Slovak Cuvac: All About this Breed

Known for its great qualities as a sheepdog, the Slovak Cuvac is much more than a simple herding dog in its native country. Find out what this dog is like and what makes them such wonderful pets.
Slovak Cuvac: All About this Breed

Last update: 18 April, 2022

What people emphasize most often about the Slovak Cuvac is its notable protective character, which makes this dog a perfect guardian and shepherd. However, this isn’t the only remarkable aspect of this dog, and it’s a dog well worth knowing about!

It’s a large dog, but gentle, loyal, and noble at the same time, which is why many families adopt it as a pet. If you want to find out all about it, we invite you to do so in the following article.

Origin of the Slovak Cuvac

Its origin isn’t surprising when we take a look at its name! Slovakia is the country that gave birth to this breed, and it has its origins in the most mountainous regions of the country. Some believe that it may have appeared around the 17th century, although there’s no specific data to back this up and it could be even older.

Since its emergence, it was trained by the Slovaks as a guard dog, a function that it performed perfectly due to its physical characteristics and temperament. However, when wolves ceased to be a threat to livestock, the Slovak Cuvac almost became extinct.

Characteristics

As we mentioned before, it’s a very large dog, with a well-proportioned, strong, and balanced body. Its height reaches between 59 and 65 cm (2 to 2.2 feet) at the withers in females, and it weighs between 31 and 37 kg, around 70 to 80 pounds. Males can reach between 62 and 70 cm in males (2 to 2.3 feet), and weigh between 36 and 44 kg (80 to 97 pounds)

Its head has an elongated and strong skull, as well as its muzzle. The muzzle is broad and narrows towards the tip, with a powerful jaw and a scissor bite. In addition to this, it’s worth mentioning that it has long ears that fall to the sides of the head.

Coat of the Slovak Cuvac

As for its coat, this dog has a double coat, which is quite dense and long; it can reach 10 cm (4 inches) in length. It isn’t entirely smooth and is usually wavier on the mane and legs than on the rest of the body.

In addition, it should be noted that it has a finer undercoat, which is also dense. In summer, this layer falls off, while the outer layer becomes less dense. This helps it to better cope with hot temperatures, which it isn’t very used to.

Character and behavior

As already mentioned, the Slovak Cuvac is an excellent watchdog and shepherd, and it has the perfect qualities for it. It’s courageous, intelligent, bold and constantly alert. It doesn’t hesitate to defend its territory and its family in the presence of danger, without being too aggressive, of course.

Because of its protective nature, they can be somewhat wary of strangers. However, once they can see that these people aren’t a danger to their family, they’ll be affectionate towards them.

Besides this, they have other qualities that make them an ideal pet, even for families with children. They’re docile, obedient, noble, and affectionate, as well as intelligent. They’re also very active and vigorous dogs, and so they need a lot of daily exercise.

Care of the Slovak Cuvac

This breed doesn’t require any special care; it simply needs the same care and attention all dogs need, plus a few specific ones due to certain characteristics of the breed.

The feeding must be appropriate to its large size and the level of activity it performs. Therefore, you should choose quality food, which is complete and balanced in nutrients.

Its diet should contain enough protein to provide the correct muscular and skeletal development, and also a correct level of fats to avoid obesity. Of course, hydration is another fundamental point, and it should always have clean, fresh water.

Regular visits to the veterinarian, as well as vaccinations and deworming processes, shouldn’t be missed either. On the other hand, dental cleanings will prevent the dog from suffering periodontal problems, as well as bad breath.

Breed training

Their intelligence and docility means training them is a lot easier. In addition, they’re very curious dogs that are always very willing to learn and obey everything their handler requests.

For training, the best technique to use is positive reinforcement. The Slovak Cuvac is a grateful dog, and so rewards are the best way to consolidate the teachings, in addition to strengthening the bond between the animal and its owner.

Health and diseases

As in most cases of large breed dogs, the average life expectancy of this animal is between 11 and 13 years. It’s a fairly physically resistant dog and it doesn’t tend to suffer from hereditary diseases, but it can face some of its own physical problems. Among these diseases are:

  • Patellar dislocation: This occurs when the patella slips out of the trochlea in the knee joint. It’s usually more common lateral or bilateral patellar dislocation.
  • Hip dysplasia: This occurs due to a bad join between the articular area of the hip (acetabulum) and the articular area of the thigh (head of the femur). This leads to wear and tear that eventually causes lameness, as well as osteoarthritis, discomfort, and pain.
  • Elbow dysplasia: This usually appears during the dog’s growth stage and affects the elbow joint, unilaterally or bilaterally. It’s caused by an abnormal development of bone tissue, resulting in arthritis, i.e. an inflammation of the joint.
  • Stomach torsion: Stomach torsion or gastric torsion occurs when the stomach dilates and rotates on itself. It usually occurs when the dog eats or drinks water in an exaggerated and intense manner, especially before or after exercise.

Other tips and curiosities about the breed

In addition to what we’ve already mentioned, here are some other considerations regarding the Slovak Cuvac, as well as more facts about the breed.

  • In addition to physical stimulation, this dog requires good mental stimulation. It’s important for them to have toys near to hand (or paw!) – toys that are suitable for their strength, as well as their interaction with people and other dogs.
  • Although it has a good character, it needs an owner to guide and train it properly. For this reason, it isn’t appropriate for people who don’t have experience in dealing with large dogs.
  • This type of breed isn’t suitable for people who can’t carry out the daily walks and exercise routines that this breed needs.
  • Other names by which this dog is known are the Slovensky Cuvac, Slovak Chuvac, Tatransky Cuvac, and Slovensky Kuvac.
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