Slovak Cuvac

Canis lupus familiaris

Last updated: December 6, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© mmpixel91/Shutterstock.com

Slovak Cuvac Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus familiaris

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Slovak Cuvac Locations

Slovak Cuvac Locations

Slovak Cuvac Facts

Diet
Omnivore

Slovak Cuvac Physical Characteristics

Color
  • White

Slovak Cuvac as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Moderate
Separation Anxiety
High
Preferred Temperature
Cold climate
Exercise Needs
Moderate
Friendly With Other Dogs
Moderate
Pure bred cost to own
A Slovak cuvac puppy costs $800-$1,200 to purchase and about $950 a year to maintain. 
Dog group
Herding
Male weight
79-97 lbs
Female weight
68-82 lbs

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“The Slovak cuvac descended from Arctic wolves!” 

Slovak Cuvac Introduction

The Slovac cuvac is a large Slovakian breed of dog that descended from Arctic wolves. Another name for this breed is “Slovensky cuvac.” They were bred as watchdogs and herding dogs to serve farmers and ranchers high in the snowy mountains of east-central Europe.  

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Slovak cuvacs are affectionate, gentle, and loyal, bonding closely with their owners and protecting their lives and property with their own lives if necessary. They do extremely well with children, but they do have a tendency to chase smaller pets and will need some early training to prevent that habit from getting out of hand. The breed does have some drawbacks: it sheds all year round and especially heavily during the summer. Owners will need to brush their Slovac twice a day to control the hair. It’s also a dominant breed that can be stubborn during training. For these reasons, Slovac cuvacs are not a suitable breed for an inexperienced dog owner or one who does not have the time to invest in persistent, firm, and positive training.  

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This is a healthy breed with a long lifespan. Some breeders have experimented with mixing them with Labrador retrievers or German shepherds. You’ll definitely want to do your research on this breed before making a commitment, but one thing is for sure—you will not have to doubt this dog’s love or loyalty to you. 

The 2 Different Types of Slovak Cuvacs and Mixes

The following are two examples of Slovak cuvac mixes:

  • Labrador retriever-Slovak cuvac mix – a popular, family-friendly breed.
  • German shepherd-Slovak cuvac mix – a popular companion animal and guard dog.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning Slovak Cuvacs

Pros!Cons!
A very healthy breed
This dog has a few potential health problems that are common among larger breeds but are overall hardy and healthy.
They shed massively
Their beautiful pure white fur sheds year-round, especially in the summer when they lose their under coats. During the period of heaviest shedding, they need to be brushed daily.
Energetic breed for an active family
Slovak cuvacs are a great choice for a large, active family that enjoys running, hiking, swimming, and playing games, or for people who have large, fenced yards, farms, or ranches.
A prey instinct for smaller animals
Although this is a gentle breed, they do have a prey instinct to chase smaller pets and wildlife. This should be addressed in early training so that it does not become problematic
Playful and kid-friendly!
Despite their large size, these dogs are excellent protectors and companions for children of all ages.
Challenging to train
They are a breed that likes to be the alpha. They tend to resist training and need an experienced trainer that will be consistent, firm, and use positive reinforcement methods.

The Best Dog Food for Slovak Cuvacs

Choosing a dog food for your companion is something that should be a matter of research, thought, and consultation with your veterinarian. Large breeds eat a lot, so it is understandable that owners will want to find a food that fits their budgets. However, keep in mind that loading a dog up on cheap food might cause health problems as your pup grows older.  

Some things to look for in a quality dog food are natural ingredients without cheap fillers or artificial additives. You also want to look for a brand that is specially formulated for the developmental level and size of your dog. For example, puppies should have a puppy recipe because it has the specific nutrients young growing dogs need for overall health. As your dog gets older, gradually introduce an adult formula, and later a senior formula. It is generally best not to switch between brands or flavors frequently, as that can upset your dog’s digestion. It’s ok to feed lean meat scraps or add meat broth to kibble for a flavorful treat. But don’t overdo it, and know your dog doesn’t need to eat every time you do. Once in the morning and once in the evening is plenty. 

Health and Entertainment for your Slovak Cuvac

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A-Z Animals recommends Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult. The protein in this food comes from real chicken, not low-quality poultry byproducts. An excellent source of protein like this is vitally important with an active breed such as the Slovak cuvac. It also contains whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to give your dog the blend of vitamins and minerals it needs. Importantly, this brand has reduced calories from fat to help your dog avoid a tendency toward obesity, which is common among larger breeds. Check it out and see the impact on your dog’s health and energy. 

Slovak Cuvac Size and Weight

The Slovac cuvac is a large breed dog ranging from 24-27.5 inches tall and 79-97 pounds for males, and 23-25.5″ tall and 68-82 pounds for females.

Height (Male)24-27.5” Tall
Height (Female)23-25.5” Tall
Weight (male)79-97 lbs, fully grown
Weight (female)68-82 lbs, fully grown

Slovak Cuvac Common Health Issues

This is a healthy breed, but it does suffer from some health problems that are rather common for many breeds of their size. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, where joints can become deformed as the dog grows, and bloat, in which the gastric system of the dog can fill with gas and become twisted. This is a critical issue that requires immediate veterinary attention. 

In summary, these are some of the common health issues you and your vet should keep an eye on to keep your Slovak cuvac healthy: 

Slovak Cuvac Temperament and Behavior

Slovac cuvacs bond strongly with their owners and will faithfully guard them and their property. They are strong, agile, and playful. They love outdoor activities and vigorous exercise. Slovacs also get along very well with children and other animals, though they do have an instinct to chase smaller species. Owners should address this behavior with early training. Training these dogs is not easy, as they like to be the alpha. For these reasons, they are not recommended for first-time dog owners. 

How To Take Care of Slovak Cuvacs

Maintenance and Grooming

The coat of a Slovak cuvac is white, thick, dense, and a little bit wavy. Males have a mane of longer fur around the necks. With their heavy coats, these dogs do great in cold weather, but may suffer in warm climates. Make sure during the summer they have access to plenty of water, shade, and cool air. 

These dogs are heavy shedders that owners should brush frequently to remove dead hair and cut down on the amount of fur that will litter your house, yard, or car. They lose all of their undercoat during the summer. During this time, owners may need to groom their pup twice a day.  

Training

These are not easy dogs to train. They are stubborn and independent and will try to be the dominant dog in your family “pack,” so they need an experienced trainer who can handle a large breed firmly, consistently, and with positive reinforcement techniques. Owners should expose them to different environments and types of people so they can learn when to activate their protective instincts. With socialization, they are friendly toward strangers. 

Slovak cuvacs are gentle and good-natured dogs that do not try to hurt other dogs. However, they do have a prey instinct that might kick in and cause them to chase smaller animals. Owners should supervise them and train them to moderate these instincts.  

Exercise

This is a large and athletic breed that needs rigorous exercise, including daily jogs, hide-and-seek, fetch, flying disc, and similar games. They like to swim, so if you live near a lake or the ocean, this dog will love it. What it enjoys best, though, is running freely outdoors. They do not do well in apartments or small houses. They do best in large homes with space to roam, especially a farm or ranch with livestock and an active family. Make sure any toys you provide are designed for large and powerful breeds. 

Puppies

Slovak Cuvac puppy
Owners should train Slovak puppies to accept a grooming routine to manage their fluffy white fur.

©Zuzule/Shutterstock.com

Early training is essential with a large breed dog as they can become unmanageable when full-grown if their training is neglected. Training and socialization should accustom them to small children, other dogs (especially smaller ones), and strangers. Owners should train puppies to accept a grooming routine that includes nail trims, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing.  

Slovak Cuvacs and Children

This breed is suitable for kids, friendly toward pets, and nice to strangers. They are highly protective of small children and playful with older kids and teens. However, they might perceive visiting children as new members of the pack and try to maintain their position by herding or correcting them. They need to be supervised around little ones until these tendencies have been thoroughly brought under control. 

Dogs similar to Slovak Cuvacs

  • Kuvasz – This Hungarian breed is much easier to groom than the Slovak cuvac, but it does not get along well with children and is not a good match for inexperienced dog owners. 
  • Komondor – The fur of this breed grows in long, visually striking dreadlocks. It is child friendly and requires less grooming than the Slovak cuvac, but the Komondor barks more often. 
  • Great Pyrenees – Slovak cuvacs are often mistaken for Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees is easier to groom and better with children, but barks more and is not a good breed for a new dog owner. 

Here are some ideas of names for male Slovak cuvacs:

  • Stefan
  • Miroslav
  • Jozef
  • Benes
  • Tomas

Here are some ideas of names for female Slovak cuvacs:

  • Maria
  • Katarina
  • Eva
  • Monika
  • Anna

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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer and a lifelong animal lover. I've traveled the world, but the high point for me was riding an elephant in Nepal. Currently I'm an "Emotional Support Human" to 3 dogs, 1 cat, and 3 guinea pigs. My favorite wild animal is the quokka, the most selfie-friendly animal in the world.

Slovak Cuvac FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does a Slovak cuvac cost to own?

A Slovak cuvac puppy costs $800-$1,200 to purchase and about $950 a year to maintain.

Is the Slovak cuvac good with kids?

The Slovak cuvac is a large and athletic breed, so it needs to be socialized, trained, and supervised with small children, but it is considered to be a good breed for a family with children.

How long does a Slovak cuvac live?

On average, Slovak cuvacs live 11-13 years.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Petnetid.com, Available here: https://petnetid.com/breed/slovensky-cuvac/slovensky-cuvac-puppies-for-sale-slovensky-cuvac-prices/
  2. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/slovensky-cuvac/
  3. Dog-Learn.com, Available here: https://www.dog-learn.com/breed-vs-breed/great-pyrenees-vs-slovak-cuvac/
  4. Dogbreedslist, Available here: https://www.dogbreedslist.info/all-dog-breeds/slovensky-cuvac.html
  5. Hepper.com, Available here: https://www.hepper.com/slovensky-cuvac/
  6. 101dogbreeds.com, Available here: https://www.101dogbreeds.com/slovak-cuvac.asp
  7. Dogzone.com, Available here: https://www.dogzone.com/breeds/slovak-cuvac/

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