|Other names||Transylvanian Scent Hound|
|Dog (domestic dog)|
The Transylvanian Hound (Hungarian: erdélyi kopó [ˈɛrdeːji kopoː]; Romanian: copoi ardelenesc Romanian pronunciation: [ko'poj ardele'nesk]; also known as the Transylvanian Scent Hound or Hungarian Hound) is a dog breed originating from Hungary and Transylvania (Transylvania was part the Kingdom of Hungary-nowadays Romania) and was historically primarily used for hunting. It is a strong, medium-sized scent hound, characterized by a black body, with tan and sometimes white markings on the muzzle, chest and extremities, and distinctive tan eyebrow spots. It has a high-pitched bark for a dog of its size. The breed was rescued from extinction by focused breeding efforts in the late 20th century. There were formerly two varieties, the tall and the short, developed for different kinds of hunting in the Middle Ages. Only the tall variety survives today.
It is claimed the Transylvanian Hound descends from hounds brought by the Magyars when they crossed the Carpathian Mountains in the 9th century, these hounds were bred with those already found in the area with the resultant progeny becoming the foundation stock for the breed. The dog was the favourite of the Hungarian aristocracy during the breed's peak in the Middle Ages, for hunting various game animals Two height varieties developed to hunt different game in different types of terrain, and both varieties were kept together.
The tall variety was used for hunting woodland and grassland big game, such as European bison, bear, boar, and lynx. The short variety was used for hunting fox, hare, and chamois in overgrown or rocky terrain. The breed declined, and was marginalised to the Carpathian woodlands, shrinking with the growth of agriculture and forestry, and by the beginning of the twentieth century the breed was nearly extinct. The breed was almost wiped out during World War II, and in 1947, after Transylvania became fully part of Romania again, the Romanian government exterminated those that had survived in to remove the reminder of the Hungarian "occupation". Some survived in Hungary and Slovakia, where breeders are working to revive the breed.
Saving and embracing the breed starts three times:
- In 1886, the first official registration of the breed began with the "Hungarian Hunting Dog Pedigree" (Magyar Vadászeb Törzskönyv).
- In 1941 the breed was registered as a Hungarian Hound by the Hungarian National Vizsla Club/Hound Division (Magyar Országos Vizsla Klub/Kopó szakosztály) and it started the rescue of the breed with 27 individuals. Unfortunately, World War II shattered further plans. The next rescue operation was possible in the 1960s.
- 1966. As a result of the research work of dr. Csaba Anghi, dr. Ákos Szederjei, dr. Lajos Győrffy, Andor Standeisky, dr. Tamás Fodor, Imre Bogdán, dr. Atilla Kelemen and Géza Bóka it was possible to find purebred specimens in Transylvania. These specimens were included in the breeding process in Hungary. As a result of many years of work and research, the standard was completed in 1966 and then registered by the FCI as the Hungarian Hound-Transylvanian Scenthound. The breed was not recognised and standardised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) until 1963. In 1968, efforts began to save it. Today, a substantial number of the tall variety of the dogs may be found in both Hungary and neighboring Romania.
The Transylvanian Hound is, naturally, recognised by the national dog breeding and fancier group, the Hungarian Kennel Club (using the FCI breed standard).
The Transylvanian Hound comes in two sizes although the FCI breed standard only describes the long-legged variety; the short-legged variety typically stands between 46 and 51 centimetres (18 and 20 in) and the long-legged variety between 56 and 66 centimetres (22 and 26 in). The short-legged variety typically weighs between 22 and 25 kilograms (49 and 55 lb), whilst the long-legged variety is typically between 30 and 35 kilograms (66 and 77 lb). The breed has a typical scent hound head which is long but not pointed and free from wrinkles; their medium sized hanging ears widen in the middle then taper to a rounded tip. The breed has a relatively long but square body, their chest is broad and long but not overly deep; their low-set tail is kept undocked, when hunting is typically carried curled at the level of their back. The breed’s coat is short, straight and close fitting, the long-legged variety’s is slightly longer; the short-legged variety is usually dark red and tan or dark red and tan tricolour (dark red, tan and white) in colour, whilst the long-legged variety is usually black and tan or black and tan tricolour (black, tan and white).
The continental climate of the Transylvanian Hound's native land of hot summers and cold winters with heavy snow falls has resulted in a breed with great stamina as well as a very keen and reliable scenting ability.
The Transylvanian Hound is usually obedient, good natured, tolerant of children and easy to train, as a pack hound it is very friendly with other dogs. The breed is described as being reserved, slightly suspicious and introspective in character; when hunting it is known to possess great courage and an excellent sense of orientation.