The National Dog

The national sentiment and thought that emerged in the eighteenth century and became pervasive by the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have occasionally manifested themselves in very strange forms. They created not only anthems, national heroes and national consciousness, they did not only reinterpret history from a national viewpoint and give a national character to particular cultures but they also appeared in areas that nobody had ever considered worthy for centuries of becoming areas for ideology-based discrimination.

Today we are no longer surprised that a national character can also be attributed to animals that have been with us for a long time.

Dogs have most probably lived with humans for the longest time, while cats have lagged behind a bit in this competition. Some think that Homo sapiens has always lived together with this four-legged friend, while others, based on archaeological data, date back the beginning of this co-habitation to “only” thirty-three thousand years ago. Even the most rigorous approach admits that dogs have lived together with humans for at least 15,000 years.[1]

The jackal, and, on a genetic basis, the wolf are known to be the ancestors of dogs. Even though neither the jackal nor the wolf barks, it is believed that dogs assumed the habit of barking for the purposes of living together with humans. Therefore dogs can certainly be called our oldest four-legged companions.

Nevertheless, this paper is not about dogs even though they appear to be the protagonists. As a matter of fact, however lovable and respectable dogs may be, they do not have either a written history or a will to shape their fate. Nor do they possess interpretive skills. These are unique human attributes. Consequently, humans play the main roles also in narratives about dogs.

The perception on dogs and, as a result, the life of the dogs have undergone major changes because of the fact that in the second half or at the end of the long nineteenth century humans began to breed them with very specific objectives in mind. Throughout this breeding process an idea has been developed about what dogs should be like, which has, in a way, standardized and perpetuated the outlook and character of various breeds of dogs.

This was a new development, as dogs had previously been used purposefully and functionally. For hunting those types of dogs had been chosen that helped people hunt. Likewise, in livestock production those kinds were preferred that helped in herding and in keeping the herd together. And last, but not least, for defense purposes those types of dogs had been selected that could defend whoever they had to. The list of the means of application is not exhaustive: it only serves to indicate that breeding had not been a basic element of the relationship of humans and dogs. The dogs that were most suitable for a given function under the given climatic conditions were given preference. Since co-habitation started a long time ago, a significant pool of experiences had accumulated, and there was no need to ponder what kind of imaginary dog humans wanted.

Nevertheless, from the second half of the nineteenth century, people started to consider the possibility of dog-breeding that involved a strong limitation on the love-life of dogs. According to the original reasoning, dogs needed to be bred in order to be able to better perform their functions, to become even better hunters and herders. Old justifications for sought for new actions. But at the same time another goal appeared: since dogs were being bred there should also be a national content, thought and nature to this process so that it can express a national sentiment. People wanted their own national breeds of dogs. Obviously, this way of thinking was typical of humans, not of dogs. Dogs did not want to be national. In actual fact, little did dogs know about plans to turn them national. Humans, on the other hand, became more and more conscious in their endeavor to try and make dogs a representation of the national community as well.

The European Prologue

This history did not begin with dog-breeding. Instead, its first players were horses.

At the beginning of the industrial revolution in England the upper class came to the idea that horse races should be organized. One of the earliest races still famous today was the Epsom Derby. It was organized for the first time in 1780. Over time the venue has been changed many times and the distances run have been extended, but this is of no interest from our point of view. The aristocratic fashion of horse racing, perhaps because it came into existence in an increasingly bourgeois milieu, produced increasingly sophisticated ideas about horse breeding. When some outstanding race horses achieved high levels of value, horse breeding became a business.

In the Habsburg Empire the challenge of horse breeding triggered an immediate response. Joseph II established several state stud farms, primarily serving military purposes. Stud farms were established in 1785 in Mezőhegyes and in 1789 in Bábolna. And this process went on. The Kisbér stud farm was opened in 1853 and after the Compromise of 1867 other farms were established in Făgăraş (Fogaras), Cojocna (Kolozs) – both in Transylvania, present-day Romania – and Gödöllő.[2] The origin of each of the eight Hungarian breeds of horses, considered to be worthy of preservation, dates back to the end of the eighteenth century or to the long nineteenth century.[3]

The British example of horse breeding influenced Count István Széchenyi – characterized by Lajos Kossuth as the greatest personality in Hungarian national development. On the basis of his experiences gained in England, Széchenyi from among his several ideas and projects borrowed from there, wanted to introduce horse racing in Hungary as early as in 1821. To this end, he initiated the establishment of the Association of Horse Breeders in 1822. In 1827 he sponsored the first horse race in Pest, and his first book was devoted to this topic entitled Lovakrul [On Horses], which was published in 1828. He reasoned in favor of horse breeding in the name of utilitarianism and profit. In this he anticipated the bourgeois mentality predominant in his later works.

Behind horse breeding we can detect not only the definite and traditional military purposes but also the principle of utilitarianism related to bourgeois mentality and its evolution, emphasized also by Széchenyi. Through utilitarianism horse breeding could be taken up also by those who had formerly constituted the elite of the feudal society, the aristocracy. The combination of horse breeding and utilitarianism was linked in Europe, and somewhat later also in Hungary. This resulted in a partial and painless revision of traditional aristocratic thinking. The aristocrats liked horses and horse races and this made it easier for them to accept the idea of utilitarianism.

The Spiritual Soil of Europe: Breed, Breed Values and Beauty

The idea of horse breeding, originating from England, would not have led later to dog breeding by itself; this required other European spiritual processes as well.

One of these most important spiritual processes appeared in the 1850s and has been present, with varying intensity, ever since. (Like anything else, this also had its precursors but for us it is its open appearance that is important and not the history of this movement.)

The French Joseph Arthur de Gobineau published his four-volume work entitled Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines [An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races] between 1853 and 1855. The publication of the English edition (entitled The Moral and Intellectual Diversity of Races) almost immediately followed the original French edition, and in 1897 it was also published in German. Gobineau believed that humanity was divided into three major races: those with white, yellow and black colored skin. This division also reflected a value order of the races. The white men were put on the top and the black men at the bottom. There was a hierarchy within the group of white men as well. In his view, supremacy within the white race was represented by the Indo-Germans whom he referred to as Aryans. He believed that racial admixture was harmful because the less valuable races had a destructive effect on the white race. According to his convictions it was the racial principle that had the primary explanatory force in the human world. This was the basis of everything and everything followed from this.

Gobineau’s concept of race differs from that of Swedish naturalist Carl von Linné, the “inventor” of the racial principle, described in his Latin-language work entitled Systema Naturae [The System of Nature] in 1735. It was part of Linné’s definition of race that individuals of the same race can propagate and produce fertile offspring. According to this, man consisted of only one race, since regardless of skin color they are able to produce fertile offspring when mating with each other. Gobineau develops his racial theory based on skin color and incorporates Linné’s ideas by saying that the mixing of races destroys civilization and the racial superiority of white men.[4]

Gobineau’s ideas were clearly racist but became truly popular only when the time arrived when they became useful in practice. Usefulness was not limited to the fact that these ideas, in principle, were also suitable for creating a notion of enemies within the society. As regards the creation of enemies within the society, the second half of the nineteenth century and the following periods provided much more effective and competitive interpretations: the Marxist interpretation of the society based on the division into classes was just as suitable for this purpose as the national perspective that viewed other nations as enemies. (I am not going to discuss the question of which ideological system had stronger explanatory and interpretational force.) The “practicality” of Gobineau found its true place in the politics of colonization.[5]

As of the second half of the nineteenth century, the European great powers and the European nations performed a very determined, expansive colonial policy and this had to be justified somehow.[6] Empire builders have always tried to justify their intentions. In certain cases the need of the propagation or dominion of the faith – the only faith held to be true by them – was used as an argument, creating a certain kind of spiritual legitimacy for fulfilling their quite materialistic needs. On other occasions a civilizing endeavor was mentioned, because there could not be a more humane endeavor than to teach the “savages” the behavioral standards considered to be civilized by the empire builders. According to yet other ideas, “adult” nations had to assist “the ones still in their childhood” in their development. Then there was another version – and this is where Gobineau’s ideas come into play – that based the justification of empire building on racial considerations and used as a starting point the assumption that white men was worth more than the other races. In another version the racial logic concluded that there was a higher-ranking group even within the category of white men (the “whitest”, the “Aryan”), who have the racial prerogative to subject the others. Let us also remember the empire building ideology disguised as a class struggle, viewed by its followers as a scientific concept or a historical “solution” rather than as a belief, which legitimized the imposition of the will of one group of people on another by the force of arms.

If we look at any of these rapidly outlined methods of justification we find that the common element is a feeling or thought of some sort of cultural superiority. As the Polish-born British conservative writer Joseph Conrad put it in 1899: “The conquest of the earth, which means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretense but an idea; an unselfish belief in the idea – something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to…”[7]

Conrad’s sharp-eyed comment shows that these ideas are not some kind of “spiritual embroidery”. Instead, they were real and essential factors solidly embedded into the culture of the empire builders. They assigned the elements of greatness and glory, justifiable in moral and spiritual terms, to the group representing the given idea. The faith wished to be justified has become a part of the empire builders’ culture.

The second half of the nineteenth century was the great era of colonization. Although around 1880 only its peripheral regions had been known, by 1914 almost the entire African continent was colonized. It was also at this time that the European colonizing endeavors reached Oceania and the islands of the Pacific. In Western Europe every nation that had an opportunity was engaged in colonization. Belgium, established in 1830, had amassed by the 1910s colonies of 2.3 million square kilometers with a population of almost twenty million people. Germany, formed in 1871, had acquired 2.8 million square kilometers of colonies by 1914. This was negligible compared to France, which had 6.8 million square kilometers of colonies and reigned over 39 million natives. And all of them shrank into insignificance beside Great Britain, because the British colonial empire amounted to an area of 29 million square kilometers and 351 million people.[8]

Gobineau’s views, published in the 1850s, could have appeared relevant, useful and “practical” by virtue of colonization, albeit they were less useful for creating domestic enemies.[9] In its entirety colonization proclaimed the rule of the “white race”, and the colonization of Africa started in the 1880s was directed precisely against those whom the French author called the lowest human race. We can say with a slight but not groundless cynicism – or perhaps with a sense of reality? – that the Western governments “exploited” Gobineau’s ideas.

Racial thinking and the concept of race became embedded in the daily political life of European culture, in contrast to the previously dominant Christian image of the world, where – because of Adam and Eve – humanity was considered to be united. An increasing number of pamphlets and newspaper articles promoting racial thinking were published and it did not take long until a new, larger summarizing work was published.

A few decades after Gobineau’s work Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s book entitled Die Grundlagen des 19. Jahrhunderts [The Foundations of the 19th Century] (two volumes, 1899) appeared. In contrast to that of Gobineau, Chamberlain’s racism was much more designed for an internal use. He dealt primarily with the racial differences between the different groups of white men and believed that within this race Jews constituted the most dangerous and most destructive force.[10] These thoughts were developed further by the once very influential Nazi ideologue, Alfred Rosenberg, who was jealous of Gobineau’s and Chamberlain’s fame and published his own summary on racial theory in 1930 entitled Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts [The Myth of the 20th Century]. (By 1945 more than one million copies of this book had been sold!)

Nevertheless, it is striking that the gaining ground of racial ideas in Europe coincided with the start of purebred breeding and the racial ideas on humans gained acceptance in the realm of animals just as well. If one can speak of “blood lines” and the “purity of blood” in the case of humans, we can do the same in the case of bred animals. If the homogeneous human race can be divided into separate races (the word “race” can be used instead of “type”), then the same logic can be applied to dogs and we can use the term “pure-raced dogs” rather than “pure-bred dogs”, and the term “pure races” became more widespread than the old term of “pure breeds”.

However, it was not only racial ideas that started their “career” during the 1850s.

A few years after the publication of Gobineau’s work, British natural scientist Charles Robert Darwin published his book entitled On the Origin of Species in 1859. The full title of the book is as follows: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In Darwin’s work, at least in the first edition, the word “evolution” did not appear because the author did not want to provoke the religious views of the era. Nevertheless, the work received massive criticism and had an enormous impact. It reshaped the frameworks of European thinking that had been dominant so far. The concept of natural selection, the ideas of viability and of adaptation made the notion of the world created by a supreme being for once and forever unsustainable. This idea had a liberating power: if the world is not set but is changing, then it can be changed as well. One of the major results of Darwin’s work was the realization that man, adhering to the rules of biology, can not only interpret evolution but can also shape it.

Darwin’s approach was soon applied to the society. The theory, called Social Darwinism, viewed the functioning of society as a particular kind of natural selection that could be modified by political will. I am not going to tackle the phenomenon of Social Darwinism here but it is certain that every liberating idea of our culture can be interpreted in a variety of ways.[11]

So far we can see that in addition to the national concept of creating European unity there appears the idea of the possibility of changing the biological world, the idea of creating a hierarchy of race and the utilitarian concept of breeding.

In addition to that, another, perhaps less significant, but also important precondition or rather a process manifested in parallel was required to ensure that, through the dog, people could change their hitherto goal- and function-oriented practices.

The nineteenth century redefined the concept of beauty. It could be stated that every era made some changes on the concept of beauty, but the nineteenth century changed the concept of beauty not only in art but also by surgery being capable to change the visible aspects of the human body according to the standards of the era.[12] The techniques of anesthesiology and pain control had made major progress. In 1804 morphine was “discovered”, and in 1835 the composition of chloroform was standardized. These inventions did not immediately percolate into every-day life but, after a while, they became generally available in most parts of Europe and in the United States.

The Prussian Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach (1792–1847) entered the history of medicine as the father of plastic surgery. After German doctors, British physicians also started to deal with skin transplants. This process, sooner or later, became related to the esthetic quality of the human body and the technique could be used not only in restorative, life-improving or life-saving procedures but also to perform beautification improvements. The first breast augmentation intervention was performed in the 1890s. Austrian physician Robert Gersuny enlarged the female breast by injecting paraffin. Beginning from the 1930s fat tissue, excised from the bottom was implanted into the breast, and in the 1940s the unstoppable career of silicon started. Nowadays the umpteenth generation of implants is applied, and they are not necessarily made of silicon anymore.[13]

From the point of view of dog breeding anesthesiology and pain control, which were a precondition for the development and growth of plastic surgery, seem to be unimportant on their own, and did not affect our concepts of our four-legged friends directly. They did, however, have a major effect on man and it was the thoughts of man that shaped the dog and not vice versa. Man witnessed that the body could be shaped for esthetic reasons: if a woman with small breasts could be turned into a woman with large breasts, why could a dog with a long tail not be turned into one with a short tail? If human burned skin areas can be miraculously covered with healthy skin, why could a dog’s ears not be modified? The principle was the same for man and dog: one must reach an ideal esthetic level or a level which is at least close to the ideal one. And plastic surgery suggested to people that this could be done.

The new ideas developing in Europe in the nineteenth century were favorable in many ways for the development of dog breeding. The case of horse breeding had shown that the ideas of breeding could be accomplished and also that the countries of the age as well as their elite social groups were in favor of it. The idea of race soaked into European culture and it became a popular belief that beauty could have a racial implication or, vice versa, that beauty resulted from the race. The oldest friend, the dog, was a given. All that was left was to combine these new ways of human thinking with dogs.

I hope that I will not be misunderstood. I do not believe that whoever was engaged in dog breeding was necessarily a racist or that dog breeding was a peculiar derivative of the racial ideology or racial hatred applied to humans.[14] Neither do I believe that the various processes have a causal relationship with each other. I do believe, however, that European thinking evolving in the nineteenth century and the evolving spiritual soil strongly favored the idea that we make our oldest friends more esthetic, assign them to us as part of our nation and thus make them a part of our cultural community, and in other dimensions representatives of this community.

The International Framework of Dog Breeding

The first national dog breeding organization was established in Great Britain in 1873. Perhaps we could say that this example was followed by several countries, but, as I had indicated above, I believe that there were parallel processes, mutually strengthening each other. The Hungarian Kennel Club (MEOE) was established in 1899.[15]

The national dog associations appearing all over Europe relied on their own “pre-history” because a national association can only be established if there are sufficient active breeders in the country. Consequently, we can date back the beginnings of dog breeding to the 1860s.

The process reached the level of internationalization in 1911. On May 22 the Fédération Cynologique Internationale [World Canine Organization] (FCI) was established. Its founding members were Germany (Kartell für das Deutsche Hundewesen und Die Delegierte Kommission), Austria (Österreicher Kynologenverband), Belgium (Société Royale Saint-Hubert), France (Société Central Canine de France) and the Netherlands (Raad van Beheer op Kynologish Gebied in Nederland).[16]

It can be seen that the British, in keeping with their consistently held standpoint of “splendid isolation” stayed away from the foundation but the national dog breeding associations of every other rising colonial powers participated in the creation of the organization. Austria is the only non-colonial country in this group but the political life and public thinking of German Austria (because that of what we talk about here) was imbued with the racial thought at the time.

The association did not survive the trials of the Great War that broke out in 1914 and its activities were discontinued, as it became impossible to carry them on. It was re-established in 1921 on French and Belgian initiative. Today it has eighty member countries. The Hungarian association ceased to exist after the war and was reorganized only in 1956. Its relations with the international organization were normalized only at the beginning of the 1960s.

FCI has been functioning on the basis of approving the particular dog breeds on the recommendation of the national associations. Every breed of dog becomes the property of the given member country, therefore the relevant national kennel club is responsible for the standards of the breed. The international association in turn guarantees that the standards of the given breed will be identical in all of its member countries. On the basis of the characteristics of the breeds the organization formulates dog groups and keeps track of the individual dogs using this grouping. The ten groups are the following: Sheepdogs and Cattledogs, 2. Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs, 3. Terriers, 4. Dachshunds, 5. Spitz and Primitive Types, 6. Scent Hounds and Related Breeds 7. Pointing Dogs, 8. Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs, 9. Companion and Toy Dogs and 10. Sighthounds.

FCI recognizes three hundred thirty five different dog breeds at present. The number keeps changing because there are always new breeds waiting to be accepted and registered.

According to my calculations, from the 335 dog breeds there are at least 95 breeds whose name includes a national reference, i.e. not the name of a region or city, but the name of a country is added as an adjective to the name of the breed. (For this reason this list does not include the Moscow Watchdog but does include the Croatian Shepherd Dog.) Thus almost a third of the registered dog breeds are national even in their names.

Yet, as we will see in the case of Hungarian dogs, this by itself does not mean much as regards the role played by the dogs in the field of national identity.

Hungarian Dogs

Contemporary Hungarian public opinion considers nine breeds of dogs to be Hungarian: Komondor, Kuvasz, Mudi (Large Hungarian Sheepdog), Puli (Small Hungarian Sheepdog), Pumi, Hungarian Greyhound, Vizsla (Hungarian Short-haired Pointer), Hungarian Wire-haired Pointer and Transylvanian Scent Hound (Erdélyi Kopó). However, only four of these have the name “Hungarian” or the adjective “Transylvanian” (also related to Hungarianness) in their names.

The above breeds are considered to be Hungarian not only by public opinion but also by Decision No. 32 of 2004 (April 19) of the Hungarian National Assembly, the annex of which – among others – lists them by name.

The text of the Decision ties the breeds firmly to national identity, and mentions them as a part of Hungarian national culture ensuring their protection. It Decision states: “The old Hungarian domestic animals are the results of centuries of human activities. They are a part of Hungarian history; and not only of the history of animal breeding but of the entire Hungarian history. They are a part of the Hungarian landscape, they form an element of our national identity, and our ancient domestic animals are our surviving and lively heritage.

On the verge of joining the European Union the Hungarian Parliament pays special attention to the preservation of the values and results of the 1100 years of our national existence, expressing our national character in Europe also this way.

  1. In this spirit, the Hungarian Parliament declares that the protected indigenous and old Hungarian animal breeds should be considered national treasure.
  2. The state will promote the breeding, the maintenance of adequate stocks of the species declared to be a national treasure, and also all related activities.
  3. Preservation of the protected indigenous and old animal species bred in Hungary is not exclusively a state responsibility. Declaring them as a national treasure should encourage cooperation between civil society organizations, agricultural organizations and private individuals.
  4. The protected indigenous and old Hungarian breeds have a role in education, in art and in the preservation of our national identity. They represent an esthetic value, and the genome concealed within them has an economic significance. (…)
  5. We consider the breeds listed in the Annex to be indigenous Hungarian animals, being at the same time – in their name and also in their appearance – symbols of Hungary.”[17]

The text of the act leaves no doubt that the animals listed in the Annex, including Hungarian dogs, are considered national treasure, parts of Hungarian national identity, they represent an esthetic value and, at the same time, can be regarded as symbols of Hungary.

The story of the Hungarian dog breeds that have become a part of Hungarian national identity is interesting in itself, despite the fact that we know very little of the long past of the dogs. In many cases the stories simply represent the force of human imagination projecting the concept of nation into the distant past. It can, however, be more or less accurately determined when organized breeding started, and the fact of being bred in itself assumes that the given dog breed had begun to become “national”.

Considering the case of Komondor, the first breeding organization was established in 1924, which does not mean, however, that the dog had not existed in a similar form earlier. The Kuvasz was shown at a dog breed show as early as in 1931 but the official breeding program started only in 1935. The first standard for the Mudi was set in 1936. The first breed description of the Puli dates back to 1935, while organized breeding began only in the 1960s. The first breed description of the Pumi appeared in 1924. The Hungarian Greyhound has a long history, because it was one of the favorite hunting dogs of the aristocracy. However, we are not certain whether the greyhound societies, established in the 1840s, preferred the Hungarian breed or other ones. What we do know is that international registration took place in 1966. Registration of the Hungarian Short-haired Pointer began in 1920. Breeding of the Hungarian Wire-haired Pointer started in the 1940s. The registration of the Transylvanian Scent Hound began at the beginning of the twentieth century.[18]

Some of the Hungarian dog breeds have a long history, even without registered breeding, but here we are not focusing on the dogs, but on the history of dog-related human thinking. More specifically, we will examine this issue as it is related to Hungarian national image.

In what follows, will examine the national relations of two of the nine Hungarian breeds: the Short-haired Hungarian Pointer and the Transylvanian Scent Hound. They are those breeds that are Hungarian also in their names.

The Short-haired Hungarian Pointer (Vizsla)

As we have seen earlier the Pointing Dogs (Vizslas) represent an independent breed at the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Throughout the world there is a large variety of them. The Continental Pointing Dogs section of the FCI Pointer Dogs group has thirty-five dog breeds, including the Hungarian Short-haired and Wire-haired Pointers (Vizslas).[19] There are also German, Italian, Czech, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, Danish and Slovak Pointers. The English name of the Vizsla, “Pointer” suggests a dog that can focus its attention to one point.

The Hungarian term “Vizsla” is related to the Hungarian verbs “vizsgál” or “vizslat”, which mean ‘smell out’, ‘spy out’ or ‘rummage’. The term also relates to the concept of a “searching” or “investigating” look. The noun “Vizsla” means: ‘a hunting dog with long legs and floppy ears, finding game by its scent’. Based on the appearance the closest relative of Hungarian Vizsla is believed to be the Weimaraner, which was started to be bred in Germany during the last third of the nineteenth century. The first description of the breed was printed in 1879, and in the then already existing Germany the breed was entered in the German dog registry as an independent breed in 1896.

The story about the origins of the Hungarian Vizsla is not quite clear. I do not wish to take sides in the debate between the competing explanations. However, I would like to recall a possible explanation that shows how relative the national content is in the case of dogs.

In an article in Erdészeti Lapok [Forestry Journal] in 1963, Andor Standeisky discussed the origins of the Hungarian Pointer at great length in response to certain German articles.[20] He used the idea as a starting point that ancient Hungarians were hunters whose life consisted of gathering, fishing and hunting, consequently they used hunting dogs. Standeisky believed that Hungarians, along with the Finno-Ugric peoples of the epoch, had used the West Siberian Laika as an all-purpose hunting dog.[21]

During their long migration Hungarians met with several kinds of dogs, thus greyhounds, falconry dogs and foxhounds could have been included in the Hungarian dog keeping practice. Following the year 1000 A.D., the establishment of the Kingdom of Hungary, falconry dogs became more and more popular. Much later the Turkish occupation of Hungary contributed to the emergence of Turkish hunting dogs in Hungary, and this must have been crossbred with the existing hunting dog breeds. The Turks presumably had a breed of dog called Sloughi and breeds that originated in Egypt: sand-yellow, short-haired hounds. The author believes that the immediate ancestor of the Hungarian Vizsla was the Hungarian falconry dog and owed its final shape to the massive and long-lasting cross breeding with the Turkish dogs of Egyptian origin. The direct ancestor emerged sometime at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century. Then, mostly after the 1880s, masses of English Pointers and German Weimaraners arrived in Hungary. Standeisky drew the following conclusion: “The Hungarian Vizsla is one of the oldest Pointer breeds in Europe. Its original ancestor is the Hungarian falconry dog bred from the Pannonian and Transylvanian Scent Hounds by selection. Its present appearance was decisively influenced by the Turkish Pointer, a.k.a. the Tarsus Çatalburun, a falconry dog derived from the sand-yellow foxhound from Asia Minor, which was brought to Hungary during the Turkish occupation.”[22]

To indicate the total historical uncertainty, this is what another author writes about the Hungarian Pointer: “Our breed is an indigenous type; its ancestors proved to be present in a shape similar to the present breed during the wanderings of the Hungarians conquering the Carpathian Basin.”[23]

Obviously, nobody knows anything for sure because the dogs did not write their own history and dog breeding was not sufficiently important to be paid special attention to. The Hungarians’ relationship with the dogs was based on purpose and function.

The not entirely specific history of the breed began in 1882 with a Vizsla field competition. Several breeds of pointers could participate in this competition, including also English and German pointers. The yellow-colored Vizslas were also popular but because they were not bred regularly they started to disappear. At the time of World War I, in 1916, Tibor Thúróczi published an article in the journal Nimród in favor of this breed, “the old Hungarian yellow Vizsla”. He wrote: “I am talking about the Yellow Vizsla of whom there were always some pups in my grandfather’s yard when I was a boy just as there were some at almost every rural property. Since then their number decreased and they are practically extinct. This breed was not well-balanced either in color or in nature. All their representatives had light bones and ears reminiscent of the Pointer. Some of them were quite tall, while others were only the size of a Spaniel. Their color ranged from light yellow to deep red. Their great ability to learn indicates that they had been bred and so does the fact that every skill that we would expect from a Vizsla is native in them.”[24]

Thúróczi assumes the presence of a breed but cannot prove it. As he notes, the dogs in question are of different sizes and colors. Nevertheless, his article served the purpose of raising interest in this breed of dog.

The lost world war and the subsequent Trianon Peace Treaty gave a decisive push to favor the breeding of “purely Hungarian breeds”. The national grievance about lost territories gave an inspiration to create (or, in the contemporary interpretation, to “resurrect”) the Hungarian Vizsla and to demonstrate that despite the defeat and the indignities heaped upon Hungarians, the nation was able to express its national identity in the image of the Hungarian Vizsla. A few weeks before the signing of the Trianon Peace Treaty, in May 1920, the Association of Hungarian Vizsla Breeders was established, functioning as a section of the National Vizsla Club. The breed registration book was started the same year, with eleven pedigreed Vizslas. By 1928 the description of the breed was completed and in 1935 the FCI registered the breed. In 1936 the registration book was closed and thus only the descendants of the Vizslas that had been accepted prior to that date could be bred legally thereafter. By the beginning of the 1940s there were approximately five thousand registered, so-called “racially pure” (in effect: pure-bred) pedigreed Vizslas in Hungary.

During World War II the breed almost perished and the central register was lost in a fire. The National Vizsla Club restarted the register, and the state breeding site in Gödöllő established in 1947 proved to be of valuable help in this respect. In 1956 the Hungarian Kennel Club (MEOE) was re-established and by 1963 it could normalize its membership in the FCI. In 1966 the international organization accepted the modification of the Hungarian Vizsla standard and thus Hungary now has a dog of a lighter build than that of the interwar years, and this is what is called Hungarian Vizsla. The Short-haired Hungarian Vizsla has become one of the most widely known and popular Hungarian breeds.[25]

Yet, what do we know about the Short-haired Hungarian Vizsla? What does it look like? What is its character like?

“It is a well-built, middle-sized, elegant dog with a pleasant appearance. Its head is lean and noble; its eyes are a shade darker than its coat; its ears hang down. Its back is straight and short, its loins are wide, its chest is deep, and its underline is slightly tucked up. Its tail is shortened to two thirds and is usually held horizontal. His limbs are straight and strong. His coat is short and dense, and the hairs are firm. Its color is dark sandy gold (‘semmelgelb’)… It is intelligent, easy to train, well-balanced, devoted and quite sensitive… A universal hunting dog, it works equally well in the forest, in the field and in the water. It is also popular as a pet.”[26]

Yes, that is it, the Short-haired Hungarian Pointer (Vizsla). It has also become popular outside Hungary. In the United Kingdom, the land of origin of dog breeding, approximately one thousand Vizsla pups are registered annually, about the same number as in Hungary. This makes the Short-haired Hungarian Vizsla one of the fifty most popular breeds in Great Britain.[27]

According to certain reports Short-haired Hungarian Vizslas also participated in the rescue activities after the New York terror attack of September 11, 2001.[28]

The popularity of the breed in Hungary is best shown in the four series of animated films (each consisting of thirteen episodes and created between 1972 and 1987) entitled Frakk, a macskák réme [Frakk, the Terror of Cats]. The protagonist called Frakk is a Hungarian Vizsla, who has an unbreakable antagonism to Aunt Irma’s two cats, Lukrécia and Szerénke.[29]

Over time the Vizsla, created for the hunt, was recreated as the Hungarian Vizsla. This creative process shortly turned this very lovable dog into a national treasure and a symbol of Hungary. For this reason it hunts less and less, but is loved by more and more people. However, it does not have any idea about its role in national consciousness. Nevertheless, it presumably senses the love that surrounds it. And if it is loved, it follows that what is Hungarian is also loved.

The Transylvanian Scent Hound

The FCI considers the large family of hounds and bloodhounds as part of the Scent Hounds Section of the Scent Hound Group. Seventy-five breeds are classified here, and one of them is the Transylvanian Scent Hound (Erdélyi Kopó). According to the etymology of the Hungarian language the original meaning of the word “Kopó” was ‘grabber’, ‘capturer’ or ‘grasper’. The old meaning fits the breed perfectly.

There are several explanations known about the origin of the breed. Some consider it to be a mixture of the ancient Laika breed and of the Tatar Hound and believe that the ancestors of the Transylvanian Scent Hound lived with the Hungarians when they conquered the Carpathian Basin. Others believe that the Celtic Hound living in the Carpathian Basin intermingled with the Illyrian, the Albanian and the Austrian Hounds resulting in the Pannonian Hound. In this view, this dog breed was the source of the Hungarian and Transylvanian Hounds. However, others believe that the Polish Hound should also be mentioned in this story because it also contributed to the development of the breed.[30]

Obviously, there are no attested data here, either. What we have at hand are hypotheses rather than justifiable assertions. Chances are that various arguments could be supported.

For us it is the breeding that is important and in that area we have much more evidence. First, however, we must emphasize that we know of two types of Transylvanian Scent Hounds, a long-legged and a short-legged one. We are going to discuss the long-legged type since this is the type that is recognized as a Hungarian breed. (Some people breed the short-legged Transylvanian Scent Hound and if they persist, this may become the tenth recognized Hungarian dog breed.)

In the nineteenth century the hound was quite popular in Hungary without any particular organized breeding. However, this had not yet been the hound that is called Transylvanian Scent Hound today, but a type similar to it. Its popularity was presumably due to the fact that many people hunted in the forests and the long-legged hound proved very useful in the hunt for large-sized games like wild boars and bears. When the idea of organized dog breeding became established in Hungary, it became an obvious task to describe and fix the characteristics of the Transylvanian Scent Hound. This took place in 1901, when Ede Czynk described the breed in detail. Soon thereafter the Transylvanian Scent Hound was entered into the registry but registration was interrupted after the end of World War I.

The end of the career of the Transylvanian Scent Hound was due to the fact that hunting got scarcer and a considerable area of forests and mountains had been detached from Hungary in the Trianon Peace Treaty. Transylvanian Hounds were also blamed for causing more disturbances in the forests than necessary, while rural households did not appreciate that the hounds kept stealing food.[31] Consequently, keeping Transylvanian Scent Hounds became less popular in Hungary in the interwar years; however, it remained popular in Transylvania.

Breeding Transylvanian Scent Hounds was given a new momentum in 1941. Based on the Second Vienna Award Northern Transylvania became a part of Hungary again and it was thought that the Transylvanian Scent Hound could incorporate Hungarian identity also including Transylvania. A movement started to promote the breeding of the Transylvanian Scent Hound. In 1941 twenty-seven dogs were assembled that were thought to be worthy of being bred. The 1941–1942 issue of the Vadászati Útmutató [Hunting Guide] described the Transylvanian Scent Hound in detail providing a guide to the “real” breed. In January 1942 the National Vizsla Club established a Transylvanian Scent Hound section. President of the section István Vértessy, a retired colonel, declared: “Every nation should respect its values because this is the only way the nation itself can earn respect!”[32] This quote suggests that the Transylvanian Scent Hound had become a Hungarian national value.

In the case of the Vizsla it was the Trianon Peace Treaty that gave an impetus to breeding, while concerning the Transylvanian Scent Hound it was the revision of that peace treaty. It can be stated without any doubt that the political-historical aspects of national identity are tightly related to the national self-expression power of the dog breeds.

Obviously, the war was not favorable for dog breeding. After the Second World War Transylvania was returned to Romania. Since Hungarians had made the Transylvanian Scent Hound a matter of national identity, Romanian authorities regaining power after 1945 did not approve of this breed. In 1947 the breed was declared to be a beast of prey and a regulation was passed to have it exterminated. In addition to the hidden national content these measures might have been due to the Romanian government’s aim to protect the stock of game from the poorly nourished population, some of whom regularly poached in the forests. Because Transylvanian Scent Hounds were essential for a successful hunt, the government probably believed that the extermination of the breed would make hunting impossible. (This assumption is supported by the fact that in addition to the Transylvanian Scent Hound, the Greyhound was to be eradicated as well.) Whatever goal the Romanian government had in mind, the result was that the number of Transylvanian Scent Hounds was significantly reduced.

There was a long pause in the history of their breeding. At the beginning of the 1960s a number of Hungarians attempted to get dogs from Transylvania. In 1968 some hunters, who liked the breed, decided to resurrect the Transylvanian Scent Hound. They found a pair of hounds in the Maramureş (Máramaros) region. They smuggled them across the Hungarian border and professional breeding started in the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden. (The two dogs were called Morzsi Állatkerti and Réka Állatkerti, “Állatkerti” meaning ‘from the zoo’.) Legend has it that the smugglers told the Romanian border guards that the two dogs were a present from Comrade Ceauşescu to Comrade Kádár.[33]

Meanwhile, even before the breeding of the Transylvanian Scent Hound was started anew, the description of the breed was redrafted in 1966 and, on the basis of this breed description, the FCI recognized the Transylvanian Scent Hound in 1968.

In 1971 a Hunting World Exhibition was organized in Hungary and this was an excellent opportunity for the international hunting community to become acquainted with the Transylvanian Scent Hound, which gave a renewed impetus to breeding.

The breeding enthusiasm soared for a while and then receded, and then it was revitalized only in 1986. At that time more and more people became interested in the Transylvanian Scent Hound, thus the number of dogs from this breed increased again. Most of the Transylvanian Scent Hounds are to be found in Hungary and in Romania. In September 2000 the FCI revised its breed description stating that the short-legged hound had disappeared. In 2005 the Transylvanian Scent Hound Club was established, with twenty-seven members, within the framework of the Hungarian Kennel Club.

Nevertheless, the Transylvanian Scent Hound is not nearly as popular as the Short-haired Hungarian Pointer (Vizsla). In 1991 there were 316 Transylvanian Scent Hound pups registered, but in 2001 there were only sixty-eight.[34]

What can we know about the Transylvanian Scent Hound? What does it look like? What is its character like?

“A medium-sized dog. The head is slightly elongated, the eyes have a slight oriental slant and are dark brown. Ears hang closely to the cheeks. The back is straight, the loin is tight, the croup is slightly sloping, the chest is deep, the belly is slightly tucked up. The limbs are in parallel and straight. The coat is short and dense. The color can be a black pattern or a black pattern with white spots… Good-natured, brave, undemanding, very hardy and easily teachable. It sticks to its masters and defends him/her if necessary.”[35]

Since the Transylvanian Scent Hound is a lesser known Hungarian breed, few have personal experiences with it, therefore let me quote a writer on the dog’s character who is very familiar with the breed and loves it:

“They are well-intentioned, brave, very steady and agile dogs. They are generally sober, do not fool around and are very attentive. They are both decisive and temperamental and the Transylvanian Scent Hounds coming from a good bloodline have strong nerves, are calm, tolerate shooting and other loud noises well. They are also generally undemanding and tolerate extreme weather conditions well; however, they do not like to be tied up. (But then what dog does?)

These dogs weighing fifty to sixty pounds and measuring fifty-five to sixty centimeters, and having an intelligent look prefer to live in the country. They like to run around but can be kept very well in an apartment if they can fulfill their biological need for movement – for example by regularly taking long walks in nature…

The Transylvanian Scent Hound has a peculiar way of thinking. Whoever had been fortunate enough to meet this breed of special character knows how difficult it is to describe this. Anyone being used to the unconditional devotion of the German Shepherd or the eternal love of the Vizsla will find the Transylvanian Scent Hound somewhat strange. These dogs are like the crafty Transylvanian Szeklers: due to their inventive minds they often reach the goal before their master. They find their way around and their way back easily both in the forest and in the fields.

These dogs are primarily for adults. They like children but are not a children’s dog because they like to attach to a stronger master. They accept others but the word of the ‘principal master’ is law.”[36]

The Transylvanian Scent Hound unshakably preserves Hungarian character seen through Hungarian eyes. This is beautifully illustrated by Sándor Csoóri, the poet and writer so sensitive about national issues, who writes about Bátor [Brave], his Transylvanian Scent Hound: “Whoever is familiar at all with the rich world of dog types knows that the Transylvanian Scent Hound, this tri-colored animal with smooth black coat, oak yellow and white spots, belongs to the noble order of hunting dogs. Its immediate ancestor is one of the splendid examples of the equine civilization of the Hungarian conquerors. He arrives here in the Carpathian Basin at their side and, intermingling with the indigenous hounds “creates” the Transylvanian Scent Hound’s shape and character… The Transylvanian Scent Hound appearing in three colors is not at all a colorful dog and is not spotted. On the contrary: his mutually complementing, contrapunctal colors make it enigmatic, disturbing and, even in its prosiness, always festive. In its coat it has something of the color of the raven, a flash of white on its chest from a swan and, at the same time, something brown from the wolf. If you look at it you will realize that this hound matched the tragic and rebellious Koppány as well as King Stephen and our renaissance king, Matthias Corvinus, who was imitating the king of the Huns. Even as a servant he was noble, a real aristocrat among dogs. It is no accident that until World War II this dog was mingling with the innermost circles of the Hungarian, and particularly Transylvanian, aristocracy. It was not at all accidental either that in 1947 the Romanian government, with the shifty, wily and smart Petru Groza at its head, passed an ordinance for the extermination of the Transylvanian Scent Hound to make these dogs disappear from the surface of the earth, to make them disappear together with the Bánffy, the Bethlen, the Kemény, the Apor and the Kornis clans: together with the centuries piling up behind them and disappearing into an abyss.”[37]

In Csoóri’s words the Transylvanian Scent Hound is the symbol of Hungarian fate and Hungarian life in Transylvania. This is a great honor for a dog. However, it is well-grounded.

During the history of Hungarian dog breeding and within that in the history of the Vizsla and that of the Transylvanian Scent Hound, you will find nineteenth century Europe, the national idea and everything that we would have never thought possible to be related to a dog two hundred years ago.

Delayed and Parallel Stories

If the train of thought on dog breeding is correct, a similar logic should be applicable to cats. As I am not writing about cats but dogs, or rather about the relationship of man to the dog, I will refer to cats only briefly.

Cats undoubtedly have lived with man for thousands of years. Not as long as the dogs but long enough to be symbolically incorporated into human culture. The divine role of the cat in Egypt is well known.

Cats, or more accurately the domesticated cats, originally played a similar – utilitarian – role at the side of man. For man it was beneficial that cats killed the rodents seeking to devour the crops and it was good for the cat that the harvested and gathered grain attracted the rodents, serving as food for them. There was a functional and purposeful keeping of cats, just like in the case of dogs.

The national sentiment and idea as well as the creation of a world adapted to the nation, together with other influences of the nineteenth century, had an effect on dog-keeping, and created the nationalized breeding of dogs. Did the same thing happen to the cats?

Yes, but only later.

Nowadays, there are several national and international cat breeding organizations. The largest cat association is the TICA, The International Cat Association, established in the United States in 1979.[38] It organizes the registration of the various breeds of cats, cat exhibitions and cat shows. According to their records there are seventy-five registered breeds of cat in the world today and there are nineteen with the name of a country in their name. This number is obviously smaller than in the case of dogs. The list goes from the Norwegian Forest Cat to the Scottish Fold and the Russian Blue. Just as with dogs, however, the breeds of cat which are considered to be national are much more numerous: the California Spangled proclaims the greatness and glory of the United States just as much as the American Curl. The Russians consider the Siberian Cat just as much as their own as the Kurilian Bobtail, having two types. (I have no information about whether the Kurilian Bobtail represents the Russian authority over the Kuril Islands vis-à-vis the Japanese Bobtail representing the territorial claims of Japan.)

Even though the number of cat breeds is smaller than the number of dog breeds, both numbers are growing because, particularly in the United States, new cat breeds are continuously “created.” The cat breeds are also becoming increasingly national.

Without going into details it can be said that the registration and breeding of cats began in Great Britain at the end of the nineteenth century, just as it happened a little earlier in the case of the dogs. (The Siamese Cat arrived in Great Britain between 1870 and 1880 and its breeding was started at the end of the century. The first breed was officially registered in 1900. The breed standards for the Persian Cat were established at the end of the nineteenth century and this became the standard for the cat breeders.)

The breeding of cats started later than the breeding of dogs but progressed along parallel lines.

In Hungary, however, the tendency to breed a national cat came to a dead-end. There is no such thing as a Hungarian breed of cat and, as far as I know, no attempt has been made to create one.

We know what the past has brought and perhaps we also know the reasons now.

We cannot know, however, what the future holds…


[1] http://ku*


[3] Decision No. 32 (April 24, 2004) of the Hungarian National Assembly “On Declaring the Protected Indigenous or Endangered Hungarian Animal Species of High Genetic Value as a National Treasure. In the Appendix to this parliamentary decision the list of Hungarian horse breeds can be found.

[4] There is as yet no clear-cut, generally agreed-on definition of race involving all relevant dimensions.

[5] Gobineau’s ideas in a French rather than a general European context are discussed by Kale, Stephen: Gobineau, Racism, and Legitimism. A Royalist Heretic in Nineteenth-Century France. Modern Intellectual History, 7 (2010), No. 1, pp. 33–61. The abstract of Kale’s paper can be found at

[6] I have tackled the problem of colonization in relation to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Gerő, András: Birodalom gyarmat nélkül [An Empire without Colonies]. In Gerő 2012, pp. 145–170.

[7] A passage from the novella Heart of Darkness. Available online at

[8] On empires, consult Aldrich, Robert (ed.), The Age of Empires. London: Thames & Hudson, 2007.

[9] Nevertheless, the Nazis used Gobineau’s ideas to justify their goals and means despite the fact that the French author could be regarded, in principle, as a philosemite rather than an anti-Semite, since he described Jews as free, strong and intelligent people.

[10] On the systems of prejudices evolved by the late 19th century and the early 20th century, see Gerő, András: Neither Woman nor Jew. The Confluence of Prejudices in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy at the Turn of the Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

[11] On Darwin’s intellectual influence, see Jones, Steve: Darwin’s Ghost. The Origin of Species Updated. London: Doubleday, 1999; and Dennett, Daniel: Darwin‘s Dangerous Idea. Evolution and the Meanings of Life. New York: Touchstone, 1996.

[12] On the history of plastic surgeries, see Gilman, Sander L.: Making the Body Beautiful. A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

[13] Plastic surgery began to gain ground in Hungary in the 1830s-1840s proving that Hungarian medicine of the time was literally “up-to-date”. It was János Balassa (1814–1868) who introduced and disseminated plastic surgery in Hungary.

[14] It is undoubtedly true that during the past few decades animals have been granted more and more rights, but humans and beasts (specimens of any kind of beast) are not equal creatures.

[15] The homepage of the organization is available both in Hungarian and in English:

[16] The Fédération Cynologique Internationale [World Canine Organization] (FCI), the international association of kennel clubs, is based in Thuin, Wallonia – the French-speaking part of Belgium. The French name and abbreviation are used also in English-language texts. The English-language homepage of the organization is located at

[17] The Hungarian text of Decision No. 32 of 2004 (April 19) of the Hungarian National Assembly is available at

[18] A number of printed and online publications have appeared on the origin, history and breeding of Hungarian dogs. That Hungarian dog breeds are well-known is shown by the detailed description of all the breeds on the pages of the Hungarian-language Wikipedia and the homepage of the Hungarian Kennel Club (MEOE). A useful tome is Bíró, Andor (ed.): Régi magyar kutyafajták [Old Hungarian Dog Breeds]. Budapest: Mezőgazda, 2002.

[19] The wire-haired variety is not nearly as popular as the short-haired one. According to 2001 data, there are on average thirty wire-haired litters in Hungary each year with 140–150 pups. The breeding of Wire-haired Vizslas was begun by József Vasas, who asked for support to finance his activities in 1943. The Wire-haired Pointer was recognized as an independent Hungarian breed by the FCI in 1966.

[20] Standeisky, Andor: A magyarvizsla származástörténete [The History of Descent of the Hungarian Pointer]. Erdészeti Lapok, 98 (1963), No. 12, booklet No. 4, pp. 170–175. Available online at

[21] Today the term “West Siberian Laika” refers to a dog breed, which was still called “Mansi Laika” by many hunters of the Ural Mountains in the 1960s. “Mansi” is the name of a small Finno-Ugric language closely related to Hungarian and spoken in today’s Khanti-Mansi Autonomous Province of Russia, while “laika” simply means ‘barker’ in Russian. Needless to say, the designation of the dog type is not to be confused with the one-time Soviet space dog called Laika, which was sent into the orbit onboard the spacecraft Sputnik 2 and presumably died a heroic death due to a shock on November 3, 1957, when she was launched.

[22] Standeisky 1963, op. cit.

[23] Füzesi, Zsuzsa: Vizsla Híradó [Vizsla Newsreel], 2006.

[24] Quoted by Füzesi 2006, op. cit.

[25] Data from Lacko, Martha: A Bit of Vizsla History,; and

[26] Szinák, János and Veress, István: A világ kutyái [The Dogs of the World]. Budapest: Dunakanyar 2000, 1994, p. 258.



[29] The Hungarian cartoon show was written by Ágnes Bálint and directed by Gyula Macskássy (series I and II), András Cseh and Pál Nagy (series III and IV), respectively.

[30] A short history of the breed can be found in Krasznai Szomor, Péter: A kopózás (Erdélyi kopó) [Hound Dogging (The Transylvanian Scent Hound)]. A kutya, 55 (1992), No. 3, pp. 4–6. Available online at


[32] Quoted by Pomázi, Ágoston: Nemzeti kincsünk az erdélyi kopó [The Transylvian Scent Hound is a Hungarian National Treasure].

[33] János Kádár and Nicolae Ceauşescu were the leaders of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party and the Romanian Communist Party, respectively; the leaders and most powerful men of the socialist Hungary and Romania of the time. An account of this story can be found at


[35] Szinák-Veress 1994, p. 128.

[36] Magyar kutyafajták: Erdélyi kopó a vadászkutyák Pavarottija [Hungarian Dog Breeds: the Transylvanian Scent Hound – the Pavarotti of Hounds], The author of the post, following the trend of the “nationalization” of dog breeds, likens the mindset of the Transylvanian Scent Hound to that of Szeklers, negligent of the fact that Romanians – people of the ethnic group that has comprised the majority of the population of Transylvania since the eighteenth century – could have kept Transylvian Scent Hounds just as well.

[37] Csoóri, Sándor (1930–): Hitványulás [Deterioration]. In Csoóri, Sándor: Forgácsok a földön [Woodchips on the Ground]. Budapest: Írók Alapítványa [The Foundation of Writers], 2001. Available online at

[38] The homepage of TICA is an all-purpose information site on cats: Moreover, there exists a major American feline organization established as early as in 1955, the homepage of which is located at