Transylvanian Hound Temperament & Everything Else You Need to Know

In the Transylvania Mountains in Hungary over 1,000 years ago, a special hound developed that is now well-known for the excellent Transylvanian Hound temperament and its over-the-top ability to track by scent. Hunters valued them then and still do. But down through the years, that beautiful combination of nobility and good-nature has made him a treasured family pet, as well.

Hunters valued them then and still do. But down through the years, that beautiful combination of nobility and good-nature has made him a treasured family pet, as well.

His high, far-ranging, sonorous voice allows hunters sitting around a campfire to know the direction in which game is running.

How thrilling it is when the Transylvanian Hound’s head is lifted in full cry as he tracks his prey in the evening hours!

And at home, he patiently allows the little girls in the family to tie ribbons around his neck and cuddle him like a favorite baby-doll. The Transylvanian Hound is a rare combination of noble and generous character.

Alternative names for the Transylvanian Hound are Erdélyi kopó, Hungarian Hound, Transylvanian Scent Hound.

The Transylvanian Hound Temperament and Personality

The Transylvanian Hound temperament creates an especially good-natured, friendly dog that is a welcome addition to any family. His calm demeanor balances nicely with his playful nature to make an ideal family pet.

He is quiet enough to live in an apartment and courageous enough to be a bold guard on an urban estate. Ever loyal, the Transylvanian Hound makes friends for life.

Noble

The Transylvanian Hound temperament includes his noble character. As though he has a high standard to meet, he is always a gentleman and aristocrat.

Calm

This special hound was bred to be calm and quiet when not tracking prey with his handler in the woods and fields where he loves to run and chase various wild game. As soon as he’s finished his task, he’s back to his gentle, low-key attitude.

Playful

The Transylvanian dog may be happily snoozing on the floor at your feet, but as soon as you mention “walk” or “outside,” he’s on his feet and ready for fun.

His playfulness means he’s particularly good with children, and he’s sturdy enough to enjoy rough-housing with rambunctious kids.

Loyal

The Transylvanian Hound temperament nearly guarantees a loyal, faithful and dependable companion.

Although each animal is an individual, Transylvanian dogs are known for their gentle, constant loyalty to their family and he will consider it his job to keep his family safe.

He is well-mannered and forms a deep attachment to his owners.

The Intelligent Transylvanian Hound Temperament

In part due to the conditions under which the Transylvanian Hound hunted, the breed is quite intelligent and an excellent problem-solver.

This is an easy-to-train breed that loves to learn.

He is exceptionally good at puzzles that dispense treats.

His intelligent brain and loyal nature make him an ideal partner for children as well as adults.

Loves Sports

The Transylvanian Hound would make a good partner for dog sports. Working as a team is something he does quite willingly, so sports like flyball, tracking trials, rally, and coon hunting are right up his alley.

He would also be great at other dog sports like agility, obedience, and dog parkour. With such an intelligent breed, your options are wide open.

History and Development

This ancient breed developed in the Transylvanian (Carpathian) Mountains of Hungary where it was bred specifically for the climate and hunting conditions there. The terrain was variable and the climate changeable, which helped the breed adapt easily to irregular conditions.

The forebears of the Transylvanian Hound were probably hounds that were brought in when the Hungarian tribes invaded the area in the ninth century. Some historians believe that they were cross-bred with Polish Hounds to form the first true Transylvanian Hounds.

Originally bred as hunting dogs, two types developed: a long-legged variety used for hunting larger animals such as buffalo, bears and wild boar; and a short-legged type that hunted small game. The breed reached its peak during the Middle Ages when the aristocracy favored the Transylvanian Hound. By the 20th century, this excellent breed was almost extinct.

The Hungarian Kennel Club was, naturally, the first national dog group to recognize the Transylvanian Hound as a distinct breed. Adopting the FCI breed standard, the breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club in the US in 2006. As of yet, the AKC has no published standard for the Transylvanian Hound but recognizes it provisionally. In 2015, the breed was accepted into the AKC Foundation Stock Service Program, a first step in becoming an established breed recognized by the organization.

The Transylvanian Hound Appearance

An overall appearance of nobility mixed with harmony describe this beautiful hound’s look. The Transylvanian Hound is an athletic dog with a medium-sized build, lean and muscular body, and an elegant, balanced movement. With a single glance, you easily recognize a hardworking, willing hunting dog that wants to be on task.

The Transylvanian Hound’s color is basically black with clearly demarcated tan points on the muzzle and legs and that form expressive eyebrows White markings sometimes occur on the face, around the neck, on the chest, and on the lower legs and feet. You may even see white on the tip of the tail. However, white occurring on more than ⅕ of the body is a fault according to the breed standard. In America, a red and white variety is also permissible.

The Transylvanian Hound’s size is more an issue of balance in its frame than a specific criterion of inches and pounds.

Transylvanian Hound Breed Standard

Body Proportions

The Transylvanian Hound’s size and weight are determined by the breed standard, but more value is placed upon the overall balance than on mere measurements.

This medium-sized hunting hound should weigh between 66 and 77 pounds. The minimum is 55 pounds.

The ideal height as measured at the shoulders is 21 to 25 inches.

The body should be slightly longer than it is tall.

This athletic dog should look like he is ready to spring at any moment. He is neither coarse nor light, but muscular and lean.

The Transylvanian Hound’s body proportions are like those of the MidEuropean Hounds type, including strong, muscular legs. He is built for the long-haul, hunting for hours at a time without tiring.

Colors

The breed standard in Europe only allows for a predominantly black dog with tan and white markings. Any Transylvanian Hound with a brownish or bluish base coat is disqualified.

American standards allow for a red-and-white variety as well. The coat is short and single, without the undercoat apparent in double-coated dogs like the Labrador Retriever.

Head

This elegant hound has a noble head, being short but not pointed. The nose is straight and the teeth are well-developed.

The dark brown eyes are slanting and somewhat almond-shaped..

The hanging ears are rounded, set medium-high and do not have folds. If drawn forward, the ears will just cover the eyes.

Tail

The tail of the Transylvanian Hound curves slightly in the final third of its length, but when carried high, it does not curl over the back. It is strong and at a medium-high set on the crop.

Training the Transylvanian Hound

Primarily bred to hunt, the Transylvanian Hound is not only an ideal scent hound, but he can be trained to retrieve as well.

He seems to want to know the “Why” of a command and is most comfortable with gentle methods. Harsh methods may bring out his reluctance to cooperate. A sensible dog, seeing a reward for his work makes him eager to repeat the actions that garnered the reward.

The necessity for working at a distance from his handler while hunting has produced marvelous problem-solving skills in the Transylvanian Hound. He does as well in a brace or pack as he does working singly. His handler can “read” him from his regal-sounding bay as he races to end the hunt.

The Transylvanian Hound is perfectly happy to work in harsh or extreme weather and is hardy enough to withstand conditions that would put another breed off the scent. You may need to bundle up, but his high metabolism and enthusiasm for running will keep him warm.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Transylvanian Hound dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Caring for Your Transylvanian Hound

Exercise Needs

If you are looking for an elegant hound to curl up on the couch with you for half the day, look for another breed.

The Transylvanian Hound was bred for action, and he needs a minimum of a couple of long walks of an hour or so every day.

His desire to chase game and his comfort working away from his owner could be a problem if you want to walk him without a leash.

A dog park or an open field in the country is a better idea for off-leash activity than a stroll around the block.

Hunting breeds love to explore the world, and the Transylvanian Hound is no exception to the rule. Wanderlust is built in, so make sure your yard is securely fenced and tall enough so he won’t go over it.

Grooming

Transylvanian Hound grooming is a breeze. His short coat doesn’t require special tools or long periods of time to get him looking his best.

A stiff bristle brush used weekly will be all he needs, except for regular baths (especially after field-work).

Using a rubber curry-comb will loosen any dead hair and the Transylvanian Hound temperament lends itself to being patient for his grooming sessions.

The Transylvanian Hound has strong, fast-growing toenails. Regular attention with a grinder will keep them from splitting, cracking, or growing too long.

If he has the opportunity to walk or run on hard surfaces, even that care should be minimal.

Every breed with hanging ears should get frequent ear-checks for wax buildup, debris, or other problems that may develop. Regularly checking his ears will make treating any developing problems much easier.

It is becoming more normal to brush your dog’s teeth at least occasionally, but giving your Transylvanian Hound non-splintering bones and hard, dry food along with a vet’s regular cleaning should be adequate to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Transylvanian Hound Health Issues

Most purebred dogs have breed-related health issues that they are prone to, but the Transylvanian Hound seems to be the exception that proves the rule.

They are a hardy breed with really no propensity to health problems, other than Elbow or Hip Dysplasia in some individuals.

The Transylvania Hound lifespan is 10 to 12 years on average.

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Buying a Transylvanian Hound Puppy

Finding a Transylvanian Hound puppy may be a somewhat daunting task, as they are not as familiar as other breeds.

If you are serious about wanting to own one of these amazing hounds, your best bet is to take a trip to Hungary or Transylvania, as there are fewer than 1,000 in the United States. However, there are a few reputable breeders in the US who may at various times have puppies for sale.

Despite the rarity of the breed, a Transylvanian Hound puppy should cost between $600 and $800, only slightly more than the better-known Black and Tan Coonhound.

When breeds are this rare, there are usually very few available for adoption or rescue, because the aficionados tend to take care of the few that may need new homes. This breed is more available in Europe than in America.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affectionate, playful, happy dog with boundless energy who will be a life-long partner in adventure, choose the Transylvanian Hound.

He will guard your home and family fiercely but welcome anyone you introduce him to. He’s the perfect dog for kids, being hardy, loyal and full of fun. If you hunt, you couldn’t ask for a better hound.

Except for exercise needs, the Transylvanian Hound is nearly care-free.

He needs little grooming, is not prone to health issues, and so is relatively inexpensive to own. Finding one for sale may be difficult, but if you really put some effort into it, the Transylvanian Hound may be the perfect dog for you and your family.