Other names: Slovak Cuvac, Slovensky Cuvac
Is it a polar bear, or is it a Slovensky Cuvac? Thanks to this breed’s stocky frame and soft, snow white coat, it’s pretty hard to tell the two apart! This large Slovakian dog breed has incredible strength and enviable guarding skills, but also boasts a surprisingly sweet spot to its temperament. Affectionate, loyal and protective towards its family, the Slovak Cuvac can make a great pet, but only for those who can cater to its vigorous daily exercise needs and independent nature.
Key facts about the Slovakian Chuvach
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Origins and history
This hardy breed originates from the mountains of Slovakia, where it was used to herd and guard farmers’ livestock, pull heavy carts, and act as a companion to the whole family. The breed itself dates back to the 17th century, and although the Slovensky’s origins aren’t certain, most Slovakians believe that the breed descended from Arctic wolves.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 1 : Sheepdogs
Physical characteristics of the Slovakian Chuvach
Female : Between 23 and 26 in
Male : Between 24 and 28 in
Female : Between 68 and 82 lb
Male : Between 79 and 97 lb
Type of coat
Thick, double, dense, with an imposing collar.
The Slovensky Cuvac is a large, robust dog with a truly imposing appearance. The body is simply huge - slightly longer than it is tall, with straight and sturdy legs, a broad chest and a straight back. The Slovensky’s face, however, has a charming friendliness about it, often compared to the beloved Golden Retriever. The eyes are dark and oval-shaped, the ears are triangular and floppy and the nose is large, dark, and distinguished.
Good to know
The Slovensky Cuvac is capable of hunting down huge game such as wolves and boar - yep, this is a feisty one!
The Slovak Cuvak is loyal, devoted and affectionate, but towards its family only.
This breed has tons of energy to expel, and will happily burn some of it up by playing games or sports with its family.
This big, protective giant is actually known to be a rather calm and docile dog within the home, providing its needs are met. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this dog can be demanding in terms of exercise - it’s not for anyone who wants an easy ride!
This is a highly intelligent breed, which is well known for having an incredible memory. Apparently, once the Slovensky learns something, it’ll stick forever!
The Slovensky doesn’t really have much of a hunting instinct, but does like to chase things!
Fearful / wary of strangers
Naturally protective and territorial, the Slovensky Cuvac is often wary and suspicious of unfamiliar faces.
As a working breed with brains, it comes as no surprise that the Slovensky is a free-thinker who can be quite independent in nature, but still needs human contact to flourish. This dog requires an experienced, dominant, and fair but firm owner.
Behaviour of the Slovakian Chuvach
The Slovak Cuvac tolerates being left alone well in comparison to other breeds, but still appreciates companionship and would always prefer to be around its family.
Easy to train / obedience
The Slovak Cuvac is a dominant breed and will try to be the leader of the pack, but understands quickly what is expected of it if well-trained. It’s essential that this dog receives thorough training from a young age which is carried out by an experienced, firm, and confident owner.
This is a very vocal breed - teaching the ‘quiet’ command is essential.
Tendency to run away
This dog will usually stick to its post, but as with all dogs, may get itchy feet if its needs aren’t met.
This dog is generally calm and not very destructive.
Greedy / Gluttony
The Slovensky certainly enjoys its food but isn’t known to be especially greedy.
Nothing gets past this devoted breed when it comes to its family - it’ll guard your home with sheer dedication! Expect loud, extensive barking and possibly aggression if anyone your Slovensky hasn’t met enters your home.
The Slovensky is very independent, powerful and energetic, meaning it can be quite a handful. This could only be a good choice for those confident dog lovers who appreciate large and protective dogs.
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Slovakian Chuvach in a flat
This breed is simply too large, energetic and switched-on to live in a flat. Ideally, it’ll live in a rural setting or on a farm.
Need for exercise / Sporty
Ideally, the Slovensky Cuvac will only be kept as a working pet - otherwise, it’ll quickly become bored. This breed will need at least two hours (but ideally more) of vigorous exercise every day. Nope, a leisurely walk in the park just won’t do.
Travelling / easy to transport
The Slovak Cuvac is a large breed, meaning it’s not the easiest to transport. Due to this dog’s high chasing instinct, it may also prove difficult to control in open, public spaces.
Slovakian Chuvach and cats
Cats may be in danger around this breed unless the animals in question have been brought up with each other from a young age.
Slovakian Chuvach and dogs
The Slovensky Cuvac can be aggressive towards other dogs unless it has been well-socialized since its puppy days.
Slovakian Chuvach and children
The Slovensky can be incredible around kids within its own family, but it must first understand its place in the pack through thorough training. As a natural guardian, it will protect children whenever necessary. Don’t let the Slovensky Cuvac play with children it doesn’t know without close supervision.
Slovakian Chuvach and the elderly
This absolutely isn’t a good breed match for an elderly owner - it’s simply too much of a handful!
This is an extremely rare breed. We do not have enough data to set an average price for purchase of these dogs. However, looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £80 to £120 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.
While the Slovensky is a handful in most aspects, it’s actually pretty easy to groom. All that’s required is a weekly brush for most of the year, but a daily brush during periods of heavy shedding. During heavy shedding season, it’s also advisable to bathe this pup weekly, in order to loosen the hairs.
This breed is a heavy seasonal shedder.
Nutrition of the Slovakian Chuvach
Feed the Slovensky Cuvac a high-quality dog food which is formulated specifically for large or working dog breeds.
Health of the Slovakian Chuvach
This is a hardy breed with relatively few health concerns. Their average life expectancy is 12 years.
Strong / robust
The Slovensky is well-known for its sturdy and hardy frame.
This dog is not suited to warm climates. Provide shade and cold water during hot weather spells.
The Slovensky was bred to roam the mountainous regions of Slovakia in extreme weather conditions, and so is very well adapted to the cold.
Tendency to put on weight
Due to the Slovensky Cuvac’s high energy levels, it’s unlikely to put on weight. However, if it’s under-exercised and under-stimulated it may gradually pile on the pounds and become depressed.
- Hip dysplasia