The Transylvanian Hound is an ancient Hungarian dog breed, which was primarily used for hunting.
History The Transylvanian Hound came with the invading Magyar tribes in the ninth century, who brought in hounds and crossed them with local breeds and Polish hounds. He was used in hunting wolf and bear The breed was kept by Hungarian kings and princes for hunting various game (i.e. foxes, boar, etc.). In the beginning of the twentieth century, the breed was nearly extinct and in 1968 new efforts began to save it. The only area outside of Hungary where it exists is in Romania.
Hunting The breed was developed in the Carpathian Mountains, an area rich in forests, meadows, and rivers. Thus it can be used to hunt over any type of terrain, even during frozen winters, or sultry summers. The two varieties are used for different specialised purposes. The long-legged variety is for hunting boar, stag, and lynx, while the short-legged variety is for hunting smaller burrowing animals, especially fox and hare.
Appearance and weight The breed is of medium size. The limbs of this breed are well-constructed, always ready to spring. It has a short but not pointed head, with a straight nose and strong well-developed teeth. The eyes are oblique and dark brown in colour. The ears are hanging, and without folds. The tail is hanging when it is at rest, and it becomes twisted on its back during the hunt. The breed has unwrinkled skin. Its coat is short, strong, and close to the body.
Varieties There are two varieties of the Transylvanian hound, which determine the height and colour: long-legged variety: colours are black with white markings on its forehead, chest, feet, and the point of the tail (specialized in wild boar, deer, and lynx). short-legged variety: the base colour is red-brown with white markings (used on fox and hare).
Temperament The breed is extremely loyal and friendly. They are very good natured and well mannered with both people and other dogs. They form strong attachments to their owners and are very protective of family members. It is very protective of its immediate territory (i.e. owners' house and yard), and will appear very ferocious with an intimidating bark and growl towards strangers; however, it will immediately accept anyone who is invited into the area by its owners. They enjoy constant companionship and tend to remain in the presence of their owners. They have an excellent sense of direction.