A perfect family dog needs to be a lot of things. It has to be kind, loving, and happy to spend time with its humans.
Also, it needs to be fairly obedient and trustworthy, you don’t want a dog you can’t handle around the house.
Finally, the dog has to be able to protect family and property. Two breeds that fit this description pretty well are Kuvasz and Maremma Sheepdog.
Both breeds originate from Europe where they were bred as livestock guardians.
Centuries of guarding their flocks and protecting them against predators helped them develop certain traits that make them one of the most popular family dogs today.
When comparing Kuvasz vs Maremma Sheepdog, it’s hard to find any obvious differences, at least on the outside.
Still, there are some important differences between the two and I’ll take a closer look to see what makes each of them unique.
So, let’s dive in!
|Good For First Time Owners||No||No|
|Good Guard Dog||Yes||Yes|
|Good Family Dog||Yes||Yes|
|Shedding||Moderate to High||Moderate to High|
|Barking And Howling||Moderate To High||Moderate to High|
|Height||26-30 inches (66-76 cm)||25.5-28.5 inches (65-72cm)|
|Average Life Expectancy||10-12 Years||11-14 Years|
Kuvasz – Dog Breed Information
Kuvasz is a very old breed, created in Hungary some six centuries ago. However, their lineage goes back much further, all the way to ancient Mesopotamia.
Originally livestock herders, they quickly became popular for their protective instincts and unwavering loyalty to their owners.
Thanks to these traits, they were the watchdogs for the Hungarian royalty.
Dogs of this breed are big, strong, and powerful, with abundant white fur.
Still, despite their size, Kuvasz dogs are rather agile and have an elegant and effortless gait.
Kuvasz has a medium-long double coat which, depending on a particular dog, can be wavy, straight, or curly.
The topcoat is fairly coarse while the undercoat is softer and water-resistant. The coat color is white, although it can come in different shades.
The refined head features a black nose and a big mouth.
Eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown while the ears are floppy and medium-sized.
A male Kuvasz can grow up to 28-30 inches (71-76cm) and weigh 106-137 pounds (48-62 kg).
Females are a bit smaller and can be 26-28 inches (66-71 cm) high and weigh around 82-110 pounds (37-50 kg).
While it’s mostly used as a family dog nowadays, Kuvasz stayed true to his sheepherding origins.
They’re brave, courageous, and extremely loyal. These are all the qualities that make it perfect for watchdog duties.
In addition, they’re suspicious towards strangers and very alert to any potential dangers.
If they sense a threat, they can move with a surprising speed to protect their family. Still, they have the other, more sensitive side to them.
Kuvasz enjoys being a part of the family and is very devoted to all of the family members.
They’re calm, friendly, patient, and enjoy being around children.
Nevertheless, be aware that proper and early socialization is a must. They do have some independence tendencies like most herding dogs.
Although they’re very smart, this independence streak may present a challenge for less experienced owners when it comes to training.
Maremma Sheepdog – Dog Breed Information
Maremma Sheepdog also hails from Europe, but their origins are a bit more to the south.
They were developed in central Italy and they’re often referred to by their Italian name, Cane de Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese.
They have been guarding sheep and protecting them from wild animals such as wolves for centuries and are still the most popular sheepdog in the region.
Still, today, they’re primarily in the role of loving family dogs.
Maremmas are large and fluffy balls of fur. Still, beneath all the fur, there’s a very strong and muscular body that is a bit longer than tall.
The long and wavy double coat provides Maremmas with protection against all kinds of harsh weather.
The fur is a bit longer and thicker around the neck.
The undercoat is dense and soft while the topcoat is more coarse.
Solid white is the most common color although they can sometimes feature small patches of cream or yellow, mostly around the ears.
They have big heads a strong jaw, strong teeth, and a black nose. Eyes are usually brown while the ears are triangular and flopped forward.
The height of adult males is between 25 and 29 inches (65-73 cm). Their weight is in the 77-100 pounds (35-45 kg) range.
Females are 25-29 inches (65-73 cm) high and weigh 77 – 100 pounds (35-45 kg).
Maremma Sheepdogs still have strong herding instincts and are happiest when they can take care of their flock.
They see the family as their flock and will do anything to protect their humans. Maremmas are fiercely loyal to their owners and fearless when the need arises.
Still, they are capable of providing protection without being too aggressive. They’re perfectly aware that their mere presence is often enough to deter impostors.
This breed is very calm and even has a certain dignified aura around them.
Maremmas are very patient and caring, especially around children. However, they’re not too clingy and will not spend all their time following you everywhere you go.
They are rather self-reliant and independent and will require a strong owner.
A lot of space is a must as they’re very active and hard workers by nature, so they’ll require a lot of exercise.
Kuvasz vs Maremma Sheepdog – What are the Differences?
Kuvasz and Maremma Sheepdog share similar origins and have a rather comparable history.
They even look a lot alike, with Kuvasz slightly bigger of the two.
While both breeds prefer large, open spaces, Kuvasz is more likely to adapt to indoor living.
However, they also shed a lot more. However, they’re very successful in taking care of themselves and are lower maintenance than Maremmas.
Neither of these breeds is perfect for first-time owners, but Maremmas are somewhat easier to handle due to the less pronounced independence tendencies.
They’re also the calmer of the two and more careful around kids.
If you’re looking for a watchdog, both breeds would fit the role perfectly.
Still, while both are competent protectors, Kuvazs has the advantage here as they’re regarded as one of the best guardian breeds in the world.
Nevertheless, this also means that they’re louder and bark more often.
Often mistaken for each other, these breeds indeed have a lot in common. Besides the looks, they’re both hard-working, loyal, brave, and friendly breeds.
While they both have herding backgrounds, Kuvasz and Maremma Sheepdog have proven that they can be fantastic family dogs.
Just remember that these are huge dogs and make sure that you have enough space and time to cater to them.
However, there’s no doubt that a dog of either of these breeds will soon become a loving member of the family.
Still, you should pay attention to slight personality differences between the two and think about which one will suit you better.