KUVASZ BREEDERS

    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 distance purchase.

    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.

    I'm embarrassed 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.

    Although health 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.

    Temperament is 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.


KUVASZ STANDARDS
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