Archive for the Pumi category

Rare Breed Profile: The Hungarian Pumi

I’m a firm believer in biodiverisity. Variety is the spice of life, after all! For that reason, I’ve decided to start occasionally profiling a rare breed on Petlvr: The Blog, in hopes of encouraging dog lovers who’ve decided on a purebred dog to investigate rarer dogs. Of course, I always encourage adoption as a first choice for most pet parents, but for those who want a purebred, owning a rare breed can be fun. It’s a great conversation starter, too!

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Hungarian Pumi!

Pumi Dog by Lake

Pumi Dog by Lake

Photo by Voff.

If you love the look and attitude of spunky terriers like the Wheaten Terrier, but enjoy the energy and intelligence of herding breeds, the Pumi (not to be confused with the Puli, another Hungarian breed) might be your perfect dog. The breed originated in Hungary and was originally developed to herd sheep. Although the Pumi is first and foremost a herding breed, its terrier traits are more than skin deep. Like many terrier breeds, the Pumi also eagerly combats rodents and other prey, even wild boar, and can easily learn to hunt by scent.

Allergy sufferers like Malia Obama might also consider a Pumi the perfect pet. Its harsh, curly topcoat and soft undercoat grow continuously, but the dog has little or no shedding, making it potentially less likely to trigger dog allergies. No breed is truly “hypoallergenic,” but breeds like the Pumi and Poodle with coats that do not shed are generally more likely to be compatible with owners who have dog allergies.

Pumis aren’t perfect for everyone, however. The high energy levels of a herding breed, combined with the boldness and confidence of a terrier, make the Pumi a dog not suited for a meek pet parent or a couch potato owner. They need frequent, high intensity exercise to stay calm. Obedience training is mandatory for this breed. Without training and frequent practice, they may become defiant and ignore commands. Like all herding breeds, Pumis are happiest when they have work to do, whether it’s herding, hunting, or something else.

If you think a Pumi might be the right dog for you, answer the following questions:

  • Can you commit to exercising a Pumi every day?
  • Would your Pumi have a job, like hunting with a member of the family, competing in dog agility, or taking herding lessons?
  • Will you take an obedience class with my Pumi and reinforce lessons at home with at least one short training session daily?
  • Are you willing either to learn to groom a Pumi at home or to pay for professional trimming and grooming every 8-16 weeks?
  • Can you wait anywhere from a few months to 2 years to add a Pumi to your family? Rare breeds can be hard to find, and good breeders have long waiting lists.
  • If you choose to get a Pumi from a breeder, will you commit to keeping the breeder updated on the dog’s health and temperament, to help the breeder make better decisions in breeding future Pumi generations?
  • Can you afford treatment for hip dysplasia or patellar luxation if necessary, both of which are unfortunately fairly common in Pumis?
  • Can you commit to the care and keeping of a Pumi for at least 12-15 years?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, consider contacting the Hungarian Pumi Club of America and locating a Pumi fancier in your area who can introduce you in person to the breed.

The Pumi

The Pumi

By Michael Russell

The Pumi is a cattle drover that is used extensively in Hungary and is native to that country. He is prized for his abilities to drive cattle without spooking the herd and to round them up effortlessly, employing techniques similar to that of the Border Collie. Unlike the Border collie he is not a quiet dog and will bark when performing his herding functions and will also bark when alerting against intruders and is valued for this behavior also. The Pumi is a useful and versatile farm dog . With his high spirit and an unquenchable activity level, the Pumi is not a dog for the elderly apartment dweller in any respect. He is a long lived and active dog and seeks to find trouble if he isn’t given a job to do. As a farm dog he will make work for himself rather than just lie about the yard in the sun. If kept in the city he is friendly and personable but does need regular exercise and the family who owns one in the city will find themselves going on long walks twice a day. He is playful and good with children and that is a bonus.

The Pumi is believed to be descended from crosses with the original native Puli and the Hutespitz and Pomeranian dogs that were brought to Hungary during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by traders. Barter was a common form of commerce and good farm dogs held as much value as the sheep and cattle themselves and were often exchanged as much as the livestock. The Hungarian, German and French Spitz breeds were numerous and had considerable impact on the development of the Pumi. The Pumi has always been used as an extension of the shepherd and has always worked with mankind rather than independently. Consequently he is a willing worker , learning quickly and is easy to train.

The Pumi has a perpetual look of surprise because of its ear set. The large ears are standup and slightly lopped over at the top, covered on the backside with short fur. When combined with the square muzzle and curly hair all over the face and body, the Puli has a unique and unforgettable look. The coat is quite short and tightly curled, it grows to perhaps a length of three inches. It is a plush coat, quite soft and seldom needs brushing. The coat does not cord, unlike the coat of his cousin the Puli. Any solid color except white is acceptable. A white Puli may not be used for breeding but can be registered. The history of this coloration is part of the utility of the dogs used for herding or drovers versus the dogs used as flock guards. A dog used as a herding dog needs to be of a color that distinguishes him from the sheep, while a dog that is a flock guard must blend in with the flock and thus surprise the predator who does not suspect that he is present.

The Pumi has recently been entered into the F.S.S. (Foundation Stud Service) of the American Kennel club. This is the first step on the road towards recognition as a registered A.K.C. Breed. The fanciers of the breed in this country consider him as a working dog and he will most likely enter into the A.K.C. as a herding dog. He is presently recognized by the F.C.I. as a member of the herding group.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

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