Kuvasz Vs Great Pyrenees: What’s the Difference?

Written by Megan Martin
Published: March 6, 2022
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When looking at a Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees, you might not be able to tell them apart. However, these are two distinct breeds with different needs and personalities.

Interested in learning how to tell these pups apart? Keep reading to learn the difference!

Comparing the Kuvasz and Great Pyrenees

The Kuvasz differs from the Great Pyrenees in size, color, and temperament.

Are you having trouble telling the Kuvasz from the Great Pyrenees at a glance? Let’s compare some of the key differences. 

Kuvasz Great Pyrenees
Size26 to 30 inches at the shoulder25 to 32 inches at the shoulder
Weight80 to 115 pounds85 to 150 pounds
Coat/Hair TypeDouble coat, coarse, can be wavy or straightThick double coat
ColorWhite or ivoryWhite but may have different colored markings
TemperamentGentle, protective, independentAffectionate, protective, strong-willed
TrainabilityModerate to highly trainableHighly trainable
Life Expectancy10 – 12 years10 – 12 years
Energy LevelsModerate to HighModerate energy levels

Kuvasz  Vs Great Pyrenees: 8 Key Differences

Great Pyrenees laying in front of tree with white buds

The Great Pyrenees is one of the largest dog breeds.


At a glance, it can be hard to see any differences between these two large, loyal breeds. Both are livestock dogs with thick, light-colored coats with similarly protective personalities. However, even their similarities aren’t identical. The Kuvasz can come in a variety of shades of white, and it has more definitely textured fur than the Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees can also weigh around 30 pounds more than even the largest of Kuvasz, making them slightly larger. While they both have a similar personality and life expectancy, the Kuvasz is known for having moderate to high energy levels, compared to the Great Pyrenees’ moderate energy. 

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at these 8 key differences that help set the Kuvasz apart from the Great Pyrenees. 

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Size

While their fluffy coats may make it hard to tell, the Great Pyrenees is actually larger than the Kuvasz (although neither is a small dog by any means!). With a maximum shoulder height of 32 inches, the Great Pyrenees is around two inches taller than the largest Kuvasz. However, the smallest Kuvasz is larger than the smallest Great Pyrenees. 

This trend doesn’t show up in weight, however, where the Great Pyrenees can be as much as 70 pounds heavier than the Kuvasz! That difference is the same as a small sofa. With both at their maximum weights, the Great Pyrenees is 30 pounds heavier than the largest Kuvasz. 

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Energy Levels

The Kuvasz is a working breed designed to endure the labor that certain lifestyles, such as homesteading or ranching, require. These Hungarian farm dogs can have moderate to high energy levels and do best with regular exercise each day.

While the Great Pyrenees is also a dog with a job, it’ll tend to stay around a moderate energy level. Often, an hour’s walk is enough to satisfy this breed. The best way to help meet Great Pyrenees’ unique energy needs is to give them tasks, such as slow feeders or puzzles, to help fulfill their instincts.

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Relationship with Other Pets

Cute Kuvasz dog playing in the water in the summer.

While the Kuvasz has a similar coat to the Great Pyrenees, theirs can be curly!

©Jakab Flora/Shutterstock.com

Both the Great Pyrenees and the Kuvasz are livestock dogs, which means that they are bred to get along with other animals. While their strength and large size would make it easy for them to easily harm other pets, their temperament and patience make them a safe choice.

However, for smaller animals, it’s important to monitor them around the Kuvasz. While Kuvasz can mean well, their clownish behavior can lead to them throwing their weight around (literally), and a small pet might become injured. 

Whether you have a Great Pyrenees or Kuvasz, it’s important to start socializing them at a young age. This includes to humans, other dogs, and other animals. How you train and prepare your pet as a puppy will help determine their personality, temperament, and other key aspects as an adult. 

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Relationship with Children

Like with other pets, your Kuvasz’s relationship with children depends on their upbringing. These dogs are known for being gentle and loyal companions, but their independence may make them unsuitable for younger children who wouldn’t be able to understand their boundaries. Due to its large size, the Kuvasz may also accidentally knock over smaller children, even as a young and rambunctious puppy. 

The Great Pyrenees is similar. However, despite both being livestock guard dogs, the Great Pyrenees may not have as much patience as the Kuvasz. As a result, it’s better to consider these dogs as pets if you have older children or teenagers. 

Both of these dogs may be wary of children outside of their immediate family, which is why proper socialization from a young age is so important. 

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Health Issues

Large dogs in general face certain health issues, especially those dealing with joints or bones. Some of the most common large dog health issues are Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD). 

Kuvasz dogs are also prone to other conditions, such as thyroid or cardiovascular problems. The Great Pyrenees, however, is more prone to skin problems, cataracts, and panosteitis.

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Coat Type and Grooming

At a glance, it may seem like there aren’t any differences in the double coat of a Kuvasz and that of a Great Pyrenees. However, from coloration to texture to grooming needs, there are several subtle coat distinctions that help set these breeds apart. 

First, the Kuvasz is known for its solid white or ivory-colored coat, while the Great Pyrenees’ white coat may feature different colored markings. Although they share a double coat with the Great Pyrenees, the Kuvasz’s has a much coarser texture. Their fur can also be straight or wavy. 

Both dogs require regular grooming for their coats, nails, teeth, and ears in order to ensure they’re in the best shape possible. While the texture of their double coats may differ, brushing several times a week is necessary for both breeds to reduce shedding and prevent tangles. 

Also, even if you live in a warm environment, you should avoid shaving your Kuvasz or Great Pyrenees. While it may seem like you’re helping them to stay cool, their coats actually help them regulate temperature and shaving can lead to heatstrokes or sunburn.

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Personality

Kuvasz resting in the snow in winter.

The Kuvasz can be more playful than the Great Pyrenees.


The Kuvasz is a gentle, patient protector. These dogs can even be a bit clownish at times, especially with a burst of energy! However, it’s important to take the time to properly train and socialize them as a puppy to unlock their best personality. Otherwise, their iconic protectiveness can turn into aggression fast. 

The Great Pyrenees is more serious and strong-willed, though they have an affectionate side too. Like with the Kuvasz, it’s important to set up your pups for a good and playful future by training them when they’re young.  

Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees: Trainability

Both of these breeds have the potential to be easily trained, the Great Pyrenees more so than the Kuvasz. However, they’re not recommended for first-time dog owners as their high trainability stems from intelligence, not necessarily obedience. 

Both of these breeds are known for their strong wills, and while the Great Pyrenees is more adept at following commands, once it trusts you, both will push your boundaries and limits at first. 


Running Great Pyrenees puppy

Great Pyrenees dogs may have different colored markings on their white coats.

©DTeibe Photography/Shutterstock.com

Looking at the Kuvasz vs Great Pyrenees, there’s no doubt that these two breeds are similar. However, it’s the subtle differences that help highlight just how unique the Kuvasz and Great Pyrenees are. For example, while it looks like they have the same coat, the Kuvasz can have more texture and the Great Pyrenees more color. While neither would be the best pick for a first-time dog owner, both can easily find their fit in the family with proper training and socialization as a puppy. 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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