The Slovak Cuvac, a livestock guardian breed, is said to be a close relative of the Kuvasz dog. It has a longish body stature and a square built, further characterized by a large head, dark, oval-shaped eyes with a lively expression, long, hanging ears, broad chest, muscular, hips and a thick, furry tail that hangs below when it is at rest. Its vigil and alert nature have earned it the name Cuvac, which in Slovak stands for hearing.
|Other names||Slovak Cuvac, Slovak Chuvach, Tatransky Cuvac, Slovak tschuvatsch|
|Coat||Thick, and wavy|
|Group||Mountain dogs, Livestock dogs, Rare dogs|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||11-13 years|
|Weight||Male: 80-100 lbs
Female: 68-82 lbs
|Litter size||6-8 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Lively, loyal, affectionate, watchful, alert|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate Compatibility||Can adapt to the harsh climate|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Yes|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||ACA, UKC, NAPR, NKC, AKC/FSS, ACR, CKC, DRA, FCI, APRI|
Sheep farming was an old practice of the Slovaks, with these dogs serving as a great companion, being adept in protecting the cattle as well as other domestic animals primarily from wolves as well as bears and any other predator that tried attacking them. People visiting the mountains on a holiday got fascinated by this breed and decided to take them to the lowlands. Their importance began to diminish with the decline in the population of wolves, and also the implementation of modern herding techniques, putting them at the brim of extinction. Dr. Antonin Hruza, is credited for having revived these dogs and also fixing a breed standard for them. The club for this breed was established in 1933, having its headquarters located in Bratislava.
Primarily used as a livestock guardian dog for sheep farming, the Slovak has developed strong herding, guarding and watchdog instinct because of the kind of job it was employed to do in the past, thus emerging as a powerful watch and guard dog. They are faithful and loyal, sharing a strong bond with their nearest kit and kin, also putting their protective instincts in action and going to any extent to safeguard the interest of their loved ones. They are unsuited for apartment life, and a big farm or ranch would be perfect for these dogs.
Unlike other guard dogs, the Slovak shares a friendly rapport with kids, emerging as their perfect protector and would also mingle well with other dogs especially if brought up with them. However, when they interact with smaller pets supervision is needed keeping the chasing instincts of these dogs in mind.
Though loyal and affectionate, this breed could be stubborn and independent, thus needing a firm trainer for handling it intelligently, through techniques of positive reinforcements.
Socialization: Since they have strong guarding instincts, imparting socialization training from the time they are puppies would benefit them positively. They need to be taught to differentiate between the good and the bad and even require to be acquainted with various kinds of people as well as diverse experiences so that they may be able to understand who is harmful and who is not.
Obedience: Training a guard dog to follow commands is the first step to obedience training. You should make it pro in adapting the “bark” as well as the “quiet” command.
To teach it the “quiet” command, trigger a situation that can compel it to bark like the sound of a doorbell or even the sight of another dog (perhaps you can ask your friend to get her pet). Pretend to have identified the source of its barking, perhaps by looking out and then show him a treat to get your pet’s attention towards you. Once it calms down, reward him for his achievement. Repeat the entire activity but now you should wait for it to stay silent for a longer span before giving it the toy or treat. Choose one particular command for your pet like “hush” or “quiet,” which he can relate.
These large dogs need to be fed a good quality dog to match up their high energy levels. You can also mix homemade food in measured amounts along with the dry dog. In case you are introducing live food or a raw diet consult your vet before doing so.