What’s the difference between a Kuvasz and a Great Pyrenees? I get asked this question a lot, so I thought I would put it in writing. These opinions are from my 30 years of owning and breeding Kuvasz … and from talking to hundreds of Great Pyrenees owners (and general research).
- Great Pyrenees are definitely a wandering breed. They need to be fenced in or on a leash. An honest Great Pyrenees breeder will testify to this known fact.
Kuvasz do stay home quite well as they do not want any harm to come to their family (both 2-legged + 4-legged). Lots of Kuvasz are loose on farms and stay within the boundaries … this is reinforced by the owner’s diligence to teach the boundaries to the dog (which I explain to new Kuvasz owners).
- Great Pyrenees have a coat that requires ample maintenance. Their hair is long, straight, fine and tends to matt easily.
Kuvasz are known as self-cleaning and low odour dogs. If they get covered in wet mud it simply dries and falls off … once dry you will see the dirt has fallen off and the dog looks quite clean and white again. A Kuvasz with a proper coat is extremely low maintenance.
The hair should not be straight … It should be wavy to very curly.
- Great Pyrenees have a double dew claw on their hind feet.
Kuvasz should not have this.
- Great Pyrenees are heavy boned and their movement is cumbersome.
Kuvasz have a medium build and are very athletic, agile and light-footed.
- When a Great Pyrenees is chasing off a predator, quite often they will get carried away and keep on chasing until … who knows where and when?
A Kuvasz will usually chase off the predator just as far as needed and come back to its charges.
- The head of a Great Pyrenees is quite big (wide) and blocky with a pronounced stop.
A Kuvasz head is not as wide and has a slight stop.
- A Great Pyrenees is mainly white, but can have some grey or beige markings.
A Kuvasz is all white or ivory in colour.
- A Great Pyrenees is not hypo-allergenic.
I am not going to say that a Kuvasz is hypo-allergenic because there is no scientific proof. However, they certainly seem to exhibit this quality because I have had numerous families who were allergic to every large dog they encountered … But did not have any allergic reaction to a Kuvasz. And for this reason many families who were searching for a large breed, did decide to purchase a Kuvasz.
- Great Pyrenees can be excessive barkers which some owners find very annoying.
Kuvasz are NOT excessive barkers … most only bark when necessary.