Hungarian Pumi

Want to learn more about the Hungarian Pumi? Find out about the history, personality, health, exercise needs, and more in our latest guide!

Hungarian Pumi Dog, Adult standing on Grass

Height: Male 16-19 inches, female 15-18 inches
Weight: Male 12-13 kilos, female 10-11 kilos
Lifespan: 12-13 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club

Positives and Negatives

Check out the pros and cons relating to the Hungarian Pumi:

Pros:

  • Highly affectionate and loyal
  • Light shedder
  • Great watchdog
  • Easy to housebreak

Cons:

  • High exercise needs
  • Not a good choice for first-time owners
  • Known to bark… a lot!
  • Prone to separation anxiety

Overview

The Hungarian Pumi is a medium-small sized dog, that can make the perfect loyal companion for the right owner. They come from a working background and used to herd livestock. Due to this they have a low prey drive and aren’t known to chase or intimidate smaller animals.

This breed mirrors some of the Terrier type traits due to their working background. Some believe they may have Terrier heritage. Yet they aren’t naturally aggressive or overly protective. In fact, they are highly affectionate and fit great into an active family household.

Since the Pumi was recognized by the Kennel Club, popularity has grown massively outside of Hungary, but they are still rare in the UK. Waiting lists can be a little long. If you are serious about purchasing this dog, register your interests quickly with the Kennel Club.

The Pumi dog isn’t recommended for first-time owners. Although training isn’t difficult and they are easy to housebreak, they have a very mischievous nature! Socialization is vital for this dog, as they can be aggressive towards dogs they don’t know.

History

Yes, you guessed it! The Hungarian Pumi did originate from Hungary! They are descendants of the Puli an indigenous Hungarian sheepdog. Around 400 years ago the Puli was bred with European herding dogs and terriers, producing the Pumi.

In the 20th century, the Pumi was finally listed as a separate breed from the Puli. They are two of the nine established native breeds to Hungary. The Pumi, Puli, and Mudi are generally categorized together. The Puli is the oldest of these three sheepdogs and dates back to around 800 A.D.

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Hungarian Pumi Dog, Adult standing on Grass

Pumis were known to be used by the Magyars, an ethnic group native to Hungary. They originated from the Ural mountains in Russia and migrated to Hungary where they settled in the 9th century. At the time the dogs were kept in the lowlands of the Carpathian Mountains.

Apart from the Puli, it is relatively unknown as to which specific breed the Pumi descended from. Many believe the European dogs involved would have come from France and/or Germany, as these countries generally traded with Hungary.

The Hungarian Pumi would herd cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. This pooch was a lifeline for farmers! They would drive the livestock by barking and nipping at their heels. Another job they excelled in as a watchdog around the farms and homes of their owners was another job they were excellent in!

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Personality

This breed is still used as a working dog to this day! This is why they need an experienced owner who can provide them the exercise, training, and mental stimulation they need!

The Pumi is extremely loyal and affectionate. They make excellent pets, but can’t be left alone for long periods of time as they are prone to separation anxiety.

Studio shot of an adorable pumi looking curiously

Involving this dog in sports activities and obstacle courses is a great way to keep them occupied! If bored, they will pick up destructive habits! A Pumi generally imprints on one specific person in a household, but can still live with others.

Are Hungarian Pumis Good With Strangers?

The Pumi is known to be aloof and wary of strangers. However, if all is well they will quickly settle around somebody they don’t know. Be sure to introduce Hungarian Pumi puppies to different people and places. Naturally, they act as watchdogs, but they don’t follow this up with aggression.

Are Hungarian Pumis Good With Children?

Yes, this dog gets along great with children! Their high energy levels make them the perfect playmate! This dog doesn’t like being left alone, which is why they suit families so well! They can, however, be wary of children they don’t live with and supervise at all times.

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Are Hungarian Pumis Ok With Other Dogs?

Some Pumis have been known to react aggressively to dogs they don’t know. Socializing your pooch with other dogs in their early years is extremely important. With the right training, this dog will make the perfect friend for other dogs in the park. They are super playful and should only be exercised off-leash in secure, enclosed spaces.

This dog can live with other house animals such as cats. They have a low prey drive and won’t chase after small animals in an aggressive way.

Exercise

The Hungarian Pumi dog will need around 1 hour of exercise a day. Puppies may need slightly longer. As a working dog, this pooch will need activities to keep their mind ticking over! Their sense of smell has developed well, so try some hide and seek games involving food!

Pumi is medium-small breed of sheep dog from Hungary

Pumis can live in a small home but need access to a garden. They love to chase and retrieve balls and other objects, making them excellent playmates for children. You must include some form of mental stimulation otherwise your dog’s needs won’t be met. They will easily pick up destructive habits and attention-seeking behavior if bored.

If your dog has been neutered or spayed you might see them packing on the pounds. You may need to extend their exercise a little or reduce their food intake.

Health

It is important to understand the breed-related health issues before purchasing or rehoming a Hungarian Pumi puppy:

  • Hip Dysplasia- Abnormal growth of the hip joint leads to lameness and pain. This will eventually cause arthritis.
  • Elbow Dysplasia- Abnormal growth of the elbow joint causes pain leading to arthritis.
  • Patellar Luxation- The knee cap slips in and out of place causing lameness. A dog won’t necessarily show signs of pain. This condition affects both large and smaller dogs.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy A progressive disease affecting the spinal cords, generally found in older dogs aged 8-14 years.

Intelligence & Training

The Hungarian Pumi dog is intelligent and requires mental stimulation. They are high in energy and should always be exercised before training. Otherwise, they won’t be as attentive.

For this pooch, socialization is the most important form of training. Pumis are known to judge every new situation, which is why they are so wary of strangers. By socializing them with new people, places, and environments, your Pumi will feel more relaxed.

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As this dog becomes rather attached to their owner, they listen better to commands compared to other breeds. Most Pumis will naturally respect their owner, as long as you portray yourself as the leader. This is why they are much easier to train, but that still doesn’t make them an ideal choice for first-time owners.

Housebreaking a Pumi is known to be a piece of cake! Naturally, they love the great outdoors, so every time they toilet outside, be sure to reward them! Food treats and affection will work as a reward. After all, there is nothing a Pumi loves more than to please its owner.

Due to their working background, this dog excels in agility! It’s a great way to keep them mentally stimulated! As this breed is Kennel Club registered, you can also enter and compete in Dog Shows!

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Grooming

Hungarian Pumis have curly coats, which is why they hardly shed, but it can get quite matted. Half of a Pumis coat is soft while the other half is coarse. You should always be aware of the dos and don’ts when grooming this pooch in order to keep their characteristic curls.

Pumis should always be combed and never brushed as this will make the fur look frizzy. You can comb them through once every week to ensure their coat stays curly and detangled.

When bathing this dog they should be combed through first before getting wet. Combing a curly coat becomes increasingly difficult when wet than when dry. Be sure to completely wash out any shampoos or conditioners. Remember brushing and blowdrying is a big no no! It will make your Pumis curls disappear!

Portrait of an adorable pumi looking curiously

Every 2-4 months you should trim your dog’s fur to keep it neat and tidy. Otherwise, it will tangle quicker and will become overgrown. A way to keep your pooches fur curly in between baths is by using a spray bottle with some water.

Vets recommend teeth cleaning every day, however, it can also be done weekly. Don’t forget to cleanse the ears, plucking any excess fur from around the canal. Aim to file/trim your dog’s nails every 2 months depending on growth.

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