Pumi, the dog that originated from Hungary is otherwise known as the dog that cannot keep quiet. This dog is really mouthy! The Pumis (plural for Pumi) are restless dogs, always on the move and always want to be where the action is. The tail that is always carried high and the ears that are always alert is a sign of the dog’s happy character. These dogs are vigorous and are known to be very vocal, would bark eagerly at the slightest strange noise. If you want a dog that would quietly lie on the sofa all day then the Pumi is definitely not for you.
Pumis are speculated to have come from Puli stock and similar to their Puli cousins the Pumis are square and light bodied dogs that look heavier because of their average length, dense curling coat. The Pumi’s coat however, unlike that of a Puli’s is not overly long and do not form into cords.
Pumis are valued not only for their beautiful appearance but more for their intelligence that makes them respond to obedience training easily. Pumis attract attention wherever they may be. These are funny and fun loving dogs that are known to be real clowns. They would delight the owners with their antics as well as their prowess to dance. Because the dogs are highly intelligent, they are presently used in search and rescue operations as well as in bomb and narcotics detection. This dog that was primarily developed and used to herd stock and to hunt wild boar now excels in obedience, agility and dancing competitions. A Pumi zigzagging between posts, climbing over planks, and jumping obstacles is a truly magnificent sight to behold. Pumis have bagged world championship records in agility and obedience competitions.
Pumis are constantly moving dogs. Frisbees and tennis balls are their most valued toys. But of course if the dog decides to play you would need to play too as a Pumi is known to be very demanding. Who can ever say no to a Pumi with a cocked head, holding a “conversation” and asking the master to throw the ball or the Frisbee? Naturally inquisitive, the dog has the tendency to perch on high places in order to see what is going on around him. Pumis are affectionate dogs that would enjoy being petted. Because of the size the Pumi can be an ideal lap dog too but be prepared to be deserted by the dog if it sensed something more interesting is going on.
Pumis are the result of cross breeding the Hungarian Pulis and a variety of Terrier. The dog that was produced has a shorter coat a longer head and a semi pricked ears. All the outstanding qualities of the Puli and the excellent features of the terrier resulted to a dog that has an alert and lively temperament, a dog that is both tough and robust, one that is always ready to work with the master in herding sheep, cattle as well as pigs. Pumis are most valued as aside from the dog’s herding capabilities, they are also excellent rat hunters.
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The Hungarian Pumi is a rather small dog with a terrier-like appearance. The terrier-like features is most obvious in the dog’s head with its elongated muzzle and the long forehead that is slightly domed. The wide set slightly oblique, medium, oval shaped dark eyes are encased in tight fitting dark pigmented eyelids and always have an alert and intelligent expression. Blunt and narrow nose is always black in all types of coat colors.
Gray and shades of gray is the predominant coat color. It is also the coat color accepted in conformation shows. These grey coated Pumis are actually born black. The puppies’ coat would start turning to gray when the pup is 6 to 8 weeks old and would progressively lighten as the pup matures. Other Pumi coat colors are white black and the yellow-brown coat with a darker mask that is called maszkos fakó. Tan, brown and blue coated pups are occasionally born but these coat colors are disqualified for shows. Pumis have two coats- the topcoat which is strong and a bit rough and an undercoat that is very soft. The coat is about 7 cm long, dense, elastic, shaggy and curly. Thick, medium length protective hair grows on the dog’s ears. The ears are the trademark of the dog’s vivacious and exuberant characteristics as they are always alert and lively. The set on high medium sized ears bend at the tip. The set on high tail has a 7 to 12 cm long hair that stands apart often forming a puff ball. Some tails are a bit longer and would form a graceful circle above the crop.
Although considered to be medium sized, a Pumi’s body is well muscled. The back is rigid and straight, the ribs are slightly arched, deep chest reaches the dog’s elbows and the belly is tucked up. Pumis tend to look thin and gaunt; they are always lean. Only older dogs gain weight. The size and physique is what makes the dog efficient in performing the work they were originally developed to do. Had they been bigger, they would be less agile. On the other hand, a smaller dog would find it hard to control bigger animals.
Pumis are intelligent dogs that can easily and naturally adapt to training and obedience lessons. Even as a pup, the dog would imitate what their mother and other dogs are doing. Once trained the dog would show unlimited talents. That is why during the olden days, the dog is most prized for its herding abilities as well as its excellent capability to exterminate vermin.
Pumis are always on the go, always busy, active and alert. Most owners would say that it is impossible to tire a Pumi. Because these dogs are naturally inquisitive, they make excellent watch and guard dogs. If you have a Pumi in your home consider yourself lucky to have a living burglar alarm system. These dogs are known to investigate every unusual noise and once an intruder is detected would instantly spring to attack. The dog is a barker too. A stranger approaching the door would be meet with the dog’s ferocious barking. This is why the dog must be socialized while still young so that it will be introduced to people other than the members of the family.
A Pumi is an affectionate dog that would be very loyal to the master. These dogs would always want to be included in the family activities. The dog would hate to be shooed away. The dog thinks that being a member of the family it has the right to be in the middle of activities. These are amusing pets that can be real clowns with their antics. Pumis would love to play with the kids but these dogs are hot tempered and may bite if provoked.
Because of the dog’s tendency to bark at the slightest unusual sound, the most suitable living environment is a house with a yard in a suburban area. The dog is very vocal, it loves to bark and keeping the dog quiet is impossible. This is why apartment dwelling is not suitable as the dog would certainly disturb neighbors in close proximity. Moreover, being a herding dog, the Pumi would physical as well as mental exercise. A bored Pumi will be a destructive dog.
Pumis have developed into excellent home companions as aside from the undesirable tendency to bark, the dog has other outstanding qualities. Because the dog is intelligent training would be easy. Some Pumis have been trained to wait outside the door until the feet are washed and dried before entering the house. Grooming the Pumi is actually easy as compared to grooming long haired dogs. A once a week brushing will remove dead hair. Bathing is on a necessary basis only. The coat is naturally beautiful, not too long and not too curly. To maintain its elegance the coat must be combed before the dog is bathed. The coat may also be wetted down and left to dry naturally. The wet hair should never be brushed and blow dried as it would remove the curly locks that make the dog distinctly beautiful.
Pumi is an energetic, high spirited and very vocal dog that was believed to have existed in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Hungarian Puli was crossbreed with French Briard sheepdogs, German Spitz and a type of Terrier. The cross breeding resulted into a dog that has a coat shorter than that of the Puli, a more elongated head, and a dog whose pricked ears with a bent tip typifies its exuberant and lively temperament. The dog was primary developed to drive cattle.
The name Pumi may have been taken from Puli as during those times the Pumi is often mistaken as the Puli. The first reference to Pumi was made in 1815 where the dog was described as a sheep dog. The Pumi was categorized as a regional variety of the Puli breed. Through the efforts of Dr. Emil Raitsits, the Pumi was recognized as a distinct bred in 1920.