The Mudi is an extremely versatile, intelligent, alert, agile, all-purpose Hungarian farm dog. His courage is useful for working the most stubborn livestock. The breed is a loyal protector of property and family members without being overly aggressive.
The Mudi (pronounced “moodie”) is a medium-sized herding dog from Hungary which has been in existence since the 19th century. It is said the Mudi evolved naturally from crosses of the Puli, Pumi and German Spitz breeds. Today, the Mudi, though very rare, is seen as an active, intelligent, biddable working breed. It is estimated there are no more than a few thousand Mudi worldwide, with the greatest numbers being in Hungary, followed by Finland, and then even scarcer throughout Europe, the U.S, and Canada. The Mudi excels at agility, obedience, and flyball, as well as other dog sports. He is a true working breed and shines when herding both cattle and sheep, and has found fame as a search and rescue dog in both Finland and the U.S.
The Magyars (the original name for Hungarians) kept sheepdogs starting around end of the ninth century, but pedigree breeding and classification of dogs only started in the second half of the 19th century. Before then, Hungarian sheepdogs were simply divided into two categories: large and small. When breeding, the small dogs were divided from the big ones (Kuvasz, Komondor), but the small ones were interbred. Therefore, the early history of the Mudi is more or less the same as those of the Pumi and the Puli.
Around 1930, Dr. Deszö Fényesi, director of the museum in Balassagyarmat, was one of the first breeders to become involved in the separate breeding of this small sheepdog. He is also the one who named the breed Mudi. By 1936, the Mudi was officially recognized as a breed.
During World War II, many Hungarian breeds suffered terrible losses, some almost disappeared, and the Mudi was given no immunity as a rare breed. In the 1960s, it was rehabilitated from survivors, and in 1966, a new breed standard was written by Dr. Zoltan Balassy to apply for FCI recognition. This standard was based on only a handful of Mudis and the main differences between the original standard and this one were accepted sizes and colors. The FCI approved the breed standard in 1966, but very few people were involved in breeding then and this is still the case today.
As the restoration of the breed went on over the next few decades, a naturally-occurring variability in color came to light that differed from the standard written in ’66. A new standard was written in 2000 to add back most of these original colors and the present FCI breed standard dates from 2004.
Temperament: Loyal / Intelligent / Active
Height: 15 to 18.5 inches
Weight: 18-29 pounds
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
The Mudi is an overall healthy breed, and responsible breeders screen their stock for various health conditions. The Mudi Club of America has recommended testing listed on the CHIC website: caninehealthinfo.org
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Elbow Evaluation
- Cardiac Evaluation (Optional)
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis (Optional)
- Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist
- Patellar Luxation (Optional)
- Multiple Drug Sensitivity (Optional)
- DNA Repository (Optional)
The Mudi is an easily cared for breed. Occasional baths, a combing or bushing to remove dead hair, and regular nail care are sufficient for this wash-and-wear breed.
Mudi are very energetic dogs. Though they are calm and relaxed in the house, once outside they appreciate a good run. Not surprisingly, a Mudi excels at flyball, obedience, herding, and frisbee. They are quite playful and can be mischievous, particularly when it comes to digging. They are also noted for their extraordinary jumping ability. A well-exercised Mudi is a Mudi who tends not to find trouble elsewhere.
The Mudi is vocal, alert, energetic, intelligent, biddable, adaptable, and always enthusiastic about any job that needs to be done. Needless to say, these traits make them very trainable and eager to please. The Mudi is also sensibly suspicious and, therefore, an excellent watchdog.
The Mudi 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.