Transylvanian Hound

By PetMD Editorial on Sep. 18, 2012

The Transylvanian Hound is a rare breed that was introduced over 1,000 years ago as a cross between a Magyar hound and Hungarian native dog. This medium-sized dog is a great addition as a family pet, known for being loyal and friendly.

Physical Characteristics

The Transylvanian Hound is a medium-sized dog, weighing anywhere from 66 to 77 pounds at a height range of 18 to 21 inches. This dog breed has a short but dense coat, with a black base color and tan markings along the snout, chest, neck, and feet.

Personality and Temperament

This breed is known for its protective ways and is a good addition as a family dog. The Transylvanian Hound is not only loyal, but also intelligent and easy to train. Bred for hunting purposes, the Transylvanian Hound is energetic, requiring daily exercise.


The Transylvanian Hound requires little coat maintenance, shedding an average amount. An occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush is sufficient, and bathing should be kept to a minimum to maintain the natural coat.


This dog breed lives an average of 10 to 12 years, and is considered to be a generally healthy breed. Some health issues to be aware of are hip and elbow dysplasia.

History and Background

It is believed that the Transylvanian Hound originated in Hungary over 1,000 years ago when the Magyars came to the area. This dog breed is most likely a crossbreed between the hounds brought by the Magyars and native dogs of Hungary.

The Transylvanian Hound was used as a hunting dog, especially favored by Hungarian royalty while hunting for bears and wolves in the mountains of Transylvania. Because of varying terrains, the breed developed into two versions of the Transylvanian Hound, one with shorter limbs than the other. However, over time, the hound with the longer legs prevailed and the other is no longer seen.

During the beginning of the 1900s, the Transylvanian Hound was almost extinct but was revived by Hungarian breeders by 1968. The Transylvanian Hound was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006, but is still considered a rare dog breed in the United States.

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