The Magyar agár (MA) is a dog breed. It is a type of sighthound originating in Hungary and Transylvania. It is used for hunting and coursing, and is also kept as a companion.
Although the Magyar agár is also called the 'Hungarian greyhound' this is a misnomer. The Magyar agár is neither descended from the greyhound nor is not known as a "greyhound" in its country of origin. A more proper alternative name would be Hungarian gazehound or Hungarian sighthound.
These dogs probably accompanied the Magyars to the Carpathian Basin and Transylvania in the 10th century. Tradition tells us that the Magyar agár first arrived in northeastern Hungary and the Great Alföld (Hungarian Plain) a little over a thousand years ago. The earliest archeological evidence for the Magyar agárs has been found in the Carpathian Mountains along the northern and eastern border of Hungary. Currently it is not known whether the Magyar agárs existed before the Magyars reached the Carpathian basin.
Although they have lived throughout the Great Alföld, they have had a strong hunting history in the three counties of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Hajdú-Bihar and Somogy. The conformation of the Magyar agár has remained the same from the Medieval to the Modern Age until the introduction of the greyhound in the 19th century.
The Magyar agár was bred for long distance racing: dispatching hare or deer shot by horseback riders in an open field or open stand of forest. Hungarians claim that the MA was expected to run along the hunters for distances of 30 kilometres (19 mi) to 50 kilometres (31 mi) per day. Through most of Hungarian history the Magyar agár was not restricted to the nobility, although the MA owned by the nobility were much bigger than the others. "Magyar Agárs owned by the peasants were known as Farm Agárs or simply as Hare Catchers. These smaller versions of the MA are now extinct."