The Kuvasz, sometimes called the Hungarian Kuvasz and originally known as the Ku Assa, descends from exotic giant dogs of ancient Tibet. Its name is a corrupted spelling of Arabian and Turkish words that reflect the unparalleled guarding instincts of this large breed. The Turkish term kawasz means “armed guard of the nobility. The Arabian word kawwasz means “archer,” which reflects the high esteem in which the dog was held. The Kuvasz was bred to protect flocks of sheep belonging to nomadic Hungarian shepherds. The breed is known for its keen intelligence, fearlessness and loyalty. It is an intimidating and independent guard dog, known to act on its own initiative when it deems it appropriate. The Kuvasz is related to and closely resembles the Slovakian Shepherd Dog and the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog from Poland. The Kuvasz was accepted for entry into the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1931 and was given eligibility for full registration in 1974, as a member of the Working Group.
Mature male Kuvaszok should stand 28 to 30 inches at the withers and weigh approximately 100 to 115 pounds. Females should stand 26 to 28 inches measured at the same place and weigh about 70 to 90 pounds. Dogs under 26 inches, and bitches under 24 inches, are disqualified under the American breed standard. The pure white or ivory Kuvasz has a thick double coat that ranges from wavy to straight, with neither being preferred over the other. They shed their coat during hot weather.