Dogs of Hungary: the breeds part 1

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If you want to know how to say dog in Hungarian, it’s kutya.  If you want to understand how Hungarians feel about their native dog breeds, know that many are considered national symbols in Hungary.

By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger,

Hungarian dog breeds include pointers, scent and sight hounds as well as flock guards and herding dogs.  Many are recognized by the American Kennel Club, but American breeders may be difficult to find.  Here are some of the more unique breeds from Hungary.

Erdélyi Kopó (Transylvanian hound)

The Transylvanian Hound is a good natured , friendly smooth-coated, red-and-tan or tri-colored (black, tan and white) scenthound.  They are very loyal and well mannered with both people and dogs.

The ancestors of the Transylvanian Hound came with the invading Hungarian tribes in the ninth century, who brought in hounds and crossed them with local varieties and with Celtic and Polish hounds. Two varieties developed to hunt different game in different types of terrain. The long-legged variety was used for hunting woodland and grassland big game and the short-legged variety was used for hunting game in overgrown or rocky terrain.

From it’s peak in popularity during the Middle Ages the breed declined until the beginning of the twentieth century when this type of dog was nearly extinct.  In 1968, efforts began to save it.  Today, a substantial number of the long-legged variety of Transylvanian House are found in both Hungary and neighboring Romania.

Magyar Agár (Hungarian Greyhound)

The Hungarian Greyhound is a sensible, intelligent and faithful sighthound. The conformation of the Magyar agár has remained the same from the Medieval to the Modern day.  Although reserved by nature, they make excellent companions and watchdogs if socialized early.

The Magyar Agár was bred for long distance racing (dispatching rabbit or deer shot by horseback riders). Hungarians claim that this greyhound was expected to run along the hunters for distances of 19 miles to 31 miles per day.  The earliest archeological evidence for the Magyar agárs has been found in the Carpathian Mountains along the northern and eastern border of Hungary. It is believed that this greyhound first arrived in northeastern Hungary a little over a thousand years ago

See part 2 for more Hungarian Dog Breeds 

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