I want a family pet of one of those two breeds. I am leaning toward the Kuvasz more though.
Answer by Kimberly A
The Kuvasz is an intelligent and curious dog. Bold, determined, brave and fearless. Easy to housebreak. This livestock guardian is very territorial with strong protective instincts. It makes an excellent guard dog. It is an outstanding herder and defender of the flock against wolves. This is not a breed for everyone. His large size and strong protective instincts demand extra owner care and responsibility. He will fiercely defend his people and territory. The Kuvasz is devoted to his family, forming a strong bond with them, though the Kuvasz is a very independent breed and may even be stand-offish with his owners. If the dog is going to live with children, it is best, if possible, to select a Kuvasz pup from Kuvasz parents who love children. The Kuvasz is usually gentle and patient with his own family’s children, but may not be trustworthy with others. To prevent accidental injury, do not leave this dog unsupervised with small children and their friends. Individuals vary in sociability, but for the most part, the Kuvasz is quite reserved with and even suspicious of strangers. This breed must be extensively socialized early in life to combat his extremely protective personality. He should be trained firmly by an experienced, dominant person, and should be taught to accept the family’s welcome guests. The Kuvasz is not an easy breed to obedience train, as he was bred to work independently of men. He is willful, but also quite sensitive to criticism. Do not treat this dog harshly. Young dogs may test authority frequently. All family members should be taught how to handle the dog. It is highly advisable to accustom the puppy to handling strangers, both for your veterinarian’s sake and if you wish to show the dog. Choose a puppy carefully – after seeing both parents, if possible. Some lines of Kuvasz are much more easy-going than others. Though puppies can easily accept other animals, adult Kuvasz are quite combative and may resent intrusions of a new canine or other animal into the household, but they can also be very gentle with other pets and livestock. Be sure to supervise and teach your Kuvasz that the newcomers are part of the family. Do not leave the new dog alone with an adult Kuvasz until you are absolutely certain they will not fight. Male to male aggression is common. If you wish your Kuvasz to be a livestock guardian, special training is necessary. Consult an expert to learn how to train your dog. From the age of 6-7 weeks, the puppy should spend most of his time with the animals he will later be called upon to guard, so he can form a strong bond with them. The biggest key to training a Kuvasz is to understand the nature of the breed as an independent guardian. It is very important NOT to use harsh training methods. Just FYI as an example, a police dog trainer would be exactly the wrong kind of trainer to use. A police dog type of temperament is not what the Kuvasz is. They make terrible police dogs because they are too independent. They judge, not you, what force is necessary in any situation, based on what they believe. That comes out of instinct, and then what they are “taught.” They are really remarkable judges of how forceful to be in a situation. You need to “teach” Kuvasz, you don’t “train” them. This does not mean physically forceful; you must understand that “impression” is what creates dominance. The same Kuvasz who will drive off a wolf, bear, etc., without hesitation, will stand by in the field, helping a ewe with a lambs delivery and making sure the lamb can find its mother. The key to successful introduction into livestock guarding seems to be an experienced older dog to guide the puppy. If not, then the owner will have his work cut out for him during the first six months to a year. You will need a lot of patience and some guidance from other people with experience. Once bonded to the livestock, the Kuvasz is going to make sure that nothing, ever, can harm them. That is their nature. It is the details along the way to that balance (the growing up process) that is stressful for the owner.
The Maremma is a friendly and well-balanced flock guardian. Sober and dignified. This loyal, brave, and determined dog makes an excellent guard-dog without being a constant barker. It is correctly described as affectionate but not dependent. This breed is not a dog that will follow your every command submissively and certainly not if it cannot see the point to it. It is very intelligent and its education and training require mutual respect in handling and voice, and above all, consistency. It gets along with other dogs and pets and can be slightly reserved with strangers but not strongly so. People who are not welcome on your property will be stopped in their tracks. The Maremma is not as large as many of its fellow flock guards, but he still possesses comparable endurance and strength, as well as the ability to make up for the extra 50 pounds it lacks. It is alert and independent. A flock guard of impressive dominance and lifelong dedication, the breed takes control over its flock and human family. As a pet, they are not very attached or overly outgoing. Nevertheless, this rugged wolf-slayer breed has adapted into a marvelous companion, without loosing its extraordinary working abilities. It will defend both house and master, and it is particularly attentive with children. The Maremma is a marvelous sheepdog and loves its work. It is a terrible enemy of the wolf, but tame with man. Held in high esteem by shepherds, especially in the mountains where it thrives in the snow; resistant to both cold and brambles. For several decades, it also achieved success as a companion dog. This is due to the fact that English breeders have developed dogs of excellent character.
Based on that, I’d say the Kuvasz would be the better choice, but only if you have experience with large, stubborn dogs. Not the dog for the first time owner, or for the meek and quiet.