Transylvanian Hound (Erdélyi Kopó)

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black with tan & white markings
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • great hunter

  • great watchdog

  • easy to groom

  • requires a dominant owner

  • needs a sufficient amount of daily exercises

  • doesn’t suit families with small children


The Transylvanian Hound is a gracious, vivacious hunting dog with its homeland in Hungary. This breed has been an indispensable helper of local hunters for more than thousand years. With its biddable and affectionate disposition it has a high potential of becoming a fabulous companion animal.


It’s suggested that the development of the Transylvanian Hound as a singular canine variety occurred during the IX century. Predecessors of this breed accompanied the Magyars during their intrusion into the eastern areas of Hungary. These dogs were invariably mated with aboriginal dogs of this region. Descendants of the crossing were intentionally bred to the specimens of the Polish Hound, which was brought to Hungary from Eastern Europe. These breeding experiments ended up with the invention of a tough and unpretentious Hound, which was able to operate in any type of terrain and by the most adverse weather condition.

Apart from its tenacity and keen intellect the Transylvanian Hound was favoured for its sensitive nose and superb sense of direction. It was a hunting dog of preference of both noble and common people. Since the hunting grounds of Hungary were extremely diverse, during the Dark Ages two types of this breed were created – the long legged and the short legged variety. The dog with long slender legs was mostly utilised in hunting such big game as buffalo, wild bear, and lynx. The short legged Transylvanian Hound was especially successful in hunting foxes and hare.

Unfortunately during the early of XX century this ancient breed appeared on the verge of complete extinction. According to the belief of the Romanian authorities the Transylvanian Hound symbolised the Hungarian occupation so the dogs were slaughtered in numbers all over the country. The short legged variety didn’t survive this massacre and it seemed that its final demise was just a matter of time.

Luckily in the subsequent years several loyal and determined breeders assiduously worked to restore the population of the Transylvanian Hound and by 1968 their efforts paid off. Nonetheless the breed is still considered to be very rare dog, which requires long-term support and promotion. In 2006 the Transylvanian Hound was granted with recognition of the United Kennel Club (UKC), but it’s still barely known outside its native country.


For centuries the Transylvanian Hound was kept primarily by hunters, who treasured this dog for its excellent working qualities. However this breed can be turned into a faithful and amicable pet if you invest enough time and efforts in its socialisation and obedience training. It’s prone to demonstrate especially tender attachment to only one person although it’s kind and amicable with all family members. This breed is ill-suited for families with small children as it likes rough and buoyant games and can accidently tumble over a toddler.

The Transylvanian Hound displays wariness and restraint in the intercourse with unfamiliar people. This dog is sensitive to mimics and gestures of strangers so it’s perfectly capable of discerning the difference between a friend and an ill-intended person. It usually becomes a highly effective watchdog, which will always announce about the approach of a newcomer with its sonorous voice. This dog possesses strong territorial instinct and will also make a reliable guardian.

This breed usually welcomes a chance to share its existence with one or several canines of opposite sex, although it may be offensive to strange dogs. The Transylvanian Hound strives to become a leader in a group of other dogs and won’t mind using physical force to attain this goal. Keep this dog safely leashed and muzzled while taking stroll in some local park. Being an innate hunter it habitually views all small animals as prey objects so it poses a lethal threat for all non-canine creatures of its size or smaller. As a rule its specimen won’t pester an individual cat or other pet if it has been socialised with it early enough.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· canine hip dysplasia;

· elbow dysplasia.


It’s very easy to care for the Transylvanian Hound. Weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush is all that this dog needs to stay good-looking and neat. Bathe your pet only occasionally since shampoo can remove from its skin and hair natural protective oils.

Other than that the Transylvanian Hound needs such standard grooming routines as regular nail trimming and ear cleaning. This breed is an average seasonal shedder so plan to apply more frequent and diligent brushing during these periods.


The Transylvanian Hound is considered to be a highly capable and willing learner although its training may be associated with certain difficulties. It got used to rely heavily on its own judgements while hunting so it will never follow the commands of the trainer blindly. This clever and confident dog will obey only to a person who is higher than it in a packing order.

The formula of the successful training of the Transylvanian Hound includes plentiful of verbal encouragements and tasty treats. Although the breed tolerates firm handling it will never put up with disrespectful treatment and may owe its offender a grudge for months. Exercise patience and good humour while working with this dog and you will get good results in its training.


The Transylvanian Hound is not only a smart and docile dog it’s also a very energetic and agile animal. At least its exercise regimen should consist of a daily long and vigorous walk. However the dog won’t be fully satisfied with its life without regular opportunity to let off steam in a safely fenced territory.

Obviously the ideal type of physical activity for this breed is hunting so it makes a true friend for an enthusiastic hunter. On the whole the Transylvanian Hound fits best to a rural environment and will thrives in suburban house with a roomy adjacent yard. Keep in mind that without intensive physical exercise this dog will eventually develop propensity to destructiveness, continuing barking and over excitability.