The name Aegis, pronounced a jis or e jis, comes from Greek mythology. Aegis was the name of the shield given to Zeus by Athena. It was a protective device that was originally associated with Zeus. Aegis is considered to be a bright-edged thundercloud (because when Zeus used it, lightning flashed and thunder sounded). We have modified the spelling slightly and pronounce our kennel name a jis. In January 2004, the American Kennel Club granted us Registered Kennel Name status, a distinction for prominent breeders, which protects our kennel name as it can only be used with our permission in the naming of AKC purebred Kuvasz.
Aegys Kuvasz is a small, professional kennel located in a medium-sized university town in southern Georgia in the USA. We have approximately 12 acres of predominately pecan orchard/pasture land with some woods and a pond. Our dogs are set up in an almost 2000 sq. ft. air-conditioned kennel with indoor/outdoor runs that open into one of two 3-4 acre pastures of rolling hills and shade trees. Our kennel also boasts a separate kitchen, laundry area and whelping areas. Breeders who advertise their dogs as "home-raised" and not kennel dogs obviously haven't seen our kennel! Our kennel is nicer than most peoples' homes! And this environment produces much healthier and happier dogs. Furthermore, a kennel is, by definition, just an enclosure: so, for most, their homes are kennels. Dogs must be contained for their safety and the safety of others. I prefer my dogs to be in large, secure areas rather than in crates or small pens like most other breeders. Proper facilities are necessary for breeding healthy, temperamentally sound dogs, but most people just don't have those facilities. We are proud of our facilities and welcome visitors. We are not a "hobby" breeder. Breeding the finest Kuvasz in the world is not a hobby for us; it is our passion. We are dedicated professionals who consider the care and betterment of the Kuvasz breed our primary purpose.
At Aegys Kuvasz we are dedicated to producing the highest quality Kuvaszok, emphasizing temperament, soundness, correct type, and working ability. Our foundation for this is extremely solid. All our dogs have superior temperaments--true ambassadors of the breed. All our breeding stock has been certified clear of hip dysplasia by either the OVC or OFA--evidence of soundness. All our dogs have earned or are in the process of earning an AKC championship--indicative of correct type. And all our dogs have completed or are currently training for working titles--evidence of working ability. We do not breed for excessively large size, as this is a quality that can lead to structural problems. Instead, we breed for sound structure, which is much more difficult to obtain and is much more valuable in a working situation. All our brood bitches are natural breeders and natural whelpers, which is extremely important for the health of the breed and your puppy. All our puppies are guaranteed in writing when placed. All males are sold on Limited Registration until they have a hip clearance and all females with co-ownerships until the same is done.
Bruce and I are actively involved with many dog-related activities. We show our dogs in the conformation ring, compete in obedience, agility, and tracking, and participate in the Love on a Leash Therapy Dog Program. Lynn is a member of the Central Florida Working Dog Association. In 1998, Lynn was the show chairman for the Kuvasz National Specialty held in Perry, GA. In 2008, after 15 years, we resigned membership in the Kuvasz Club of America. You may want to read the letter of resignation for the reasons.
We have been showing our dogs since 1993 and have finished 45 champions and bred 30 champions. We have 4 companion dogs, 1 tracking dog, 1 open agility, 1 novice jumpers with weaves, 1 open jumpers with weaves, 1 open preferred agility, 1 novice preferred jumpers with weaves, 1 excellent preferred jumpers with weaves, 34 rally novice, 4 rally advanced, 3 rally excellent, 1 rally advanced excellent, 8 canine good citizens, 2 therapy dogs, and multiple owner-handled group placements including breeder owner handled Group 2's. We are the only Kuvasz breeder to have titled Kuvasz in obedience, tracking, agility, and conformation. And we were the owners/trainers of the first Kuvasz and only Kuvasz bitch in history to earn the prestigious VCD1 award from the AKC. We also owned and exhibited the only Kuvasz in the history of the breed to win Best Veteran in Show at an AKC show.
That said, I would like to take a moment to share our breeding program philosophy and what makes us different than the majority of other breeders. We believe that the health and well-being of our dogs is more important than any show wins, titles, or awards a dog may achieve. Temperament is our first priority, followed closely by and in tandem with soundness. 85% of puppies go to pet homes; therefore, it is imperative that those pups be well-tempered and healthy above all else. We believe that a sound Kuvasz means free of hip dysplasia. Not all breeders value clear dogs as evidenced by their lack of health clearances and by the dysplasia-infested lines they illogically continue to use. Breeding clear dogs is easy, but it takes a vigilant effort and a Kuvasz-like tenacity in adhering to principles. Many other breeders feel that "type" or a particular pedigree is reason enough to look the other way on a dog who is either dysplastic, comes from dysplastic lines, or has dysplastic siblings. Our lines are not plagued by dysplasia the way some are because we have been vigilant in our selection of quality breeding dogs. We have gotten so many clearances because our foundation is solid.
And a word about "kennel blindness" and show wins. We show our dogs in the conformation ring and earn AKC championships for the sole purpose of having at least 3 impartial, educated judges say that a particular dog is a good representative of the breed. When at least 3 objective, trained personages indicate that a dog is of breed quality, "kennel blindness" is a non factor. Showing dogs is fun for us. We have a great time grooming, training, exhibiting, and spending time with these magnificent creatures, but we have no aspirations for the "big win". Too many people are campaigning and spending thousands of dollars on dogs that don't contribute to the gene pool, are substandard to begin with and must be scissored, etc. to even resemble the breed, or are recognized only because of the handler on the end of the leash. Group wins and Best in Shows fade away quickly; only a dog that produces will be remembered through his/her get. Those "big wins" are nothing more than an ego trip for the owners to give them something to talk about. Our breeding program is based on the premise that those wins, while nice, are nothing when compared to the big picture of breeding quality dogs that meet all criteria--temperament, soundness, type, and working ability. We have our share of group placements, but I really enjoy the breed ring or obedience more as it not so much about money, advertising, and politics. Our dogs are always within standard (no miniature Kuvasz here!), we always exhibit them in their natural, correct coat (no bleaching or scissoring!) and no dog owned or exhibited by Aegys Kuvasz has ever been disqualified from the ring for behavior. I guess I would say that I want the total dog and big show wins just aren't part of that package. So, when you don't see an Aegys Kuvasz in the group ring weekend after weekend it is because we are out tracking, doing agility, obedience, therapy work. or producing the finest quality puppies for family or farm.
We hope that this section has given you a better idea of the focus here at Aegys, what we breed for and why, and the significance of that for potential clients. The Kuvasz is a wonderful breed, but it is not a breed for everyone nor is every Kuvasz alike. Aegys Kuvasz can be found in the following 28 states and countries: GA, CA, PA, NJ, LA, SC, FL, TX, NY, MI, NC, TN, IN, OH, AZ, MT, CT, AL, VA, DC, WI, NV, ID, CO, MA, IA, KY, OK, Brazil, Columbia, Canada, Aruba, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. Please contact us if you would like further information or if we can be of assistance.