undergoes intense contractions. Dogs can be in labor for up to 24 hours. So, you need to monitor the dog until she has delivered all the puppies. And the moment you see something going sideways, call your vet. The signs of dystocia include:
- The female dog has been in labor for more than 24 hours
- No puppies are born even after intense contractions
- There is a delay of more than two hours between each puppy
- The temperature your dog suddenly drops
- Puppy comes out of the vagina tail first
- Blood draining from the vagina for more than 10 minutes
- Green fluid comes out of the vagina without birth
In any of these situations, don’t waste any time in deciding whether to call your vet or not. A few minutes can make all the difference. If your dog experiences birthing complications and you have to go to a vet, make sure you take all the newborn puppies with you. Put them in a separate box with a warm water bottle to keep their temperature in check.
Once you have a healthy litter, the next step is to sell the puppies or provide any other service. And you might be surprised about the monetization potential of the Kuvasz dogs. First up, let’s get the easiest one out of the way. Make an Instagram page. Take cute pictures of the puppies. Market them. And sell them to people looking for a pup.
Secondly, you can also train your Kuvasz dogs to be excellent protectors. Train them to obey commands, and patrol the fences among other things. And since the Kuvasz are natural herd protectors, you can market them to people who are looking for a guard dog.
Finally, you can raise a healthy stud and offer his services. Many people, including breeders, pay a lot of money for stud services.
Kuvasz puppies go for about $1350. These are the puppies that are without any papers and the owners also don’t have breeding rights. Such are also not show quality.
On the contrary, if you have a litter of show quality pups, with a respectable lineage, reputation, and training, you can sell each of those for upwards of $2000. That said, for you to be able to sell puppies for such a high price, you need the puppies that adhere to the breed standard. The more closely a pup resembles the breed standard, the better its linage, and the more price you can charge for it.
Above all, remember that you can increase the price of your littler by adding value. For instance, training a puppy to be pet friendly or kid-friendly can increase the value of the puppy. Similarly, puppies having obedience training also go for much higher prices than ones that don’t have any kind of training. In short, the better your litter, the better the price.
So, there you have it! In this article, we tried teaching you in-depth knowledge on how to breed Kuvasz dog breeds. This native Hungarian breed has a very rich history and as a breeder, we hope you’ll constantly try to improve this breed’s genetics while sticking to its roots in terms of appearance.