kuvasz (pl. kuvaszok) [key], breed of powerful working dog perfected in Hungary over many centuries. The kuvasz may stand as high as 30 in. (76 cm) at the shoulder and weigh up to 120 lb (54 kg). Its double coat of fine underhairs and thick, medium-length, straight or slightly wavy outercoat is pure white in color. Although both the Tibet region of China and Turkey have been cited as the original home of the kuvasz, recently assimilated evidence seems to support the contention that it was one of the sheepherding dogs used in Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. Whatever its origins, its history in Hungary is well attested to, as is its service there, for a period of hundreds of years, as a guard, shepherd, and hunting dog. Today it is also raised for show competition and as a pet. See dog.
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