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Slovensky Chuvach
Description

This old Slovak breed has strong ties with the other white Molossers of the region, most notably the Polish Tatra, Hungarian Kuvasz and the Merdzak Sarplaninac. It has been around since the late 16th century, when it was considered to be a lighter variety of the Tatra Mountain Dog, closely related to the Hutsul Dog. Like the Polish Tatra Shepherd, the Slovakian Chuvach is seen by some as just a white variant of the Sarplaninac, the so-called Merdzan Sarplaninac, which was introduced to northern Europe by traders. That might have been the case originally, but during the post-WW2 years there was a successful breeding programme which saved the Chuvach from extinction, by using the remaining Slovakian Watchdogs and crossing them with the Polish Tatra and the Kuvasz, without using any Sarplaninac blood. The first breed Standard was written in 1964 and since 1969 the Slovensky Tatransky Chuvach has been an internationally recognized breed with only historical ties to the Sarplaninac and the Greek dogs. A variety of theories concerning the breed's origin still exists, including a quite ridiculous myth perpetuated by some overly zealous fanciers of the Chuvach claiming that it is a result of crossing a wolf with the Greyhound. Although the breed has been revived and it exists in sufficient numbers, some modern bloodlines continue to be occasionally enriched with the blood of other white shepherds, such as the Great Pyr, Maremma, Kuvasz and Tatra, sometimes creating a variety of sizes and personality traits which are uncharacteristic for the breed. Not as tall as the Hungarian Kuvasz and not as massive as the Polish Tatra, the Slovakian Watchdog is a very agile and athletic working breed, generally healthy and resilient.

The Slovensky Chuvach is a highly valued Molosser, due to its sound temperament and flock guarding capabilities. It also makes a very good family pet, but it needs early socialization and firm handling. Primarily a guard dog, the Chuvach has also been proven as a superb wolf fighter and a capable service dog. The body is strong and well-boned, but fairly lean. The head is round and large, but not as wide as the head of the Polish Tatra or the Caucasian Ovcharka. The drop-ears are set high and left in their natural state. The tail is richly coated and carried low when the dog is relaxed and high when excited.

The thick hard coat requires regular attention because it tends to curl up and form into messy strands if left unbrushed, courtesy of the Kuvasz heritage. The only acceptable colour is white, although some examples suspected of carrying a drop or two of the Great Pyrenees blood can be seen with light fawn or grey markings on the ears.

Average height is around 27 inches.

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