Hungarian Greyhound (Magyar Agár)

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Pros Cons
  • excellent hunter
  • devoted friend
  • easy to groom
  • gets on well with children
  • calm
  • needs a dominant owner
  • chases other animals
  • needs a lot of daily exercises

The Hungarian Greyhound is a graceful and nimble working dog with its homeland in Hungary and Transylvania. Being an excellent hunter this dog also possesses sweet and calm disposition, which makes it a desirable home pet. Its future owner should be aware that it will require a considerable amount of exercise to keep it fit and fully satisfied.

The Hungarian Greyhound is believed to have originated more than thousand years ago. The first archaeological findings of the dog’s fossilized remains indicate that it accompanied the Hungarians in the Carpathian Mountain Range as early as in the I A.D. There is a speculation that the breed has already been a widespread home pet when this nomadic folk inhabited the Ural Mountain Range of Eurasia. Unfortunately there is no factual evidence as to what breeds participated in creation of the Hungarian Greyhound but its fanciers strongly suggest that various Scent Hounds were used in the invention of this dog.

In its native country the Hungarian Greyhound is called the Magyar Agar. The first word stands for Hungarian name for Hungary and for nomadic Eurasian indigenous people that founded their settlements in the Danube River in 896 A.D. The word «agar» is translated as «gaze hound» or «wind hound». The owning of the Hungarian Greyhound was not a privilege of the Hungarian aristocracy and every landed peasant had a right to keep one or several of these dogs. The breed was much favoured by hunters for its speed capability and impressive stamina. Its main preys were hare and deer. The dog was supposed to escort hunters on the horsebacks for distance of nearly 30 kilometres and up to a maximum of 50 kilometres in a single day. Its major responsibility was to dispatch the game that was put down by hunters.

The Hungarian Greyhound can rarely be seen elsewhere except for its homeland. Its superb hunting qualities including sharp sight and good nose earned some following in the western countries. Moreover its speed ability and great endurance make it an exceptional candidate for dog’s racing. The breed’s fanciers also strive to promote the Magyar Agar among public since its gentle and reserved temperament makes it a wonderful companion dog. It was granted recognition of the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2006.

The Hungarian Greyhound is characterized by mild temper and high level of affection. It prefers to show its feelings in more dignified manner than it’s usually the case with other breeds but its peerless devotion can’t be doubted. This breed has an excellent reputation with small children and it’s able to put up with great deal of the teasing during the play. Nevertheless it should be exposed to the company of children since its puppyhood in order to get fully accustomed to their presence.

In general the Hungarian Greyhound approaches strangers with certain wariness but this affable dog quickly overcomes its initial suspicion and will greet new person with wagging its tail. The owners of the Magyar Agar report that this animal can be turned into trustworthy and effective watch dog, which will signal to its master about a possible threat timely and loudly. However its friendliness and good-naturedness imply that the breed isn’t suitable for the role of a guard dog.

The Hungarian Greyhound hasn’t been noticed in showing much of canine aggression so it would rather appreciate the opportunity to co-habituate with other canines. Nevertheless it’s hard for this dog to resist a good chase since this primal hunting instinct is deeply ingrained in its nature. The constant usage of the leash is mandatory for it and it will help to avoid unfortunate accidents with stray cats and other creatures. Small dogs can’t be safe around this breed since they can be easily mistaken for prey objects. It’s highly probable that the Hungarian Greyhound will accept a home cat as a part of its pack if the dog and the cat have been reared together but some specimens will never leave the attempts to chase it even in this case.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• epilepsy;
• eyes problems;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• muscle strain;
• hypothyroidism;
• sensitivity to anaesthesia;
• gastric torsion.

The short coat of the Hungarian Greyhound has very low grooming requirements. It should be brushed only once a week and occasionally wiped with damp cloth in order to get rid of dirt and debris on its surface. On the whole the coat of this breed repels dirt so its owner should resort to bathing only if it’s absolutely necessary.

The rest includes basic care procedures. The floppy ears of the Magyar Agar require regular investigation in order to spot early signs of infection and prevent it from further development. It’s also important to trim the dog’s nails timely and systematically.

The Hungarian Greyhound is known to be an eager and diligent learner, which is smart enough to grasp almost everything the handler is willing to teach it. However there can be some obedience issues with this dog if it doesn’t recognise the dominative position of the trainer or doesn’t trust him/her. That’s why the handler should assert its leading stance right from the first lesson by treating the dog with proper but not excessive firmness.

The breed is somewhat sensitive to unfair attitude and harshness. Its impressive size implies that the wilful Hungarian Greyhound can be hardly controlled so it’s crucial to use in its training only reward-based methods.

The Magyar Agar is a very energetic dog and strives to spend countless hours outdoors playing and running. Certainly it won’t be satisfied with one half an hour potty walk and should receive at least an hour of vigorous exercise each and every day. This dog will fit perfectly in the rural surroundings or in the house with spacious yard where it will be able to play to its heart content.

The under exercised Hungarian Greyhound will most likely turn into a nasty creature that will destroy your possessions, chew things, bark without any obvious reason and so on. Having said that the breed can get accustomed to the life in an apartment setting if you spend adequate amount of time walking and playing with it.