A compact, nimble-footed herder of Hungarian origin, the Pumi is easily recognized by a corkscrew-curled coat, two-thirds erect ears, and distinctive whimsical expression. The breed is famed for its intelligence, agility, and boldness.
The Pumi (POO-mee; plural Pumik) was conceived as a compact, quick, and fearless sheepherder capable of moving flocks on the narrow roads connecting the pastures of western Hungary. At a glance, it might be hard to believe that this cuddly charmer was born to do such tough work. With his coat of corkscrew curls, circular tail, expressive ears, and distinctively whimsical look, the Pumi is all kinds of cute. But beneath the curls is a lean, deep-chested herder with a seemingly endless capacity for work and play.
Authorities recognize three sheepdogs indigenous to Hungary: the Mudi, Puli, and Pumi. The Puli is thought to be the oldest, established in what is now Hungary around a.d. 800. Between 300 and 400 years ago, the Puli was interbred with Western European herding dogs and and terriers to produce the Pumi. For years the Pumi was considered a regional variant of the Puli. This began to change in the early 20th century, when the standardization of the two breeds began.
Temperament: Energetic / Lively / Ready to Work
Height: 15-18.5 inches
Weight: 22-29 pounds
Life expectancy: 12-13 years
Pumis are generally a very healthy breed, and responsible breeders screen for health disorders such as elbow and hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, degenerative myelopathy (DM), and eye disorders. The website of the breed’s parent club, the Hungarian Pumi Club of America, provides detailed information on Pumi health.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Patella Evaluation
- PLL DNA Test
- Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test
The Pumi’s coat consists of 50 percent soft hair and 50 percent harsher hair, all the same length. He needs combing every three to six weeks, followed by a good wetting-down to let the coat curl back up. Once curled, the coat can be trimmed to keep it looking tidy. The Pumi doesn’t shed, but hair will come out during grooming. Using a blow-dryer on the Pumi’s coat is not recommended, as this will remove the characteristic curls.
The Pumi is very intelligent and energetic, needing regular exercise and mental stimulation. They’re also quite agile and will climb over and under things, and they love to be in high places to see what’s going on. Their favorite toys are often tennis balls and flying discs, and a Pumi is likely to demand a good chase-and-fetch game with these. The breed’s qualities make the Pumi increasingly popular in agility, obedience, and numerous other dog sports and companion events.A compact, nimble-footed herder of Hungarian origin, the Pumi is easily recognized by a corkscrew-curled coat, two-thirds erect ears, and distinctive whimsical expression. Click To Tweet
The Pumi is a thinking dog who must assess each new situation, so it is vital for the breed to have early socialization as puppies. A Pumi will learn quickly and has a boundless willingness to work without being obsessive about it. He is an active dog, and if provided with daily exercise and mental activity he makes a wonderful housedog. Because Pumik enjoy using their voices, barking should not be reinforced.
The Pumi should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.