My husband and I got married in April 2014 and moved from Ohio to Wyoming to a large ranch with my Mom and her Havanese, Spanky. We soon realized that there were a lot of coyotes around and Spanky just wasn’t safe to go outside by himself. Coyotes were spotted within 100 feet of our back door. We knew that we were going to have to eventually invest in some large breed of dogs as we were wanting some chickens, guineas and some livestock. We started out by getting dogs that were common in our area; a Pyrenees/Newfoundland mix, an Akbash mix and the local sheriff placed a retired police dog in our care. We loved the new additions to our home, but within 9 months all three of these dogs came up missing and our hearts were broken.
So we started doing research on all of the different kinds of livestock guardian dogs out there. We knew that this time around, we wanted a breed that was unique to where we lived. After weighing all of the different attributes of each breed, we decided upon the Kuvasz. But that was where the challenge began. By then we started a small goat herd and wanted to grow that herd over time. We knew that our dream meant having several Kuvasz to live 24/7 with the livestock to keep the population of coyotes away, as well as the occasional mountain lion that roamed the base of the mountains around where we lived. We called several breeders in the United States searching for Kuvasz puppies, only to find out that no one would sell to us if we planned on using them to protect livestock.
That was when Amber Kunz, from Huron Kennels came to our rescue and we adopted Chloe and Zeus the beginning of April 2017 and then we adopted Annabelle in June 2017. It didn’t take long for the coyotes to realize that they needed to keep their distance and that my Mom’s dog, Spanky was safe to go outside by himself.
Where we lived in Wyoming we received on an average 2 inches of rain a year, but we farmed 547 acres that was under pivot irrigation and we grew 13 variety cover crops for intensive cattle grazing during the winter. One year, one of our fields was destroyed by deer and antelope. Once we incorporated our Kuvasz into our farming practice, our dogs had access and patrolled our 714 acre ranch on a daily basis. They not only kept the coyotes at bay, but they ran the deer and antelope herds out of our fields. Without the deer and antelope eating our crops, we were able to lease our pastures to cattle ranchers and increase our contract to run 600 cows for 6 months out of the year. When our dogs found a rattlesnake close to the house or barns, they would bark and bark and bark, until they got our attention and we killed the rattlesnake.
We moved to Lebanon, Missouri January 2021 and downsized our farm to 157 acres of rolling pastures and added 2 more Kuvasz to our operation. We no longer farm row crops, but are actively growing our goat herd and we also have chickens and guineas that free range to keep the ticks under control. We have found our Kuvasz to be a huge asset to our farm whether we were growing crops or running livestock. Kuvasz are instinctively aware of danger, what belongs on your property and what does not. Kuvasz are intelligent, fearless, self-confident, loyal, cautious and alert around strangers, vocal, and a fierce protector. It is my goal as a breeder, to preserve the breed and to provide quality Kuvaszok as working dogs; doing what they have done for centuries – protecting livestock and keeping their human families safe from predators.