Hungary is home to nine distinct dog breeds.

Pumi dog running on beach

For over a thousand years, native Hungarian dog breeds have affected the daily life of the local people at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Guard dogs, hunting dogs, and are the three main categories of Hungarian dogs. There are evident distinctions in function, size, body type, and coat; for example, the sleek and athletic vizsla contrasts sharply with the Komondor and puli's mop-like, sheep-like look.

Tip

Working dog breeds have high energy requirements, necessitating daily exercise, lengthy walks, enrichment activities, and socialization training. When choosing a dog breed, make sure it fits your lifestyle and that you have the time to give to your dog.

Breed Characteristics

These Hungarian dog breeds are known for having a brave and even-tempered temperament as a group. Each is a high-performance working dog who requires a regular exercise program to let off steam. They are bright, tenacious, and adaptive.

Here are nine Hungarian dogs with a devoted following, although some are rarely seen outside of Hungary.

  • 01 of 09

    Vizsla standing outside

    You may know the vizsla as the most popular of the nine Hungarian dog breeds without understanding it is from Hungary. The vizsla was designed to be a good hunting partner, with an athletic frame and an intuitive ability to point and retrieve.

    These dogs have been around for generations, and the genesis of the breed is traced to the early Magyar tribes of Hungary. These high-energy canines thrive in an active environment. They're well-suited to a variety of canine contests and make an excellent jogging companion.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 22 to 23 inches

    Weight: 45 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Copper or rust-colored short, smooth, dense coat

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 02 of 09

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    The wirehaired vizsla, the most recently produced Hungarian dog breed, has a wiry coat and a denser bone structure than the usual vizsla in temperament and height. The vizsla and the German wirehaired pointer were selectively crossed in the 1930s, resulting in the breed.

    Its wiry hair and more powerful frame make it a superior retriever for slogging up Hungarian hills and battling briar and undergrowth in search of prey. The bushy beard and expressive eyebrows of the wirehaired vizsla distinguish it apart from its smooth-coated counterpart today.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 21.5 to 25 inches

    Weight: 45 to 65 pounds

    Coat and Color: Wiry, close-lying coat; in varying shades of solid golden rust

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 03 of 09

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    While the vizsla is Hungary's most common dog breed, the Komondor is without a doubt the most stunning. The Komondor demands attention thanks to its quantity of corded fur, which is sometimes compared to dreadlocks. This breed has been dubbed "the king of dogs, the dog of kings" due to its aristocratic nature.

    In its Hungarian homeland, the Komondor's main job was to protect sheep herds. It was the ideal covert security dog because of its likeness to the fleecy animals. This job demanded a calm, collected demeanor as well as a readiness to respond at the first sign of danger to the flock. If a danger is sensed, the Komondor maintains this character and makes a peaceful household pet.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 26 to 28 inches

    Weight: 80 pounds and up

    Coat and Color: White corded coat

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 04 of 09

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    This working Hungarian dog breed is also known as kuvs. Although the kuvasz may have originated in Tibet or maybe Siberia, it became popular in Hungary throughout the Middle Ages. They were good watchdogs for livestock and property and became adaptable farm dogs due to their steady demeanor and enormous stature.

    The AKC recognized the kuvasz in 2003, about 70 years after it was brought into the United States. The breed is now common in its native Hungary, although it is still uncommon in the United States.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 26 to 30 inches

    Weight: 70 to 115 pounds

    Coat and Color: White, thick double coat usually medium in length, ranges from straight to wavy

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Puli

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    The puli, the smallest of the three Hungarian sheepdogs, is smaller than the Komondor but has a comparable corded coat, as well as a firm guarding temperament and a family-friendly attitude. The plural of this dog breed is pulik if you have more than one puli.

    The Magyar people, like certain other Hungarian dog breeds, are considered to have brought the puli to Hungary centuries ago. Later, the puli gave way to the pumi, which was somewhat smaller. The puli was recognized by the AKC in the 1930s and has since become an uncommon but cherished companion.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 16 to 17 inches

    Weight: 25 to 35 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short and glossy naturally corded coat; solid colors, such as black, rusty black, gray, or white

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

  • 06 of 09

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    The pumi, one of three Hungarian sheepdog breeds, is said to have evolved from the earlier puli breed. The pumi's folded yet erect ears are its most distinguishing trait. They have a distinctively alert and pleased expression, which is representative of the pumi's cheerful demeanor.

    The pumi is the most recently recognized Hungarian dog breed by the AKC, having received full breed status in the herding category in 2016. These dogs are normally less than 20 inches tall and weigh less than 30 pounds, but they can easily command a flock of sheep and are outstanding herders.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 15 to 18.5 inches

    Weight: 22 to 29 pounds

    Coat and Color: Compact body with semi-erect ears and a tail that curls over the back; wavy, curly coat in black, white, gray, or fawn

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

  • 07 of 09

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    On a wet day, a mudi is made by combining a puli with a pumi. It's not quite that straightforward, though. However, interbreeding between two of Hungary's smaller sheepdogs, maybe with the influence of German spitz-type dogs, resulted in the mudi, a Hungarian dog breed.

    Although the mudi is far less common than the puli or pumi, it was recognized by the FCI in 1966. In 2004, the breed was also accepted into the AKC's Foundation Stock Service. Mudis lack the cords and tight curls of the pumi and puli breeds, but they do have a unique trait: they inherit the merle coat gene. Mudis are available in plain hues such as black, brown, grey, and white, as well as merle patterns. They are the only herding breed with the merle gene in the AKC, and they produce healthy solid white dogs (many other merle carriers born solid white due to a double merle cross are born blind or deaf).

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding (AKC)

    Height: 15 to 18.5 inches

    Weight: 18 to 29 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short to medium-length coat that is wavy to curly; colors include black, brown, gray, gray-brown, white, merle

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 08 of 09

    Hungarian Greyhound (Magyar Agar)

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    The Hungarian sighthound, often known as an agar, resembles a larger greyhound but is a distinct breed. In Hungarian, agar means "gazehound" or "windhound." They have a lengthy history with the Magyars, who arrived in Hungary in the late ninth century.

    The greater bone structure, thicker skin, and shorter nose of the Hungarian sighthound were ideal for Hungary's mountainous environment. These hounds were used by early horseback hunters to pursue wildlife, particularly hare and deer. The Hungarian sighthound is not well-known now, and it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. The United Kennel Club in the United Kingdom, the FCI, and the American Rare Breed Association all recognize the breed.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sighthound (UKC and FCI); not AKC-recognized

    Height: 24.5 to 27.5 inches

    Weight: 50 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, straight coat in many colors including black, fawn, red, brindle, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Transylvanian Hound

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    The Transylvanian hound, like other Hungarian dog breeds, has the particular boldness and even temperament of many canines from this region. At the same time, breed fans like their energetic and charming personalities. During the Middle Ages, this breed was a favorite hunting companion and farm dog.

    It's worth noting that the Transylvanian hound used to come in two varieties: a long-legged dog for larger game and a short-legged dog for smaller prey. However, these hounds were on the verge of extinction, and while the breed was revived in the late 1960s, only long-legged Transylvanian hounds remain today. In 1968, the FCI recognized the Transylvanian hound as a Hungarian dog breed, and in 2015, the breed was introduced to the AKC's Foundation Stock Service.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Scenthound (FCI and UKC); not AKC-recognized

    Height: 22 to 26 inches

    Weight: 55 pounds or more

    Coat and Color: Short and coarse coat; black with tan points

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Breeds to Avoid

If you don't have the time to groom your dog on a regular basis, a puli or Komondor is probably not for you. Because of their corded coats, these dogs require more attention. Their coats may milder if they do not get frequent bathing or proper care for them.

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