Are you interested in Hungarian dog breeds? Or perhaps you want to take a cutie home when you’re visiting Hungary, but not sure which breed suits you? If you’re interested in these questions, then you’re at the right spot, because in this article I will introduce you to the 9 different Hungarian dog breeds. I’ll teach the origins, characteristics and temperament of each breed, I’ll recommend breeders, and I will provide you with advice on their care. At the end of the article I will introduce you to old Hungarian dog names.
The 9 Hungarian dog breed
Although the most famous dog breeds do not come from our country, but even us, Hungarians can be proud of a few dog breeds that are known by many, even abroad.
The Hungarians, even before they arrived at the Carpathian Basin from Asia, preferred dogs that they could work well with and live with, with no troubles.
Hungarian dog breeds are incredibly smart. Their persistence knows no limit, they have many sides and their adaptability is great. This is why they can be best described with words like work dogs and high performance dogs. There are nine dog breeds that have been with us for generations.
These are namely:
Puli, pumi, komondor, kuvasz, mudi, vizsla, wirehaired vizsla, Hungarian greyhound and the Transylvanian hound.
These Hungarian dog breeds have been indispensable companions to hunters and shepherds since ancient times. Without them the flock would disperse, the herd would go where it would want to, the hunter would end up in a lurch and it would be impossible to control the herd. Not even mentioning wolves and thieves.
If you’d like to see Hungarian herding dogs in action, it would worth for you to visit Hortobágy.
With the almost complete disappearance of the grazing traditions, these so called herding dogs have to prove themselves as guard dogs. And let’s not lie, those who know the larger Hungarian breeds, such as the most famous house guard, the kuvasz, knows not to mess with them. Every post officer knows this in Hungary.
These smart and lovable creatures live with us for generations, let me introduce them to you.
Click here for Table of content
- The puli’s origin
- The puli’s appearance
- The temperament of a puli
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian puli breeders.
- The pumi’s origin
- The pumi’s appearance
- The temperament of a pumi
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian pumi breeders.
- The komondor’s origin
- The komondor’s appearance
- The temperament of a komondor
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian komondor breeders.
- The kuvasz’s origin
- The kuvasz is in danger by extinction
- The kuvasz’s appearance
- The temperament of a kuvasz
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian kuvasz breeders.
- The mudi’s origin
- The mudi’s appearance
- The temperament of a mudi
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian mudi breeders.
- The vizsla’s origin
- The vizsla’s appearance
- The temperament of a vizsla
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian vizsla breeders.
- The wirehaired vizsla’s origin
- The wirehaired vizsla’s appearance
- The temperament of a wirehaired vizsla
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian wirehaired vizsla breeders.
- The hungarian greyhound’s origin
- The hungarian greyhound’s appearance
- The temperament of a hungarian greyhound
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian greyhound breeders.
- The transylvanian hound’s origin
- The transylvanian hound’s appearance
- The temperament of a transylvanian hound
- General care information
- Recommended Hungarian transylvanian hound breeders.
Hungarian name: PULI
Type: shepherd dog, herding dog
When it comes to Hungarian dog breeds it’s not even a question, that puli is one of the first to be mentioned, and this is not by chance. The popularity of pulis can’t be proven better, then by the fact that the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg also has a puli.
If we are biased we can say that even in the world you can’t find a more intelligent breed than them.
The puli’s origin:
The puli is one of the nine Hungarian dog breeds and is among the best known herding dogs worldwide. They’ve been bred organized for the past 100 years. It’s ancestors were the indispensable helpers of shepherds. They even gave a cow here and there for a famous herding pup.
They didn’t care about their looks. The survival of pulis is due to their diligence, ingenuity and intelligence. Harsh conditions and hard work made this breed well trained, resilient and undemanding, and these characteristics can be found in pulis to this day.
The puli’s history goes back far. We have a Sumerian statue from the 4th millenium BC, depicting a dog that’s very similar to a puli. One thing is for sure, they joined our Hungarian ancestors while they were travelling from Asia and they arrived together at the Carpathian Basin, where they got famous as the loyal helpers of shepherds.
The puli is the most intelligent Hungarian herding dog
It can be said about this breed, that the only thing they can’t do is talk.
They almost understand everything! A well trained puli won’t only take his owner’s words, but his gestures or even his eyes signalling his will as a command, and will complete them unconditionally.
Energetic, active with a very lively temperament, they are not lazy animals. Brave, not afraid of many things. As a guard dog they are pretty loud, but a well balanced breed.
The puli’s appearance
The fur of a puli is very unique and characteristic. The adult dog is completely covered by the braided strings of coiled fur.
These strings on the head and feet are 3-6cm long, on the body, when it’s at full length, reaches the floor. It can take years until this unique, stringy fur develops completely.
Besides this most well known and loved fur type, there are other types as well – such as, where the animal’s body is covered by fur that’s formed from braided sheets. At exhibitions they don’t always view these sheets as an advantageous characteristic.
Pulis hair grow curly on their own. These curls don’t have to be artificially produced, genetics took care of this, but it is necessary to organize and maintain them.
Pulis are a medium sized, square shaped dogs. The moderately long, muscular neck connects swiftly to the back line. Their body is quadratic, which means that the length of their body is the same as their height.
The ribs are nicely curved. Their legs are straight, with well defined joints. They lift their tails over their backs, giving the impression that his back rises just above the groin area.
Their small, fine boned head seem round from the front, but a broad, round, brain skull is desirable. The nasal bridge is shorter than the skull, and the nose is always straight.
The wide and (rounded) V shaped ears hang down, coming from the line of the eye and often seem high. Their almond-shaped eye under their bushy eyebrows seem intelligent and lively.
Their withers height:
The height of males is 40-44cm, females are 37-41cm.
A variation of 3cm with each number is allowed from the values given.
- Minimum withers height: 37cm
- Maximum wither height: 44cm
The weight of males is 13-15 kg, for females it’s at max 13kg.
Most of pulis are black, but there are white (pearl white), as well as gray ones. This dog can never have more than one colour, or be chocolate brown.
It’s rare to find a dirty, dull coloured puli, where the face is black but the rest of the body is covered in a lighter coloured fur. On the chest, every colour variation can have some white, as long as it isn’t over 3cm.
The nose is black, their body is blue-ish black, except for the white ones – their skin is pink. With white pulis their eyes are black or dark brown, with the others these eyes are coffee brown. The eyes a puli can never be light brown.
The temperament of a puli
Pulis are intelligent, lively dogs. Excellent guard dogs, they will protect their family and home without hesitation. They are very loyal to their family, but will always have an attraction towards nature.
They love to be outside, doesn’t matter the weather. They are a bit reserved with strangers at first, and don’t always grow to like everybody. You can’t buy their friendships. Their characteristics really depend on the owners.
Their personality is adorable. Kind, family loving, especially kids, but along these they are self-confident and thin-skinned. Excellent guard dogs, who comment everything loudly. They absolutely can’t be bribed. They are equally ideal as protectors of a fenced house or as a friend.
Pulis normally get along well with other dogs, and their relationship with other pets doesn’t often cause problems.
They usually get along well with children. They tend to build a strong relationship with one member of the family, who from then on can expect the dog’s attention and increased affection.
They don’t bite typically. They like to herd animals, and they prefer to do these based on strategic and speed aspects. If they don’t live alone, then there isn’t a real need to teach them as they will watch the older working dog and will further improve their knowledge.
General care information
Fur care needs:
Puli puppies come into this world with short, curly fur, which only begins to grow into “locks” at the age of one. The fibers of the soft undercoat stick to the coarse, longer outer coat, and this begins the process of these locks.
These self-locks need to be corrected twice a year, for example where the back and tail meet. An adult puli never sheds and you don’t have to brush them after the age of one, but their fur must be cut fairly often, so they don’t fall in it.
Where the fur becomes felt, it didn’t get enough attention. The main disadvantage of this fur is that sticks get stuck in it much easier.
This breed can only be washed if it is really necessary, and even then only during summer, as their thick fur can take days to completely dry!
It’s recommended to keep them indoors for one day even after they are completely dry. Frequent baths while they are young isn’t recommended as it makes the formation of “locks” difficult. It’s worth to wash the fur near the mouth more often – this is also true to the groin and the stomach area.
Care should be taken when they reach adulthood, as the large amount of wet hear will lead to a cold really quick. But without baths, a white puli won’t stay white. 🙂
The complete stringy fur normally develops by the time the dog gets three years old, but it can even take a year longer before the strings all become the same length. The dogs eyes and ears must be checked periodically.
Pulis are smart enough to quickly understand their owner’s commands, but it depends on the approach you take in their training that they obey them or not. If they hear the same command over and over again, it will strengthen their independent – and sometimes stubborn – side.
It’s worth to mix their training with some play and ball time, so that it will stay enjoyable for the dog as well.
If the owner reacts well to this behaviour, and focuses on raising the dog by rewarding good behaviour, then the dog can be taught almost anything in no time.
Pulis – especially males – can act very dominating, so you need to be very consistent during their training and upbringing, but loving them is even more important. Due to their timid nature it’s worth to introduce them to many people when they are still puppies, as to prevent their distrust in strangers becoming exaggerated.
Pulis’ need for activity:
Pulis’ need for activity is average, but they adapt well even if the walk takes a bit shorter than usual. It’s cruel to give this dog a boring life – they feel best when they can play as much as they want. This – partly due to their unique fur – is fun to even just watch. They usually like to play fetch and sometimes they bring the ball back too.
Where to keep a puli?
With the structural changes of Hungarian architecture and its introduction to the cities, nowadays they prove themselves as guard dogs, family favourites or even as police dogs.
Along with this, they are the funny looking, liked contestants of dog shows. Of course they are also used for hunting when hunting for fowl, catching and jumping rabbits, but according to experts they are excellent for wild boars as well.
Nature is their essence! I recommend them to houses with gardens or a large farm, where they can keep the animals in check to their liking.
Recommended Hungarian puli breeders:
Hungarian name: PUMI
Even today, people mix up pumis with pulis. Pumi is also a native dog breed of ours, but has a shorter fur then a puli, they are cocked ear sheepdogs. They became popular among shepherds quickly, as they could be used with any of the animals.
Their popularity however came thanks to agility’s growth in Hungary, as they were basically born for this sport with their terrier characteristics and temperament. Besides this, among the few shepherds who still work today, mostly use pumis as well.
Unlike pulis, it’s almost impossible to offend them, and if pulis are brave, than pumis are downright reckless. While working, they not only understands their owner’s command by one quick look, they can basically read their minds. Many times they override their owner’s instructions and herd as they see fit.
Incredibly energetic and alert, “he voices his opinion under any circumstances” requires a lot of activity, this is why he is a great sport dog. They learn quick, no need to show them anything twice. They love to perform and be the center of attention, which they can easily achieve with their cute ears.
The pumi’s origin:
They developed during the XVII-XVIII century, from the mix between the ancient puli and german and french styled terrier herding dogs who arrived in the country. Since the beginning of the XX. century they’ve been noted as an independent dog breed.
Pumis, besides pulis are one of our best known herding dogs today, a part of our national heritage. Excellent companion and sport dog.
Pumis are smaller than medium-size dogs, and their appearance can’t deny the terrier ancestors. Their fur is about 4-7cm long, curly, doesn’t felt, but require constant care: it’s recommended to trim it sometimes and fix it with scissors.
Most commonly they are in different shades of gray, but there are black, white and pale coloured ones too.
Pumi, the adorable little “clown”
The pumi is a four-legged vitality bomb, which has inexhaustible energy. They are incredibly alert, he always voices his opinion with loud barking, and this habit doesn’t always help to win over the neighbours.
His massive need for exercise can mostly be satisfied in houses with gardens, only keep them in apartments if you can spend a few hours on them a day.
They learn quick, they are incredibly active, ideal for different dog-sports. They love to perform, be in the center of attention, “clown” around, so they are mainly recommended to families who lead an active, energetic life.
The pumi’s appearance
Their medium-long fur grow in locks, in certain parts of their body it’s short and coarse, in other places it’s long and tangled. The messy appearance is one of the breed’s signatures. Their fur never felt.
Pumis are medium sized, square-built dogs. Their shoulders stands out from the line of their back, and their stomachs rise upwards. His highset tail is rolled up, if a puppy is born with short tails, that’s acceptable too.
In countries where it’s allowed, longer tails can be cut shorter too. The highly set neck is medium length.
Fairly long, with straight nose. The medium sized ears are highset, stand up with the edges folding forward. Their eyes are somewhat slanted. The bite of a pumi is like a scissor.
Their withers height:
The height of males is 41-47cm, females are 38-44cm.
- Minimum withers height: 35cm
- Maximum withers height: 44cm
Besides spotted colours, everything is acceptable. The most common ones are yellowy-white and gray, but there are black, white and reddish coloured ones as well. Their eyes are dark brown.
The temperament of a pumi
Incredibly active, attentive and excited dog, tireless at work. A really smart breed, able to learn new commands in a really short amount of time.
They don’t spare themselves, are really brave (sometimes too much so), and are excellent guard dogs. They love to bark.
Pumis are incredibly alert dogs, they require a lot of movement and long walks, and love to be near their owners.
Excellent alert dogs, they notice any noises and alert their owners about any intruders by loud barking. They are always ready to chase rodents, rabbits and cats – another reason to get the puppies used to these animals.
Intelligent and quick-learners, they do excellent in dog-sports normally. Not lap dogs that need to be petted all day, but they get very attached to their owners.
General care information
Fur care needs:
It’s enough to brush them once in a while. It is advised to pull out extra fur from the ear canals by hand. Pumis entered to competitions are normally trimmed and brushed – but only moderately.
Pumis’ training isn’t a hard job, as they are smart enough to understand what is expected of them, and they enjoy learning as well. It’s important to pay attention with city-kept pumis to teach them to not bark (unnecessarily).
Their need for activity:
These brave and quick dogs enjoy themselves the most when they can move a lot, so they are not suitable for people, who appreciate their calm lives. Besides the everyday walk, they also have to be given an opportunity to play around without a lead. They usually don’t wander off alone.
Where to keep a pumi?
Pumis are born for an outside life: they enjoy themselves most in countryside areas, where he can take on a few tasks on his own.
They can be trusted with guarding the house, keeping poultry in one group or getting rid of rodents. Despite this, they can be kept in cities as well, if the owner can provide enough exercise and activity for them.
They can reach excellent results in agility races, but a well trained pumi won’t let down their owner at obedience races either.
Recommended Hungarian pumi breeders:
Hungarian name: Komondor
Type: Herd- and house guard dog
The komondor is one of the best known Hungarian sheep dogs, which in its present form was bred the longest time ago.
They called them tangled hungarian sheepdog, silk-haired wolfdog, prairie komondor, slipshod-haired komondor, owl-eyed komondor or just simply komondor.
According to language memorial, the komondor word was always used on larger dogs that guarded the herd.
Their most striking feature is their fur, only pulis and bergamasco shepherds have one like that. Besides their size, it’s this fur that makes komondors so impressive and spectacular.
The komondor’s origin:
Originated from Asia, ancient Hungarian sheep dog breed. Its ancient version more than likely migrated to the Carpathian Basin with the nomadic, herding Hungarians.
The komondor is one of the best known Hungarian sheep dogs, which in its present form was bred the longest time ago.
Their name has many explanations. It more than likely originates from the kuman (kun) word, which appeared in 1454 in our language memorials, the codex of Debrecen mentions kamondor or komondor as a dog’s name.
The word in Turkish meant belonging to the Kumans.
Komondor, the nightmare of burglars
Despite their large size and fur, their movement is refined and graceful. It is not a constantly running up-and-down breed.
Due to their original work, they aren’t demanding, if they have enough room to move around and the love of their owner, they are perfectly comfortable. Guarding the garden and lands is in their blood so much so, that there is no need to teach them that.
They guard the area during the day by lying down, not moving much, but their alertness does not decline for one second, at night they are constantly on the move, patrolling.
They will bravely attack any intruder, and there is no man who wouldn’t get scared when 75kg of fur is running towards them, as komondors do not bark for no reason, they prefer to act.
As we, Hungarians say:
“You can get in the garden next to a komondor, but not out.”
They are extremely human-centered, they share their love not only with their owners, but their family and close friends as well. They love children, despite their large size kids can harass them all day long, or even get on their back.
However, they aren’t the dream dogs of trainers, as they are used to making their own decisions, commands that make no sense to them are completely ignored. They are fairly self-ruling dogs. Despite this, they require attention, as this is how a healthy relationship develops between an owner and a komondor.
The komondor’s appearance
This is usually the most characteristic feature of this breed. Their fur is really long, made from coarse top coat and soft, wooly undercoat that tends to felt.
The felt “strings” grow longer through the years. The strands are the longest at the top of the groin, they can reach 20cm length there, on the back, sides, chest and shoulders they must be at least 15cm, on the head 10cm.
It can take up to three-four years for the strings to reach their full length.
The body of a komondor is rectangular, their length is 104-110% of their height at the withers. Their withers are full and well visible on the short back, their groin is medium length, just like the slightly sloping, broad bottom.
The whole back of the dog is fairly strong. Their low-sitting tail hangs, but the end of it curls back. While walking, or when the komondor is paying attention to something, their tails lift over the back.
Their barrel-like chest is moderately deep and fairly long, their thighs are wide and pretty muscular. Their shoulders are rather slant but not loose.
Their legs are straight and strong-boned, thighs are long. Their paws are large and quite thick, the back paws are often longer than the front ones. Their tight neck can vary between short and relatively long, and the animal, while relaxed, keeps it in a straight line with their back.
Wide, but proportional to the body. The domed skull is somewhat longer than the nose length. The forehead is round, the eyebrows are bushy. The nasal bone is straight.
The pretty wide top and bottom jaw are medium length and pretty strong. The ears sit at the top of the skull and hang down. The eyes are horizontal, eyelids are tight. The bite of a komondor is like a scissor.
The minimum height of males is 70cm, females 65cm.
- Minimum height: 65cm
- Maximum height: There is no upper limit, but 80cm height at the wither isn’t rare. The largest documented height of a komondor was 89cm.
Depending on their height, sex and build, komondors can weigh anywhere between 50-90kg.
The fur of the komondor is always white, their skin is slate gray. Their nose, the edges of their eyes and their lips are black, but their nails are gray.
The temperament of a komondor
This independent, but restrained, balanced and tough dog is still close to nature. They think independently, act according to their own thoughts, and their decisions are mostly correct, as they have the spectacular ability to judge if a person is approaching with bad intent.
They excitedly protect their territory and don’t let uninvited guests into the garden. But despite this: they aren’t aggressive: komondors are quiet, restrained dogs, who don’t bark often.
They are really brave, and can sometimes behave dominating – this is why they find them unsuitable for beginner and permissive dog keepers.
They prefer to spend their time near their “family”, but they are able to entertain themselves in the garden for the majority of the day. They never force themselves on their owners.
A properly socialized komondor that comes from a reputable breeder can live with other dogs and pets without any problem.
Walking on the street they don’t tolerate if another dog acts superior, they quickly show their power. This is why it’s best if they are walked by a person that is able to keep them on the lead, or is properly trained for situations like this.
If they are approached in a friendly way, then a good mannered komondor will react friendly as well. They love children, but it’s important to know that if the children’s playmates bother or hurt the little ones of their “family”, the komondor will go to their rescue straight away.
These dogs protect their homes and members of their families pretty efficiently, but accept regular visitors. They don’t usually bother anyone else outside their territory.
General care information
Fur care needs:
Komondors are never brushed, as it would make it impossible for the fur to felt. This is exactly why the strings develops, as the fine strings from the under coat won’t fall off, but get stuck in the outer coats’ rougher, longer strands.
After the development of the characteristic komondor fur it doesn’t require much care, and they don’t really shed inside the house. At the same time, they might bring in quite a lot of sand and mud on their fur from outside.
Sometimes a thorough bath is necessary, but this has to be done during summer if possible, as the drying of the fur can take days. The use of dog shampoo is rare, komondors will be cleaner and whiter if they are bathed with some biodegradable or eco-friendly soap.
Those who like the komondors’ unique appearance and character, but doesn’t enjoy the problems that arise from long fur can cut those strings down, as the animal will take a lot less dirt inside the house like that.
A komondor should always be taught in a calm environment. The owner has to control the animal’s behaviour in a confident, consistent and unambiguous manner, and can’t be tolerant with him.
Beating and yelling is completely pointless, and in fact, the use of these methods can make the owner lose the dog’s respect all together. A komondor will only complete a command if they make sense in his head as well.
They will be a friend of the owner, not their slave: they won’t show tricks to make them happy. Due to their domineering nature they are best suited to people who are determined and know exactly what they want.
Their need of activity:
The need of activity of this breed is average, but they really enjoy being in nature.
They aren’t bothered by bad weather, and they can handle freezing weather as well, as their fur provides exceptional protection. A good few komondor lives outside all year around, and if they still get enough attention like this, then there is nothing wrong about it.
This dog can be kept in a city environment as a friend. It’s important for them to check their territory’s border daily, and if there is enough room, they will take care of their own need for exercise. Beside this, they are pretty calm in nature, they can even sleep and laze around for hours happily.
Where to keep a komondor?
This dog is ideal for those who have a lot of room around their house and enjoy when their house and garden is protected by a conscious dog. They aren’t suitable as hunting dogs.
Recommended Hungarian komondor breeders:
Hungarian name: Kuvasz
Type: Sheepdog, herd and house guard dog
Kuvasz is one of the oldest Hungarian herd guarding dogs, maybe even older than the komondor. Their ancestors got to the Carpathian Basin with the Hungarians, who used them to guard their herds from wild animals and thieves.
The kuvasz has a tough character with a soft soul. This dog is a personal favourite of mine. However, unfortunately they are close to extinction!
According to the latest records in 2019, there are only 1800 registered individuals in Hungary. Let’s save them! If you’re in Hungary and you’d like an intelligent and loyal dog, then I bravely recommend the kuvasz.
The kuvasz became the guard dog of Hungarian thousands of years ago. The excavations at Fenékpuszta at the shore of Balaton revealed the Hungarian’s dogs’ skulls and limb bones, who stayed near Keszthely around 1100 years ago.
The numerous finds at these Hungarian sites that flourished at the time clearly prove that the Kuvasz was brought to the Carpathian Basin by Hungarians during the Conquest.
The Hungarians’ ancient kuvasz probably developed at the never ending areas of Central-Asia after the outflow of dog breed gene-center from the Middle East.
The history of the kuvasz and Hungarians is so entwined, that the wise kuvasz appears in literatrical pieces, movies and well as in folk songs. In these works, the kuvasz is remembered as the most loyal, toughest but peaceful, wise companion.
Opinions about the origin of their name is divided. According to some sources, the word is of Turkish origin, and there is also a version which states that it originates from the ancient Turkish word küvez, which means “proud”, which is directly connected to the Kipcsak’s Qubas (dog breed).
From the Árpádian age until the beginning of the XX. century, recognizing their hunting instincts, they were happily used for hunting as well. With the end of shepherds, they became the dogs of farms and ranches’ herd guarding dogs, and during the night, if they were let off the chain, it was life-threateningly dangerous to walk around farms of the Great Plain.
The kuvasz is a guarding sheepdog, but back in the day they were used in hunting for bears, bison and aurochs, today they are used to guard farms and houses. Despite their proud and noble appearance, they aren’t kept by many.
The kuvasz is in danger by extinction
The unfairly bad image of this breed contributed to this situation, which didn’t only emerge and spread among beginners, but experienced dog keeper too.
Perhaps this could have been the reason why they turned to other breeds, to find their list of required values. The komondor who fills basically the same role is in a somewhat luckier situation, as its undeniable spectacular fur – which uncomparibly require more attention – always attracted more people, than the wavy haired, “simpler” looking kuvasz.
Although without a doubt, komondor enjoys a larger popularity, it would be a mistake to rank these two wonderful sheepdogs, as they both bring diversity to both the domestic and international palettes with their unique values.
One job, two breeds?
Our ancestors were aware of this as well, as they really paid attention that these two breeds completing the same work would never mix.
Whether they did it to protect the kuvasz and komondor’s inner and outer values, or to respect the breeds, but according to some theories there were certain distinctions in the use of their areas.
Some of these sources mention the kuvasz as the guardian for herds of horses, and the komondor as the guard of flocks and herds. This proposition is not unfounded if we compare the two breeds different way of moving, temperament and style.
It’s possible that the quicker, more agile kuvasz suited better for the quick moving horses which covered larger areas, while the prim komondor perfectly matched the leisurely sheep and cattle.
According to others, the komondor was the guard dog of the flat lands, while the kuvasz was for the mountains and hills. This theory may be supported by similar breeds – in the case of the kuvasz, for example to Slovakian cuvac, the Italian maremma sheepdog or the French Great Pyrenees, and in the case of the komondor the South Russian ovcharka.
Others claim that our Hungarian ancestors used the athletic kuvasz during hunting as well besides guarding the herd. Based on the documents left behind, during the time of King Matthias I, they were used to hunt wolves, which is said to have been the subject of a XVII. century French painting.
The wanderer of freedom
The kuvasz has been with our nomad ancestors since the migration. These huge, but tough animals watched and when necessary protected the animals that was entrusted with them from wild animals and the occasional thieves on these long travels.
Not only did they have to be very persevering, incredibly brave and undemanding as well, as on these open fields they had to fight on their own against the harshness of the weather.
The kuvasz still found its place perfectly in the rigid animal husbandry culture that followed the Conquest. The shepherds, whose main valuables were the animals really appreciated the kuvasz, who they didn’t only view as a “guard dog”.
Often on the endless fields the lonely shepherd only had the company of the dog, who shared his work, happiness, sadness with and fought with – if it came to it – to protect the animals entrusted on him. So the kuvasz wasn’t a short-tempered, unapproachable beast, but a companion, that the owner could count on no matter what.
In the XIX. century, the animal husbandry culture changed and the opportunities for extensive animal keeping became increasingly scarce.
With the disappearance of shepherds, the need for kuvasz for their original role decreased, they began to use them to effectively protect farms and manors with great success. So with time, kuvasz went from the fields, beside the shepherd to villages and farms, and continued his job to an extent.
During the Second World War, this breed suffered a huge loss. Most of them became the victim of a gunshot, as they bravely protected the animals entrusted with them against intruding soldiers. The devastation of the war had taken on such a large scale, that the future of this breed was doubtful.
It would be nice, if flourishing would describe the present and future of the kuvasz, but in reality it is sadly far from it. Luckily though, this breed has never been a trend, as if someone wants a kuvasz, they aren’t looking for an exhibition piece, but a strong guard dog.
But due to the similar, international, “trendy” breeds, his popularity is significantly declining. The unfair negative image of the kuvasz, that is sadly still used today greatly contributes to this.
Who hasn’t heard the story about the biting, mischievous, kuvasz that went “mad” with age! To put an end to this stereotype for once and all, we must go back to the chimney. “There is no smoke without a fire” – says the old saying.
It’s true that there are cases where a kuvasz causes trouble to its owner, acted dominating, perhaps aggressive against them. But if you really look into these cases, the reason behind them is always not-caring, ignorance or not keeping them the right way.
Fact and fiction
A working kuvasz living with a shepherd had to go through a very strict selection process, as for their owners a good dog was vital. Sooner or later, the weaker individuals fell through the cracks, sometimes by the hand of the shepherd, sometimes by the strictness of nature.
Only the rock-solid, straight-spined, fearless, hard in body and soul kuvasz could be trusted with keeping the animals safe effectively!
However, you had to know how to handle these dogs. To shepherds, who viewed the kuvasz as an equal partner, understood, “felt” their kuvasz. They were aware of the game rules that they had to follow in order to live with these proud, independent dogs without problems.
By moving into villages, the kuvasz left the circle of shepherds who knew and respected them, and lost their balance a little.
A kuvasz that was kept as a guard dog didn’t get the same level of understanding and respect from the farmers as before, as for them only the animals (poultry, cows, horses, sheep, etc.) meant value. All they needed is that the kuvasz to harshly protect the house, other than that they were “only” one of the many dogs, who sometimes barely got food and water…
Among the many things, it was thanks to this that the kuvasz – partly to increase their wildness, partly to make things simpler – got put on the chain, which was absolutely derogatory to such a self-conscious breed that’s so used to freedom.
These dogs, with their sense of justice violated, their independence and mobility limited mostly lived away from people and didn’t get near enough of the attention that they required.
All this of course made them really frustrated, as these circumstances are derogatory to any breed, but in the case of a kuvasz it was considered a sin.
It’s not hard to accept that these dogs would get their revenge at the first chance they got, and their victims were often their owners, who kept them in such circumstances. All this of course wasn’t in the “horror stories”, so the false image of the owner-eating, untrustworthy kuvasz quickly spread…
Hard character, soft soul
The misconception about the kuvasz is even more painful, as the true value of the breed reside beneath the surface, it’s in the soul. Not many people think, how much these huge, incorruptible animals required and still require a strong spiritual connection with their owners.
The roots of this comes from the time they spent besides the shepherds, as the good shepherd greatly appreciated his kuvasz, didn’t leave them alone in times of trouble, if it was necessary he ran to help him in the battle against wild animals and thieves.
We know that the white colour of the kuvasz also served the purpose of the shepherd being able to tell his dog apart from the bandits and thieves that attacked under the veil of the night, so he wouldn’t end up hitting him. In this situation, where they depended on each other, a strong bond developed between the dog and the human.
It’s thanks to this, that while the kuvasz keeps the pride of a herd guard dog, they are still very owner- and family centered. Even the owners are shocked sometimes about how sensitive they are to the smallest of changes, which help them read one’s momentary emotions, feelings.
But to develop such a dog-owner relationship, it’s essential that a kuvasz is properly treated.
Love the kuvasz
To be in tune with them and develop a mutual trust you must really love the kuvasz, but it can never mean unnecessary, “babbling” pampering. They don’t require this anyway.
Living together with them in harmony can’t be done without winning their full respect, showing the obvious and clear dominance, which the dog must be accustomed to from a very young age. In particular, the males require more “reminders” in this regard, to become more aware of the ranks.
Of course, this can’t be achieved by physical assault, but “smartly”, by following the rules of pack ethics and common sense. It’s more important, effective and less problematic if they learn these – almost without noticing – while they are young, rather than facing them when they are teenagers, or young adults, when crossing this bridge won’t be an easy task.
Along with love, appreciation and mutual respect, a good amount of justice is required to build a relationship with a kuvasz, as this breed developed a great sense of justice.
A kuvasz, that grew up in a normal environment and has a healthy personality is never vindictive, but he will “voice” any wrongful offence done against him. Even if the situation gets to this, the kuvasz will still stay honest, and will give a warning before doing anything.
It’s silly to think that they are stupid
Many – mistakenly – believe, that the kuvasz breed is stupid. This rumour is mainly spread by those who attempted and failed to raise a kuvasz, or they are used to different breeds, and misjudges the kuvasz – of course – while comparing them.
This is a fundamental mistake! The kuvasz thinks independently, is highly intelligent, but doesn’t have the soul of a slave, who can’t be forced to do anything unreasonable.
This is what happens when people try to get them to do simple commands (eg.: sit, lie down, etc.) by using rough methods. At these times not only his independent mind faces being forced to do something, but they are also disappointed in their owners, who use these methods to try to get them to cooperate.
We know that the kuvasz originally strives to build a strong bond with humans. The existence of this is the basic condition for successful training and upbringing. It can be said, that if we choose the right method, a kuvasz can be taught almost anything. But there is no guidelines to this.
There are dogs that respond to treats, others “get going” for their owner’s happiness. One thing is for sure: you must be very creative and versatile when training a kuvasz, but at the same time – as opposed to what the majority believes – they can be successfully trained, just have to find the right method.
However, many trainers and farmers give up on them after trying methods that work on other breeds, instead of “brainstorming” a bit to find the solution. But if we manage to find the key to motivate our kuvasz, they will learn new things at a dizzying rate.
Many trainers, even those who work with classic working dog breeds at a higher level, marvel at this. Even them acknowledged, that a kuvasz is much more, and can achieve much more than barking from behind the fence.
The kuvasz is a smart and intelligent dog. After a small amount of correct training and socializing, he is expected to do effective guarding and skill work.
Those who don’t mind to constantly work with a dog, and want one that will adore their owner, protect their property to last breath and is incredibly beautiful, won’t be disappointed in them.
The kuvasz with a distrustful attitude, that reject strangers – although they are one-owner dogs – will unconditionally attach to the family, and even the hardened males will protect and almost allow everything to children.
In order to let a kuvasz live up to their inherited skills, they require room, a really large open space or garden, where they can freely roam around. The most authentic environment for the kuvasz is when they share their space with other animals.
They noticed that even the kuvasz that was raised in an urban environment, still approached farm animals with a good sense and were quick to build a good relationship with them.
Keeping them is problem free, because as a sheepdog they had to manage without things many times, so regarding their diet they don’t have any specific requirements like other, similar sized “culture types”. Despite this of course, care must be taken with their nutrients so that their growth isn’t hindered, but isn’t accelerated either.
All together it’s very sad that not many people recognise the kuvasz’s values at this day and age, and the most wonderful one of the nine Hungarian breeds need to have their popularity boosted a little, to carry on some of our Hungarian national heritage to the future through him.
As with all breeds, kuvasz needs space to move and a roomy kennel. They don’t tolerate being on the chain or kept in a kennel for too long. They can’t bear boring environment, the lack of connection with their owner, an unloving, unjustified treatment, a life without requirements.
As they are independent, self-determined, they are only for strong and determined owners, who can satisfy their work- and space- needs. They are not for smaller fields or houses.
The kuvasz’s appearance
Their fur on the head, ears, legs and paws are relatively short, 2cm long. The rest of the body is covered with longer fur – especially the neck and the tail.
The upper coat is somewhat coarse from wavy strands, but the under coat is wooly and much more soft.
The kuvasz is large, strong and noble in appearance, with a strong body structure, without looking ordinary.
The length of their body is longer than their height: their back is medium length, their groin is short and strong, their bottom is wide, strong and somewhat sloping.
Due to the thick fur on the bottom the dog may appear a bit overweight. Their withers are longer and higher than their backs. The low sitting tail hangs down until the hock and the end of it curls back a bit.
Their chest is deep, arched upwards due to the muscles and the sternum. Their stomach is somewhat pulled in. The kuvasz’s shoulders are long and somewhat sloping.
The front legs are straight, the elbows are near the body – but not under. The back legs are almost straight, only the middle bones curve a little. Their neck is without dewlap are medium long and pretty muscular.
Somewhat long, but not pointy, with well visible, tightly shut lips. The blunt V-shaped, medium sized ears are high sitting and dropping. The almond shaped eyes are a bit slanted, the eyelids cover them tightly. The bite of a kuvasz is like a scissor.
The males are 71-75cm, the females are 66-70cm tall.
- Minimum wither height: 66cm
- Maximum wither height: it can even be 80cm.
The females are usually 30-42kg, the males are 40-52kg, but a 60kg individuals aren’t rare either.
The kuvasz is only known as white. The skin is slate gray, the nose, the border of the eyes and the lips are black, and the eye is dark brown.
The temperament of a kuvasz
The kuvasz is smart, honest, balanced dog. They are gentle, loyal and very attached to their owners, but at the same time strives to seem independent.
Very alert, they are determined to keep their family, home and everything within it safe. They are brave, tough, but dominating. They don’t bark often: so if they are making a sound it’s best to check out what are they signalling.
If the kuvasz is properly socialized cats and other pets won’t cause an issue. Due to their high pain-tolerance and trustworthiness they tolerate children well, but due to their strength and independence their care must not be entrusted with a child.
You have to be aware, that a kuvasz is eager to protect all members of the family and pets – so they protect the kids as well: from strange kids who might be hurting them.
They act dominating towards other dogs, the larger komondors are no opponent to them either. Due to their pride they won’t let other dog’s teasing and challenges unanswered.
Due to the above listed it’s best to introduce them to other dogs at a young age to avoid these problems.
General care information
Fur care needs:
Their thick fur keeps the kuvasz safe in all kinds of weather. At the time of shedding, brushing them daily is a must. The rest of the year it’s enough to brush them once a week, preferably with a wire brush. Their nails must be cut regularly!
A kuvasz requires a balanced, calm, straight-forward and consistent training. They are not good for beginners: the prospective owner must be strong mentally and physically!
This doesn’t mean that during the training you must use violent methods – it’s the exact opposite: the dog learns the quickest in a harmonic environment, with people who don’t suppress their own initiative.
Their need for activity:
The kuvasz’s need for activity is average; in a large, fenced off garden they move enough on their own. They like to check the borders of their territory a few times a day – if this isn’t possible, they need to be walked more often.
They need a lot of space both physically and mentally.
Where to keep a kuvasz?
In Hungary a kuvasz is kept as a guard dog and a loyal companion. They don’t enjoy living in cities. If you grew to like the kuvasz, take one home, you can help to save this underappreciated breed that’s at the edge of extinction.
Recommended Hungarian kuvasz breeders:
Hungarian name: MUDI
Type: Herding dog, guard dog
At first glance they might seem like simple mutts. Their fur is shorter than of other sheepdog, they learn quick and are intelligent animals.
They can basically appear in any colours, but the standard doesn’t recognize every shade. The most common is the black colour, but there are red, brown, white, pale and ash (blue-ish shade), but according to many the prettiest and most unique colour is the mix, black markings on gray base colour, which is the most original colour of the mudi.
The mudi’s origin:
They are the spontaneous result of a mix between Hungarian herding dogs and potentially various eared German sheepdogs from the XVIII-XIX. century.
One of the rarest and least-well known Hungarian herding dogs. The shepherds knew them as German pulis, today it’s rare to see them near flocks and herds. Their latin name is: Canis familiaris ovilis, in English: the dog of the shiny shepherd.
Mudi, the helpful sheepdog
As the mudi’s job originally tied them to help shepherds, their appearance wasn’t important. They needed a dog that’s ready to work, can handle the work and isn’t too demanding, and the mudi was perfectly suited for these requirements.
Besides this, they live long, intelligent, quick-learning, who views their owners as Gods and understand them from one look.
They still excel at herding competitions. The “dog dancing” and “agility” sport fans also discovered them due to their activeness, intelligence and easy training.
Due to their persistence and their excellent noses some of them appears among catastrophe dogs as well. Those who want them as city dogs won’t be disappointed either: due to their great ability to adapt and small size makes it available to keep them inside the house. On this last topic, they almost repel dirt, their hair can be kept clean easily, which is a great advantage!
The mudi’s appearance
Thick, curly or wavy, with a crown and occasional tufts. The length varies: on the head and the front of the legs it’s short, on the rest of the body it grows longer. Their fur never felts.
The mudi is a medium sized dog, with well defined wither and short, straight back. Their groins are moderately broad, somewhat sloping and relatively short.
Their chest is deep, oval in shape, with a prominent sternum. The joints are well defined on their straight legs, the paws are round with tightly closed toes.
Elongated with slightly domed skull. Their brows are moderately strong. The nasal bone is straight, lips are tight and firmly closed. The ears are high-sitting, pointy and pricked. Their oval eyes are slanted. The bite of a mudi is like a scissor.
According to the standard, their height is between 38-47cm, but in reality it’s even bigger, it varies between app. 35-50cm.
- Minimum height: 35cm
- Maximum height: 47cm
The best known colour of a mudi is black, but besides this there are 5 other accepted colours: ash (blue), mixed (blue merle), white, brown, pale (sand brown).
Of course combinations of the accepted colours by the standard happen sometimes during breeding.
The nose is always black. The eyes are dark brown.
The temperament of a mudi
The mudi is a lively and intelligent dog, who really enjoys to learn. They adjust their behaviour to their owners, follow them around like a shadow, can’t “lose them” during a walk.
They are really alert and observant, they protect their owner and their homes in a very brave and convincing way. Due to their extraordinary sense of responsibility, they tend to bark more than necessary. They tend to get very attached to one member of the family.
The mudi gets along well with other dogs and pets. Their relationships with children are also seamless. While their sense pushes them to protect their family and home, they aren’t overly suspicious of strangers. They usually welcome family friends warmly.
General care information
Fur care needs:
Their fure don’t require too much attention, it’s enough to brush them once in a while to keep it in good condition. The fur gets damaged from constant brushing and loose the curls that are the characteristics of this breed.
Their nails must be kept short.
As these dogs really love to learn, are strongly attached to their owners and are pretty intelligent, their training doesn’t cause too much trouble – although sometimes due to their stubbornness, you will need some patience and perseverance.
It’s worth to swap between practice and play time, as this will make the dog satisfied and will be happy to learn instead of becoming stubborn. It’s worth to focus on training them to quit excessive barking.
Mudis’ need for activity:
This completely energized dog is able to run around and work, but they can adapt to a much calmer lifestyle as well. They love to play fetch with balls, or playing around off the leash.
Where to keep a mudi?
Excellent guard dog and loyal companion, but he can also perform well in agility sports as a hobby.
Recommended Hungarian mudi breeders:
Hungarian name: Rövidszőrű magyar vizsla
Pronounced: ro-vid so-roo mha-jhar veesz-la
Type: Hunting dog, search dog
The Hungarian short haired vizsla is not only a hunting dog, but the pet of the family and the playmate of children, as their intelligence, adaptability make them suitable for everything.
They are calm, benevolent, sensitive, can’t bear harsh behaviour, but would bring the stars from the sky to a loving owner. They are extremely easy to teach, but aren’t suitable as guard dogs: they get as excited for a thief as for a friend.
Unlike the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla, they are more suitable to be kept in the house, they are a real “sofa-masters”, during winter their fur don’t always provide enough protection from the pinching cold weather.
The vizsla’s origin
The vizsla is the best known Hungarian hunting dog in the world. It’s closest relative is the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla. The ancestors of the Hungarian vizsla migrated to the country with the nomad Hungarian tribes.
We can find written memorials, drawings of them in documents from the XVI. century. Their hunting significance increased from the XVIII. century. By the end of the XIX. century they were planning pointer competitions in Hungary, where the Hungarian vizslas performed well.
The pointer probably played an important role in the development of this breed. Their modern, professional breeding began in 1920.
In the Hungarian language the vizsla word more than likely came from vigy, vizs, vis , which stood for vigyáz (guard) or vizslat (watches).
Vizsla, obedient in nature
Vizslas are characterized by their elegant appearance, light construction and harmonious movement. Their bodies are lean, reflecting the harmony of beauty and strength.
The sandy gold fur of the short haired vizsla doesn’t require much attention. Indoor kept animals shed all year long so they require constant brushing.
They are medium height, 52-61cm high, 19-24kg in weight (some larger individuals can reach 35kg as well), incredibly elegant in appearance and movement, kind, obedient, stands out even among other pointers with their intelligence.
They are considered the most versatile among pointers, who alone can complete the tasks of pointers, setters and other hunting dogs, so they are real all-rounders.
In urban breeding they get too refined, become susceptible to diseases, will have a weak nervous system, but with strict and consistent breeder selection they can be the best dogs for modern hunting.
The vizsla’s appearance
The smooth, very short fur lays flat on the skin. The fur on the tail is longer, the head and ears are softer to the touch.
The vizsla is elegant, but at the same time a dog with a strong build. Their body is longer than their height at the wither.
Their back is short and straight, their groin is somewhat rounded. Their tail sits low, in countries where it’s allowed, they usually cut it to three-quarters to its length.
The ribs are nicely curved. Their chests reach at least elbow height. The front legs are straight, the elbows are close to the body. The joints on the back legs are moderately strong. The paws are somewhat oval in shape, with tightly closed toes. The moderately long neck is slightly arched.
This breed’s head is tight and noble looking, with a somewhat arched skull and moderately strong middle groove from the nape to the forehead.
The lips don’t droop. The medium sized ears sit low and somewhat at the back, near the jaw – hanging. The eyes are slightly oval and have a lively, smart look. The bite of the vizsla is like a scissor.
The ideal height of males is 56-61cm, for females it’s 52-57cm. A variation of 4cm with each number is allowed from the values given, as long as the dog’s body remains proportional.
- Minimum height: 52cm
- Maximum height: 61cm
The Hungarian short haired vizsla is always one coloured: light shades of sandy gold, but never brown.
The original name of the breed was zsemlesárga magyar vizsla (Hungarian bun-yellow vizsla). The (really) small white marking on the chest and the toes aren’t considered flaws.
The lips and border of the eyes are brown, the colour of the eyes has to harmonize with the colour of the fur. Lightered coloured eye isn’t desired.
The temperament of a vizsla
The vizsla is smart, friendly, well-balanced and sporty dog. They like to learn, are willing and always very obedient.
They are incredibly friendly and loyal to their family. They really love to retrieve and swim, have a great sense of smell and are extremely persistent. This dog loves to be at home with the family.
It’s rare to have a problem with a vizsla’s behaviour, this dog always gets along well with his species. If they are socialized well, they will get along well with other pets and children. He signals at the arrival of visitors by barking, but doesn’t really do anything else.
General care information
Fur care needs:
This dog’s fur care need is pretty low. It’s enough to brush him once a week with a strong bristle brush. During shedding season the dead and lose strands of fur can be massaged out with a rubber fur-removing gloves. Their nails must be kept short.
The average Hungarian short haired vizsla is easy to train. They are smart enough to understand what people want from them, and love to please their owners.
Other than using your tone you don’t have to use any method to warn them. It’s recommended to always be consistent and straight-forward with them.
Vizsla’s need for activity:
Vizslas are primarily hunting dogs whose main happiness comes from being near their owners. If they are often used for hunting they have to be constantly trained, to keep up with the strength test during the weekend.
If they are house dogs it’s enough if they can accompany their owners on their daily walks.
Where to keep a vizsla?
Vizslas are famous for their retrieving talent, good sense of noses and a bunch of other characteristics, which makes them exceptionally good for hunting.
If the owner isn’t into that, they must provide them an opportunity to run around and play freely regularly without a leash.
Most of these dogs love to swim.
While they weren’t bred for obedience competitions, they perform well on these.
Recommended Hungarian vizsla breeders:
- Gyurkóvári magyar vizsla-kennel
- Csipkéskúti Hungarian Vizsla-kennel
HUNGARIAN WIREHAIRED VIZSLA
Hungarian name: Drótszőrű magyar vizsla
Pronounced: droth-soru mahjahr veesz-lha
Type: Hunting dog, guard dog
The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla’s origin:
It was bred in the early 1900s. Long-haired puppies in litters of Hungarian short-haired vizslas were crossbred with German wirehaired pointers.
They don’t require special care, handling their fur is also relatively simple. It’s important to note though, that sometimes the dead fur strands must be removed.
Due to their large need for exercise, they must get attention daily, whether they are kept in the garden or inside. Meaning, they not only require walking, but they must be involved in running, hiking or any other known dog sports.
The wirehaired vizsla is the all-round hunting dog
It’s an all-round hunting dog, which means that they are used in forests, meadows and in waters too, in work related to before and after shooting. They search for smaller wild animals and signals with a sudden stop, then finds the wounded animal and fetches it. They swim really well and love to play in water.
The wirehaired vizsla’s appearance
One of this vizsla’s most common characteristics is it’s wirehaired fur, which comes with a small beard and very stiff eyebrows. Unlike the short-haired Hungarian vizsla, under this top coat is a thick, wooly undercoat.
The wirehaired vizsla is much heavier and stronger built than their short haired relatives. The length of their torso is longer than their height at the withers.
Their back is short and straight, the groin is slightly rounded. The ribs are relatively nicely curved. Their front legs are straight, elbows close to their bodies. The joints in their back legs are moderately strong.
Their paws are oval, with tightly closed toes. Their moderately long neck is slightly arched and tight. Their tails sit low, where it’s allowed they cut it to two-thirds of its length.
Due to their fur, their heads seem a little square. The nose part is somewhat shorter than the slightly arched skull. The nasal bone is straight, the lips don’t hang down.
The ears are somewhat high-sitting and drooping. The eyes are oval, with a look of liveliness and intelligence. The bite of the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla is like a scissor.
Their withers height:
The ideal height for males is 58-62cm, for females 54-58cm. A variation of 4cm with each number is allowed from the values given, provided the dog’s body structure remains proportional.
- Minimum height: 54cm
- Maximum height: 62cm
The colour of a Hungarian wirehaired vizsla can be any shade of sandy brown. The (really) small, white speckles on the chest and toes are not considered mistakes. Their eyes have to be dark if possible.
The temperament of a Hungarian wirehaired vizsla
Wirehaired vizslas are well balanced, confident, smart and sporty. They are pretty alert, very kind and loyal. Similarly to the short haired vizsla, they like to fetch and swim.
They are really good sniffers and are perfectly suitable for work on a terrain that’s difficult to access. They give the impression of being more cautious than the short haired breed,but they are very resistant and trustworthy working dogs.
The Hungarian wirehaired vizsla gets along well with other dogs and pets usually, but this also depends on how socialized they are. Normally they get along well with kids. They warn the arrival of strangers by barking.
General care information
Fur care needs:
The fur of a Hungarian wirehaired vizsla must be plucked from time to time. This means that the dead strands have to be removed by hand from the fur, making room for new strands.
Besides this, it’s enough to brush them once a week. Their nails must be kept short.
The training of a wirehaired vizsla is not a problem. They usually learn fairly quick, they are smart enough to understand what the owner wants from them.
Their need for activity:
The Hungarian wirehaired vizsla is a real work dog, who isn’t satisfied by three short footpath-walks a day. He must be regularly provided with opportunity to run around in the wild without a leash.
Almost all exercise type is suitable for them, from running through fetching, all the way to swimming.
Where to keep a Hungarian wirehaired vizsla?
This breed can be great in a sporty family, especially if they live near water. As their original and current job is hunting, it’s worth to sign them up for some sort of hunting course, as they will really enjoy themselves there.
Recommended Hungarian wirehaired vizsla breeders:
Hungarian name: Magyar agár
Pronounced: mah-jhar ah-gar
Type: Hunting dog, guard dog, race dog
An intelligent, open minded, friendly but reserved dog. Their care doesn’t require anything special, due to their short fur they can live with us in the house. In fact, their real place is in the room, on the sofa, as they earned it for their outstanding performance and achievements over the centuries.
The hungarian greyhound is an ancient hunting dog. Their origin can be traced back to the time of the Conquer, this is proven by skulls that were found during excavations.
To increase their speed they were crossbred with different greyhounds during the XIX. century. The least known Hungarian dog breed, which has been at the verge of extinction multiple times.
The hungarian greyhound, who must be won over
The hungarian greyhound has to be won over. If they aren’t handled properly they might try to run away, which is hard to avoid, as they fly over the 2m tall fences without touching them and they can chew through their leads within seconds!
Their alert, person- and house guarding sense is well developed, but it can’t lead to aggression, to biting. They are incredible runners, therefore they received the “nyílsebes főnemes” (quick-as-an-arrow noble) title in Hungary.
The hungarian greyhound’s appearance
Short, thick, coarse, lays close to the body. During winter they grow a large amount of thick undercoat.
Thick boned, but thin dogs. Their body is long, muscular. The tail reaches the hock. Their limbs are sinewy, muscular.
Their heads are wedge shaped, the eyes are dark brown. Their ears are relatively small, cocked.
Their wither height:
male 65-70cm, female 62-67cm
- Minimum height: 62cm
- Maximum height: 70cm
Their colours are black or faded, but it can be striped, dun, brown spotted, and every base colour has a spotted version too (on white base the base colour) – in one word, they are bred in many colours.
The blue, white, brown, wolf-gray colours, as well as the black-tan and tricolour are not acceptable.
The temperament of a hungarian greyhound
Never-tired, persistent, quick. Well trained, resilient and an excellent racer on the field. (It’s not required for it to be quicker at any distance than the Greyhound!)
Somewhat reserved, smart, intelligent, loyal. They’re alert, person- and house guarding sense is well developed, but it can’t lead to aggression, to biting.
General care information
Fur care needs:
Their short fur doesn’t shed and they don’t require special care.
Incredibly smart and easily trainable breed, but somewhat shy and reserved. If you gain their trust they can be taught anything. They really love to play, to fetch.
Hungarian greyhounds’ need for activity:
The centuries they spent in aristocratic circles didn’t disappear in the hungarian greyhound’s personality, so people who chose them as a family pet won’t be disappointed either.
This charming running acrobat has very sophisticated manners and an advanced sense of comfort, so betraying their jobs they are able to sweetly snooze between pillows on the bed all day long. Even if they aren’t asleep they are still calm, they aren’t hyper and don’t make a mess or break things in the house. They walk around quietly, but are never under your feet.
Besides this if you feel like it, you can take them for a run in the nearby park. They won’t disappoint here either, they are practically flying in the wind.
Where to keep a hungarian greyhound?
They have a remarkable sense of smell so they are perfect for hunters.
They are also ideal for track racing and coursing, especially on longer tracks. They are really good companions and loyal guard dogs, but they are perfect as house pets as well.
Recommended hungarian greyhound breeders:
Hungarian name: Erdélyi kopó
Pronounced: ehr-day-yee ko-po
Type: hunting dog, sniffer dog, guard dog
Their short fur don’t require special care. Due to their jobs, their bodies are athletic, lean, muscular, their movement is balanced and elegant. Their whole appearance reflects nobility and harmony.
The transylvanian hound’s origin:
It’s an ancient Hungarian dog breed, which came to be from the special climatic, terrain and hunting conditions. Their glory came during the Middle Ages, when they were the beloved hunting dogs of aristocrats.
With the development of agriculture and forestry, their use has been reduced to the difficult forest terrains in the Carpathian Basin.
Due to the varying terrains, two types of the Transylvanian hound came to be: the long legged and the short legged Transylvanian hound. The two types were typically kept together. At the beginning of the XX. century, the Transylvanian hounds were almost destroyed, their breeding began again in 1968.
Today, besides Hungary, there are many of them in Romania.
The long legged Transylvanian hounds were originally used for larger prey – back in the day bison, then bear, wild boar, lynx – while the short legged once were used for smaller prey – fox, rabbit.
Transylvanian hound, the more elegant dog breed
The Transylvanian hound is one of the most elegant dog breeds. The long legged versions with black, reddish and white markings has a height of 55-65cm, the short legged version with reddish (recently more honey-brown), white markings has a height of 45-50cm.
The weight of the long legged ones is 30-35kg, the short legged ones are 22-25kg. Their life expectancy is 14 years. Their short fur don’t really require any special care. Due to their jobs, their bodies are athletic, lean, muscular, their movement is balanced and elegant. Their whole appearance reflects nobility and harmony.
The Transylvanian environment made these hounds tough and brave dogs. They are undemanding and adaptable, as opposed to other herding dogs they are fairly quiet, they don’t bark unnecessarily.
Their playful and children-loving characteristics make them the ideal family favourite, without the need of pampering. They are reserved and distrusting of strangers, but very attached to their owners. They have a calm personality, due to their quick learning ability, they can be kept in both a house or a garden.
Based on their bravery and loyalty, they are great guard dogs. But you can never forget that the Transylvanian hound is a hunting dog first, who find it hard to fight their built-in instincts.
Walking them without a lead can only be done with the utmost caution, as one animal popping-up is enough and our dog will run straight after it and it might never return. This is why it’s so important to train Transylvanian hounds well, walk them and play with them a lot to satisfy their need for activity completely.
The transylvanian hound’s appearance
Short and shiny. The fur on the longer legged ones are somewhat more coarse.
The body structure of a Transylvanian hound is rectangular, the ratio of the height at withers to their length is 10:11 (somewhat rectangular shaped), their back is straight.
Their low-sitting tail reach the hocks and hangs low when relaxed. The shape of the tail is normally sickle-like, but never curly. The stomach is slightly pulled in. Their legs are straight and vertical, the joints are well articulated.
Their paws are like the ones of cats. They have a medium length, muscular neck.
The skull is slightly arched. The nasal bone is straight. The lips are tight and close tightly. The relatively short ears are high sitting, triangle shaped and drooping.
Their medium sized eyes are oval shaped. The eyelids are tight. The bite of a Transylvanian hound is like a scissor.
This breed has two variations: a short and a long legged.
The height of the long legged one is 55-65cm, the short legged one is 45-50cm. The build and character of the dog is regarded as more important than its actual height.
- Minimum wither height: 45cm
- Maximum wither height: 65cm
In the case of a long legged hound 30-35 kg
The base colour of the long legged Transylvanian hound is black, with brown-reddish sometimes smaller white markings.
The white marking can only cover one third of the body at max. The base colour of the short legged Transylvanian hound is brown-reddish, with white markings.
The temperament of a Transylvanian hound
Independent, adventurous, smart and friendly dog. A real hunter with a great nose and incredible determination. In nature they are active and mobile, but in the house they are calm and very kind.
They normally reach their intellectual maturity at 2-3 years old. They handle harsh weathers well, can be kept in the cold, as long as enough time with people and plenty of opportunity to run around is provided.
Transylvanian hounds enjoy company and have great fun among other dogs. At the same time can’t be recommended whole-heartedly with cats, rabbits and other animals, but socializing them from early one can be fairly important.
This rare Hungarian breed gets along well with kids, they are reserved and suspicious towards strangers, but never aggressive. They only bite when there is no other choice, for example when a member of the family is in danger.
General care information
Fur care needs:
This dog needs very little fur care. It’s enough to brush them once a well with a strong bristled brush. During shedding season, the old and lose fur strands can be rubbed out with rubber fur-removing gloves.
Their nails must be kept short, the best method for this is regular exercise.
Since they have been cultivated with this in mind for generations, they learn all about hunting very quickly. They can be taught other commands as well, but it requires patience and perseverance.
The Transylvanian hound is smart enough to understand what they want from him – but doesn’t agree many times. It’s important to not expect too much from them. During their training you must always stay consistent and clear.
Strict training methods are not recommended. The best results come from the so called “one owner” dog-owner relationships.
Transylvanian hounds’ need for activity:
Transylvanian hounds have a huge need for exercise, three short walks a day won’t be enough. They must walk, run or swim for at least 3 hours a day.
It’s important to remember that their need to chase wild animals can be stronger than their attachment to their owner. This is why they must only be let off the lead in a very safe area, or they must understand that they must come back unconditionally when called.
The garden, where they spend most of their time, must be fenced off properly.
Where to keep Transylvanian hounds?
Transylvanian hounds appear in Hungary and Romania in larger numbers. In Romania they are almost exclusively used for hunting. In Hungary they use them to chase wild boar, to find prey and jump them out of their hiding spots and to find injured prey.
The search for injured pray isn’t limited to wild boars, this is why in a mixed terrain they can be great for finding deer and/or wild boar.
Nowadays, they mainly aim to strengthen their tracing tasks, so they can be used all year long for hunting.
The last years trend reached Transylvanian hounds too and they are mostly kept as family pets, but they are only recommended to active families, who can satisfy the hounds large need for exercise.
Recommended Hungarian Transylvanian hound breeders:
The most common Hungarian dog names
Hungarian names to Hungarian dog breeds! That’s how we do it in Hungary.
It’s strange and somewhat painful when a beautiful puli, pumi or kuvasz is called Daisy, Maximilian or God forbid Jerry. This happens of course, but isn’t it more elegant to give Hungarian names to such a rare dog breeds.
What kind of names can we give to Hungarian dog breeds?
Our Hungarian ancestors mainly named their dogs based on their characteristics, so for example Füles (Eary), Fürge (Speedy), Ügyes (Skillful) were popular names for their dogs.
Many times they gave them names based on characteristics that were desired for their work, so even a few weeks old komondor or kuvasz pup could get the name Vitéz (Gallant), Bátor (Brave), Morcos (Grumpy), even though it might not have described them.
Our ancestors didn’t lack in humour either, so they did give their dogs funny names like Mitvisz (What’s he taking), Nocsak (Well, well), Gyereide (Come here), Rajta (Go).
I collected some old Hungarian dog names for you. Have a look through them and enjoy. 🙂
Hungarian dog names for larger dogs:
- Árpád ( ahr-pad: Hungarian tribe leader),
- Bandita (bandita: Bandit),
- Báró (ba-ro: Baron),
- Bátor (bator: Brave),
- Bozont (boh-zont: Shag),
- Csülök (tschu-lok: Trotter),
- Csontos (tschon-tosh: Boney),
- Csöpi (tscho-pi: nickname from Drop),
- Drakula (dra-kula: Dracula),
- Ezredes (ezredesh: Colonel),
- Falánk (fha-lank: Gluttonous),
- Farkas (fhar-kash: Wolf),
- Fickó (fhits-kho: Guy),
- Foltos (fhol-tosh: Spotty),
- Gömböc (ghom-boats: Chubby),
- Gubanc (gu-bants: Tangle),
- Fogdmeg (fogd-meg: Catch it),
- Lompos (lomposh: Messy),
- Lovag (lovhag: Knight),
- Mester (mesh-ter: Master),
- Morcos (morts-osh: Grumpy),
- Nomád (noh-mad: Nomad),
- Öcsi (o-tschi: Little Brother),
- Oroszlán (oroslan: Lion),
- Ördög (ordog: Devil),
- Pandúr (pon-dur: Pandur),
- Pici (pi-tsi: Tiny),
- Piszok (Pe-sok: Dirt),
- Sámson (sham-shon: Samson),
- Szimat (si-maht: Sniffer),
- Szörnyeteg (sorn-yeteg: Monster),
- Táncos (than-tsosh: Dancer),
- Tigris (tigrish: Tiger),
- Pofon (pofon: Slap),
- Vacak (va-tsak: Lousy),
- Vagány (vah-gany: Bold),
- Villám (vhil-lam: Lightning)
- Vitéz (vee-thez: Gallant).
Hungarian dog names for medium and small dogs:
- Alma (alma: Apple),
- Ász (ahs: Ace),
- Bajnok (bay-nok: Champion),
- Bajusz (bha-yus: Moustache),
- Betyár (bhe-tyar: Outlaw,
- Bitang (be-thang: Naughty),
- Bivaly (be-vhay: Buffalo),
- Bogáncs (bo-ghants: Thistle),
- Csoki (tscho-ke: Chocolate),
- Csillag (tschel-lag: Star),
- Dagi (Dha-ge: Chubby),
- Dió (De-oh: Walnut),
- Éber (Eh-bher: Alert),
- Eszes (ehs-esh: Brainy),
- Főnök (fho-nok: Boss),
- Fröccs (fhro-tsch: Spritzer),
- Gesztenye (Ghes-then-yeh: Chestnut),
- Golyó (Go-yo: Ball),
- Haver (Ha-vher: Buddy),
- Haramia (ha-rha-me-ah: Ruffian),
- Huncut (Hun-tshut: Cheeky),
- Kajla (kha-ylah: Bent),
- Kefír (khe-fer: Kefir),
- Kölyök (kho-yohk: Kiddo),
- Kifli (khi-fle: Bread Roll),
- Lekvár (Lhek-vhar: Jam),
- Létra (Lhe-trah: Ladder),
- Majré (mhay-reh: Fear),
- Mazsola (mah-zo-lah: Raisin),
- Pacsi (pha-tse: Paw – the command),
- Rigó (re-go: Thrush),
- Sebaj (she-bay: No Problem),
- Sumák (shu-mak: Sneaky),
- Szőke (so-keh: Blonde),
- Szevasz (seh-vhas: Hello),
- Vakarcs (vah-kartsch: Reckling),
- Zseni (zhe-ne: Genius).