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Kuvasz and Children
A defining characteristic of a proper LGD is that it instinctively recognizes, tolerates and protects the weak and vulnerable, and this is especially true when it comes to children. Kuvaszok love children and will readily play and have incredible patience with them, tolerating their mischievous behaviour. Any Kuvasz that would hurt a child in my opinion is not mentally stable. I know some breeders and owners who try to find excuses for such unacceptable behaviour (i.e. not socialized with children etc.). Frankly, I don't care for any such excuses and I would not have a dog like that at my house or as part of my breeding program.
Of course a child needs to be supervised with such big dogs and also taught how to treat and respect dogs, but children are children and I don't want to think about what will happen if I look away for a split second and the child happens to pull the dog's ear or reaches in its mouth at the moment I'm distracted. I prefer to have reliable and mentally stable dogs with which I don't have to think about such scenarios. Moreover, it should not be correlated that if a dog is of a softer temperament, more mellow or has lesser guardian instincts that it will automativally be better with children. First of all, I don't agree with such labels or categorizations as a "soft" vs. "sharp" Kuvasz. Rather, I think we should think along the lines of what or ought to be "correct" or "acceptable" Kuvasz temperament vs. what is outside of the scope or parameters of acceptable Kuvasz behaviour. Thus, even my most formidable or territorial guardians that would readily confront and deal with any intruder are 100% reliable with my sons.
Pictures from the Canadian Spring Pet Expo. On left, Zenta being petted by a group of strange kids and on right, Birku and Zenta waiting for their prizes, dog biscuits. These two are some of my most serious guardians, yet at an event like this they understand the scope of the situation and act accordingly.
These two videos were taken at our old house when my elder son was about 18 months old and Zenta had the C litter of pups. These clips demonstrate how patient and tolerant the dogs are with my son even when he reaches into Zenta's food. Moreover, it shows how the adult dogs behave with the puppies and also how tolerant the two intact males ( Birku and Labanc) are with the pups and each other. This is illustrates a good situational awareness and proper pack dynamics.
As I've mentioned before, Possum was an actively working LGD before I brought him back, which means he was not raised with my children, yet he has incredible patience with my son even allowing him to chek his teeth (obviously under my supervision). This case illustrates that a proper LGD that has a stable mind is very adaptable and most of its behaviour is instinctive and genetically precoded.
In the following two videos I do NOT condone and would never encourage such behaviour around dogs. Here my son is really pushing the envelope and was told (off camera) to respect the dog's resting time a lot more. These two videos are simply for illustration purpuses to show the high level of patiene and tolerance stable-minded Kuvaszok have even with misbehaving children. The second video also shows that even though a Kuvasz appears to be sleeping it is still ever vigilant and would jump up at a moment's notice if it finds something out of place. PS: I speak Hungarian with my son.
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