Part of what makes Hungary so interesting is its numerous indigenous animals. From loyal dogs to mighty steeds and hefty hogs, Hungary has an impressive array of local breeds that worth your attention for several reasons. The following are some of the most curious and notable Hungarian animals.
The mighty and powerful Nonius Horses
Let’s start out the list with the studliest of all the breeds! Nonius Horses were originally bred to serve the Hungarian cavalry, whose soldiers required more than 10,000 new sires per year. Nowadays, since the breed is no longer vital for military purposes, Nonius Horses are most often used for agricultural purposes!
The most popular Hungarian hogs, the famous Mangalica
This next animal is a real local curiosity and one that’s becoming ever-more popular internationally as well. Mangalica is a special crossbreed of a wild boar and sow that has a distinctively thick fur and a great source of pork fat. They are also more delicious than their regular, domestic counterparts. Used in hamburgers, Hungarian stews and, naturally, Goulash as well, Mangalica is something worth trying out while looking for a fine dine in Budapest.
The pride of the plains, the Hungarian Grey Cattle
Mooving right along, Hungarian Grey Cattle, which are characterized by their silvery-white and greyish coats. What is interesting is that these bulls, mostly bred for beef, are actually born with wheat-colored coats, which then turn to silvery-white within the first few months of their lives. Also, unlike most heifers, the breed is known to be tall and lean. As of now, one will find these majestic cows minding their business in the Hortobágy National Park of Hungary and (we apologize for all the vegans and vegetarians out there) as the main course in several traditional Hungarian restaurants around the capital.
The world’s cutest, mop: the Puli
Also affectionately called the ”Mop Dog,” as its long, corded coat literally makes it appear like the cleaning tool, the Puli was bred to be a herding and livestock guard dog. However, what really gives us a kick is how much its mane also resembles dreadlocks. How cool can a dog get, we ask? But, just to increase its awesome factor, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg owns a Puli as a pet, so…case closed.
Your best Hungarian friend, the Vizsla
The Hungarian Vizsla was best-known as sporting dogs, whose skills for hunting fowl and other game shames most. Today they are one of the most popular companions for locals due to their loyal and loving nature. Due to their past on the hunting grounds, they tend to be super energetic and require lots of attention but once you manage to befriend a Vizsla, you’ve got a friend for life.
The Guard of the Hungarian Plains, the Kuvasz
Finally, there is the intelligent and noble Kuvasz, famous for being a loyal guard dog and for guarding livestock in the Hungarian prairie. Their large fur and massive build can be quite deceptive though. These animals are becoming more and more popular nowadays due to their playful, yet calm nature and family-friendly nature.
So whether it’s on the streets of Budapest, out in one of the beautiful Nature Reserves or (sorry once more) in a traditional local restaurant, look for the majestic indigenous animals of Hungary and discover what makes them so special!