The Kuvasz is generally an easy keeper. They are essentially very healthy with a life expectancy of more than 10 years with many reaching 14 years of age. They possess a double coat that naturally sloughs off dirt. Because the coat contains no oil and is odorless, the Kuvasz never needs bathing. Most do get bathed occasionally, but it is important not to over do it as that will dry the skin. A weekly brushing is usually sufficient to keep the coat clean and tangle-free. The Kuvasz does shed year round at a low level, but once or twice a year they will "blow coat" when large amounts of hair will come out. If hair on clothing, etc. makes you cringe, a Kuvasz may not be the dog for you.
The Kuvasz is an efficient processor of food and will normally only eat what he needs. We recommend twice a day feeding of a well-balanced food like Iams. The giant breeds, like Kuvasz, do not need the extra protein of a puppy food; so, adult food is preferred from the beginning. Proper feeding is essential in reducing or eliminating certain behavioral issues. A hungry Kuvasz will look for and steal food (often off the kitchen counter!)
Kuvasz, like any animal, are sensitive to drugs. Vaccines are a necessary evil, but over vaccination or improper vaccination can be deadly. It is important to have a breeder and a vet who know how to best care for your dog to minimize risks. For most people in most areas, heartworm is critical. We recommend Heartguard.
Kuvasz are not known to be big chewers, but all puppies will chew as they are teething. But toys can be very dangerous as small pieces can break off or the whole toy can become lodged in the dog's mouth. Our recommendation is to avoid non-consumable chew toys. The best bet is something the dog consumes while supervised (i.e. ice cubes, raw chicken or turkey necks, dog biscuits, etc.). But if you just cannot reset your mind to no toys, Kong toys are the least likely to cause problems.
Kuvasz puppies have a rapidly growing skeletal structure which makes unlimited or extreme exercise ill-advised. There is a risk of lifelong damage from excessive exercise and repeated stress during formative growth. Natural, unstructured exercise is best. Like all other giant breeds, their rapid growth can predispose them to structural problems. Improper nutrition, inappropriate exercise, or trauma can contribute to these conditions.
Control is very important in a dog of this size and type. Training a Kuvasz is an art form as most don't tend toward unthinking obedience. A typical Kuvasz response to a command is to think about it before deciding to comply. Laying a strong, positive foundation is the best way to culitivate a wonderful relationship with the dog for good behavior. The Kuvasz is sensitive to discipline. Harsh, heavy-handed corrections are not advised, but you must establish yourself as the alpha. Tieing, beating, teasing, or repeated harsh punishment is unnecessary and deplorable; a Kuvasz ill ultimately respond to this behavior in an aggressive manner. A Kuvasz that is harshly treated, or beaten, will not remain a trusted companion to you. The breed, however, responds amazingly well to training methods using positive reinforcement. Using these methods, any Kuvasz can learn to be a polite, responsive companion. Always be firm and consistent. If you are not as strong willed as the dog, you may have trouble making him obey. Additionally, socialization will enable your Kuvasz to discriminate between what is something new and different, and what is a true threat. A great way to socialize your Kuvasz and train at the same time is group obedience classes. These classes get the dog used to obeying when there are distractions.