You should contact
many breeders before buying
a Kuvasz puppy. Ask about the three preceding generations' OFA or OVC hip
certifications. Find out if there are vWD, CERF, or other health clearances.
Get all of the details concerning sales contract guarantees, return policies,
and co-ownership demands. Be especially careful if you are making a long
The purchase price
of a Kuvasz puppy in North America seems to be in the $1000.00 range. The
price is dictated not only by the economics of supply and demand, but by
the scarcity of quality breeders and quality dogs.
It isn't always
possible to visit a Kuvasz breeder before you make the decision to purchase
from them. But if you are able, I would strongly advise you to take the opportunity.
Not only will you be better able to gauge the dogs and breeding operation
when you are actually there, but you may have a better chance to see what
kind of person the breeder is if you meet face to face.
The time you and
the breeder are willing to invest before the purchase, can be an indicator
of how committed you both will be afterward. Although you don't immediately
need to become their new best friend or vice versa, to put the relationship
in the purest terms, they as producers selling a product should know
their business and be prepared to answer your questions. As a wise consumer
you should have at least some general background information about the Kuvasz
product before you visit. Consequently your questions can be specific
to that breeder's operation. Of course if you purchase from them, the producer
should be prepared to provide some specialized after sale technical support.
However you must also continue to educate yourself by using other available
sources. If you learn on your own whenever possible, you won't wear out your
welcome with the manufacturer.
After the introductions
and initial conversations have run their course, you should ask the breeder
to show you their adult dogs, and especially the dam and sire of
the litter. You should be able to examine the dog as an official would at
a dog show, and even better you should observe their natural movement as
they walk and run, preferably off leash. A good breeder will point out the
strengths and weaknesses in their dogs as they compare to the standard, so
YOU CAN BE THE JUDGE.
Before you go to
see a Kuvasz it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the
Kuvasz breed standard. However you should be aware that Canadian and American
club types felt a need to patent their own yardsticks for this ancient Hungarian
breed, so technically there are 3 Kuvasz standards at the present time. I
felt I should include all of them at least for comparison purposes, and did
so in the next document on this site. But you may find it easier to print
and memorize just one, and that is why you can access the CKC standard alone
from the CONTENTS page. You can also print and then memorize the general external
body parts and bone framework references
found in the hyper linked drawings, so the standards will be more meaningful.
The model in this case was a Kuvasz-cousin Great Pyrenees, but the generic
anatomical terms are the same for all dogs.
to admit I didn't know the breed standard before I purchased any of my four
Kuvasz. Since I had no dog show aspirations, and only wanted a companion,
my knowledge of the standard didn't seem relevant or necessary to me at
the time. Ironically, I find myself judging every Kuvasz I see now,
whether they are right in front of me or in a picture. I also use Triumph
and Phantom as models while discussing the standard with anyone who is interested
in the breed.
There is a relationship
between adherence to the standard and the ultimate health and temperament
of the dog. You should also understand that some breeders who are involved
in dog showing consider the term "pet" to mean lesser quality at
best, POOR QUALITY AT WORST. They may sell a show pup ("pick of the
litter") which seems close to the standard for that age, to a person who
says they are going to campaign (show) the dog. However the individual
who says they "only want a pet or companion" can sometimes receive a pup
which has more than just minor cosmetic flaws.
Is it reasonable
for a breeder to sell their best to a show home? Yes I suppose it
is, and it wouldn't be important if the dog club perpetuated tenet
was always true, and "the average person couldn't tell if your Kuvasz
companion was show or pet quality." However the sad fact is that some of
the "pet" quality dogs are not even close to the standard, were noticeably
infirm even as pups, and should have been culled. But since most people can't
resist a cute puppy, and very few neophytes can see the subtle differences
which may dictate a dog's future well being, all Kuvasz pups are sellable.
A competent Kuvasz
breeder is a dog business person who is concerned with the standard,
and aware that deviations can sometimes precede serious physical problems.
For example straight stifles have been linked to patella abnormalities.
Poor rear end angulation not only looks bad, it severely limits drive and
proper movement. Extra body length may precipitate disc and spinal problems.
The physical description and faults and disqualifications are
part of the Kuvasz standard for a reason.
certifications and correct conformation do not absolutely guarantee an adult
is healthy, or that their offspring will be, there is an increased likelihood.
The breeder you select should be someone who conducts adequate health testing
on their breeding stock, and encourages you to do the same with the pup
you buy from them. That encouragement by way of rebate or whatever
reasonable form, would be an indication they want to expand the information
in their health database, and are concerned with the long term health of
their product and the breed. You in turn should be willing to co-operate
with them for the sake of your own dog and the ultimate welfare of the breed
you have chosen.
usually included in breed standards, and so you will find a short description
of disposition in each of the three Kuvasz benchmarks. The terms "discriminating,
protective, and suspicious," DO NOT MEAN VICIOUS. If you are confronted
by intensely and persistently aggressive Kuvasz at a kennel, and the breeder
tries to allay your concern by saying "that's how Kuvasz are", you will
already know the truth about the standard or norm.
When all is said
and done, three of the most important considerations when adopting a dog
are: the breeder's standards, the breed standard, and WHAT YOU AND I ARE
WILLING TO ACCEPT.