The Transylvanian Hound is a very old and ancient breed. It is believed, that they were developed by crossing hounds, that were brought to Transylvania with migrating Huns in the 9th century with some already existing local breeds. The new breed was further developed by adapting to local environment and their utilization – hunting.
2) Two types
The Transylvanian Hound quickly became favourite hunting companion of Hungarian nobility and this breed was quite popular during the Middle Ages. Actually, two varieties of this breed were developed. The first one, large or tall variety was used for hunting big game such as boar or lynx while the small type was used for hunting prey such as hare or foxes. Both varieties were quite popular up until the 19th century.
It is true, that in the past, this was quite popular breed, but today, they are very rare. During the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century, the needs for hunting dogs declined, so as the numbers of this breed. After the second world war this breed actually almost went extinct. Luckily, there were some dedicated breeders in Hungary and Slovakia who saved and revived the breed, so they survived. Today, you can find the tall variety in Hungary or Romania, but it is still very rare breed. The short legged variety is extremely hard to find, even in Hungary.
The tall Transylvanian Hound should be between 56-66 cm tall, which is 22-26 inch and its weight is normally between 30-35 kg, which is 66-77 pounds. The short Transylvanian Hound height is between 46-51 cm, which is 18-20 inch and weight between 22-25 kg, which is 49-55 pounds.
When the Transylvanian Hound is hunting, its main weapons are its athleticism and endurance, big strenght, courageous and brave temperament and of course, extraordinary sense of smell. It is also said, that they have extremely good sense of orientation, which enables them to hunt independently at a great distances from its owner. When they find a fresh scent, they typically give shrill and sharp bark with a whining sound. These dogs are just excellent at driving and pointing the game.
Today, the Transylvanian Hound is not always used for hunting, they also make great companion dogs. And just like majority of scent hounds, they make very good companions for active people, who are looking for a smart, loyal and playful breed, who is typically pretty obedient and good natured. This dog is also known for being very good and tolerant with kids, and of course, they normally like company of other dogs in the family. Because it is a hunting breed, other household pets might be problematic, but this can be vastly influenced by early socialization.
This is quite lively and energetic dog breed and they definitely have higher exercise needs. If you want your Transylvanian hound to stay healthy and happy, daily longer outdoor walks or hikes are necessary, as well as some mental stimulation, such as task oriented playtimes or fun training sessions. These dogs will do best in a house with a big fenced yard, where they can stretch their legs off leash while playing some games with its owners. Without enough exercise, they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking or descruction.
The Transylvanian Hound has a close fitting, short and straight coat and most often they come in the great looking black and tan color combination or in all black. The short legged variety can be also found in dark red and tan or dark red and tan tricolour.
Great fact is, that the Transylvanian Hounds grooming needs are minimal. Even without any grooming, they will still look good and keep their coat in great condition. You can brush them from time to time to remove the dead hair and to keep the coat as clean as possible. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, teeth and nails and clip them or clean them if needed. Take proper care about the ears and keep them dry and clean so they dont develop some infections.
The Transylvanian Hound is considered to be usually very healthy and hardy dog breed with only few health issues associated with this breed. Those would mostly be hip and elbow dysplasia. The average lifespan of Transylvanian hound is between 10-13 years.