Although few people know it, Hungary has 9 dog breeds that are all Hungarian. The pups in these breeds are about as far from each other as possible, as the super friendly hunting dog, the Vizsla and the super grumpy guard dog, the Kuvasz is also on this list. Many of these breeds are very, very old, as there have been descriptions of Hungarian tribes entering Europe in the 9th century that mention their peculiar dogs, and give pretty good descriptions of breeds still alive today. Here are a few of my favourite breeds!
One of the most intelligent dogs to ever roam the Earth is the Vizsla. The stereotypical Vizsla has extremely short hair, and is always brown. The eyes are usually golden coloured, and the breed is extremely sweet and timid looking. These dogs are very good natured and are super friendly, and very, very hyper. They are hunting dogs, having been bred for their acute sense of smell, their willingness to retrieve, their superior intelligence, and their ability to blend into their surroundings. They need to be walked often and for long periods of time, so I can only recommend this breed to folks with a large yard, or who can go out often with the dog for excursions. They do not fare well in cities. A long, wiry haired version of this loveable dog also exists.
There are 2 breeds of Hungarian dogs that have super long hair that form dreadlocks. This gives them a very unique and very comical look, and many people, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have fallen for the good natured if somewhat temperamental animal. These animals have been with Hungarian shepherds since probably well before Christianity, and have traditionally always had dreadlocks. The iconic dreadlocked Hungarian dog is the Puli, a smallish breed, somewhere on the bottom end of midsized, which can come in white and black, and which grows enormous dreads all over its body. The Puli is a herding dog, and as meant to love just one person, and to tend to beasts, which it does marvellously. It is an extremely intelligent breed, and can pick up emotional queues with ease. The Komondor is its big bodied relative, which is a very large dog, often growing to the size of a full grown man. These are guard dogs, and can be quite fierce.
The Kuvasz is a fierce guard dog, not cuddly and not affectionate, but very, very useful. This big, slow dog has one of the biggest bites of any dogs, and is well capable of breaking an arm or a leg with its muzzle. The dog is covered in white hair that resembles the woolly hair of sheep, and the hair is traditionally cut during the summer, as the dog can overheat. This dog does not like walks so much, but it is extremely territorial, so a garden, yard, or any space that the dog can claim as its own is needed for its peace of mind. The Kuvasz is an extremely loyal breed, but its loyalty is only to one person. This is the dog that will die if its master dies by refusing to eat.
The Transylvanian bloodhound is a very interesting breed of dog. Very intelligent, very frisky, and needing a lot of outdoor time these dogs are a bit of a handful, and they area hunting dog, meaning lots of hours of excursion are necessary to keep the beasts happy. These animals’ sense of smell is surprisingly keen, even for dogs, and they are sued to find human and animal remains, to find people trapped under buildings, and to find illicit substances as well. Very obedient and easy to control, these dogs do lose it when they catch the scent of blood, or if they see wild game. The colouration of these animals is the same as Rottweiler’s, with a bit of white thrown in for good measure.