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Slovak Cuvac
Slovenský čuvač
Cuvac 1.jpg
Slovensky cuvac named Hunos Frigo
Other names Slovak Cuvac, Slovak Chuvach, Tatransky Cuvac, Slovak tschuvatsch
Traits
Weight Male 36–44 kg (79–97 lbs)
Female 31–37 kg (68–81 lbs)
Height Male 62–70 cm (25–28 in)
Female 59–65 cm (25–28 in)
Coat Medium length - thick and wavy
Color White

The Slovak Cuvac is a Slovak breed of dog, bred for use as a livestock guard dog. Also known as Slovensky Cuvac, Slovak Chuvach, Tatransky Cuvac and Slovensky Kuvac, the breed is closely related to the Hungarian Kuvasz. The alternate German and English spelling Tchouvatch reflects the pronunciation: chew-votch. The breed is recognised under sponsorship from Slovakia by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale with the name Slovenský čuvač. Despite the multiple renderings in English, these refer to only one breed. The United Kennel Club in the US uses the English version of the name Slovak Cuvac.

History

Slovak sheep farming has a very old tradition. The Slovak Cuvac, together with mountain sheep, the Hucul horse, and typical inhabitants of the mountains, formed the fundamental economic preconditions for the utilization of pastures for cattle. The inhabitants of the Slovak mountains were mostly free people who defended the frontiers and paid duties in sheep's cheese. The institution of these people was called "Valassky Opasok" and its center, until the abolition of serfdom, was Košice. The members of this shepherd military system did their service on mountain meadows with their companions - the hearty white dog called the Slovak Cuvac.

A good watchdog, guard, shepherd and companion, the dog proved itself also in watching cattle, turkeys, and other domestic animals - as well as its master's household. Holiday makers and visitors to the mountains and spas took to this breed and began to carry it to the lowlands.

This breed has been well documented as far back as the 17th century. However, as wolves slowly began to disappear from European mountains and modern herding practices were instituted, the Cuvac was faced with the prospect of being seen as a relic of the past. What few specimens were left in the 1950s were bred carelessly. Credit for reviving the breed and fixing characteristics is due to Dr. Antonin Hruza, in cooperation with the Veterinary school of Brno.

Information

The dog is known for its hardy constitution, sturdy frame and shaggy white coat. His frame is massive, and his temperament is naturally lively, watchful, undaunted and alert. The frame of the Cuvac is moderately oblong on strong/high legs. Alertness and watchfulness gave him his name chuvatch, derived from the Slovak word "to hear", pocut.

The Slovensky Cuvac is used on sheep farms and mountain ridges as well as homes and frontiers. He is boundlessly loyal and stout hearted. He resists every enemy - bears and wolves included. According to the time honored shepherd's tradition, he is always bred in white to be discernible from the beasts of the night.

The registered breeding of the Slovensky Cuvac was established in Czechoslovakia by Professor Antonin Hruza from the Veterinary Faculty in Brno on June 4, 1929. The Club of the Breeders of Slovak Cuvac was established in 1933 and a written standard was established and approved in 1964 Dr. V. Kurz). The basic breeding material came from the vicinity of Liptovska Luzna, Kokava and Vychodna as well as from Rachov in the Carpathians.

The Cuvac is marvellous with children, yet with the Cuvac's stubborn, independent nature, proper training is a must as once they learn something, they never forget it. Their tremendous speed for their size and bulk is noteworthy and the Cuvac is a dog that requires adequate space and thus owners should have a good sized yard for exercise. These dogs thrive best in an environment of a large family, children and livestock to care for. Farms and ranches make the best homes. These dogs are natural animal guardians and children watchers - taking to this busy lifestyle with ease. They are gentle and loyal with their family and possessions. This handsome white livestock guard dog has diversified from slaying wolves or hunting big game to border patrol, search and rescue, to common, bourgeois house pet.

Regular grooming keeps the white coat clean and attractive, and furniture free of white "mohair". The annual shed of dense underwool requires vigorous brushing and bathing sessions in the Spring. The Slovak Cuvac is characterized as a leucistic mountain dog with a black muzzle, almond eyes, eye lids and lips. His nose is black during the warm months and the color of brown clay during the colder months of the year. It is estimated that there are approximately 2000 living dogs in the Slovak Republic, with approximately 96 registered dogs since 1982 till 1996. There are also breeders in the USA.us:Slovensky Tchuwatch

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