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No One Understands Why Dogs Are Jumping off Buda Castle Wall

Hungary Today 2022.08.03.

Recently a dog jumped off the wall of the promenade of the Buda Castle and later died. The castle wall has saddened many owners: more than a dozen dogs have jumped off it in the last two years, Blikk reports.

According to the dog owners, each case is eerily similar to the other, but it is not known what it is about the castle’s parapet, that causes the dogs to react.

Behind the parapet is a 10-15 meter deep ravine that can be deadly for dogs.

Gino, the dog of István Szűcs from Újbuda, jumped off the castle wall on the Árpád Tóth promenade during an evening walk over the weekend. The man and his family regularly walked the dog in the Buda Castle, and so far there have never been any problems with the well-disciplined dog, Blikk writes.

We were on our way home, there was barely anyone on the promenade, so I took Gino off the leash. Inexplicably – despite his habit and training – he suddenly ran into the 67 centimeter parapet. He had previously stood up on two feet to look at a wall, but here he was running and he was jumping. Unfortunately, I had not heard that he was not the first,”

the owner said. Szűcs also said that they heard the dog whimpering: “We rushed down, he was still alive. I took him to my car in my arms, to the vet hospital, where I was reassured that he had been relatively lucky, but his heart could not take the shock, and he died in the morning.”

The man said that he trained the dog strictly, so he does not know what happened to him.

I have heard of dogs jumping after foxes or birds here, mine would not have done that, he would have walked beside me in a forest. I blame myself, because if I knew the reputation of the castle wall, I would never take the leash off,”

he said, adding that he would like to find out what causes this.

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The deadly dog jumps on the Buda Promenade now have their own website and Facebook page. Animal rights activist Ágnes Tímea Szabó, who manages the pages, created these forums specifically to warn owners about the dangers of the castle’s promenade. On the website, she has collected and documented all the accidents, veterinary findings, and memories of owners. The latter proves that the walkway bordering the castle wall triggers very specific behavior in some dogs. Every month, several dogs jump unexpectedly onto the ramparts. Some say they were chasing crows or lizards, others say their dog saw the wall as an obstacle to overcome, and others say their dog panicked when it jumped up and saw that there was nothing behind the wall.

According to dog trainer Attila Szabó, dogs are driven by curiosity, by the sight of space, when they jump they see that the sky and the ground are touching, and they do not perceive that the ground on the other side of the wall is not level.


Similar cases do not only occur in Hungary. The 15-meter gap in the Overtoun Bridge in Scotland is also a place where six hundred dogs have already jumped off, fifty of them dying. Legend has it that they are being called by a ghost, but the explanation is simpler: in the depths, the wind often shifts and makes a sound that only the dogs can detect, and they follow it. The other theory is that the abyss is home to a large number of rabbits, ferrets, weasels, and mink – just like the cellars, walls, and trees of Buda Castle – and that the dogs are very sensitive to their scent and chase them.

Due to these accidents, the Municipality of the 1st District has already put up several warning signs. According to Mayor Márta V. Naszály, the castle district is dog-friendly, but accidents at the wall can only be prevented by the owners. In principle, dogs can be run off-leash in the evening on the promenade of the castle wall, but only at the owner’s risk.

In the area around the castle, there are also integrated dog parks and green areas where dogs are allowed to run off-leash, in accordance with hygiene rules. In addition, a new dog park with a well, a dog bed, and benches has been open for a month in the castle district, the small park also has a large maple tree for shade.

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Source: Blikk

Featured image: People walking and talking on the Árpád Tóth promenade in the Buda Castle district, at the castle wall. In the background, János Hill in the dusky twilight, with the Elizabeth Lookout on top. Photo by Csaba Jászai/MTVA

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