Every country in the world can boast of something that makes them unique. Apart from the name, which goes without saying, each country has a unique natural feature – a mountain, valley, river, waterfall, lake, cave – the variety is endless. There are unique plants, animals and insect species that can only be found in one country on the planet. In the case of Hungary, there are a total of 9 different breeds of dogs originating from the country. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong; 9 breeds! Here they are…
The Komondor, (Plural, “Komondorok” in Hungarian) is a large, breed of livestock guardian dogs. White in color, it is also commonly known as the Hungarian Sheepdog or “Mop Dog” due to its long and corded coat. The Komondor is protected from modification under Hungarian law and is one of the nation’s national treasures.
The Kuvasz is another guardian dog that is used to protect livestock and other property. As with all sheepdogs, they make good pets and are very protective of children. The Kuvasz is a large dog with a dense, white, odorless coat. Although the fur is white, the Kuvasz’s skin pigmentation is dark and the nose black with almond-shaped eyes. Males weigh between 45 to 52 kg and females average 32 to 41 kg.
The Magyar agár is an elegant and rugged sighthound. They resemble greyhounds but are a separate and unique breed. Magyar agárs have longer bodies and heavier bone structures than greyhounds, with more wedge-shaped heads and shorter snouts. They have thick coats with short, dense fur. They are very hardy and can tolerate lower temperatures than some of the shorter-coated greyhounds. Weights range from 22 to 31 kg. Magyar agárs are perfect for coursing game over rugged terrain. While they are not as fast as greyhounds, their sturdiness gives them great endurance and stamina. Magyar agárs will often be spotted trailing alongside their masters on horseback.
The Mudi is a versatile farm dog. Generally, they come in colors that vary from black, brown, white, fawn, Ash, and marbling of black and grey. Mudi (Plural in Hungarian is “Mudik”) and can hunt, exterminate rodents, and guard and herd flocks of sheep. They are very good protectors of homes and families. The Mudi has a high-pitched, often very loud bark. They are intelligent and active and become very attached to their owners and family. Their active nature demands that they are given daily exercise in the form of a long walk and play. Although they can be aloof with strangers, they are also great to show dogs.
Closely related to the Puli, the Pumi is a lively, intelligent terrier-like dog. This breed makes a great herding dog, with quick changes of direction and alertness. The Pumi is somewhat vocal and if not trained early can become rather noisy. They are easy to train and should be socialized early as they are very protective and often suspicious of strangers, be they people or other animals. With early training, Pumis make good guard dogs, but they should be kept busy with herding or play like playing fetch, jogging or obedience training. They are very playful even as adults and have earned the nickname of “The Clown” in Hungary.
The Puli is a solid-colored dog that is usually black, although there are sometimes white, grey or off-white coats. The coats are matted and therefore suited for the outdoors. Pulis are intelligent and active and make good herding and guard dogs. They do well if kept in open environments and do well in obedience training if started early in their lives. If kept indoors in confined spaces, they tend to become mischievous and destructive unless given very active exercise that uses up their natural energy. Pulis also need early socialization as they are sensitive by nature and can become aloof and resentful.
The Transylvanian Hound is a hunting dog that can track by scent, point and drive game. They can hunt relatively independently over long distances and rough terrain. In the past, they were valued by Hungarian aristocracy, but the breed almost became extinct in the late 20th century, only being saved when a concerted breeding program was initiated.
The Vizsla is loved as a great hunting and household dog. It is a natural hunter and has an excellent nose. Easily trainable, the Visla can work in fields, forests and even in water. Viszla is lively, gentle-mannered, affectionate and sensitive, they are also fearless and possess a well-developed protective instinct. They do not have and undercoat and are therefore not suitable to be kept outside and their affectionate nature makes them good house dogs. Viszla is also fearless and makes good guard dogs.
Wiry in appearance, hence the name, this breed of dog is an excellent and powerful hunter. Wirehaired Vizsla is also affectionate and protective and also make good pets in the home. Like the Vizsla, they are energetic, caring and loyal. They are also excellent pointers and retrievers.