Anghiházi Gubanc

The way I see them:

The Pumi is a funny-looking dog of a very good nature. It has good qualities and a high degree of logic. Of course, if the owner and environment are suitable

This is a constantly happy and energetic dog breed. Since this breed lived and worked with shepherds for centuries, they can get to know their master in a short time, “tuned on” the human as a result of constant observation, it executes your command before you utter it. All these qualities make the Pumi quite manageable. You do not have to teach it commands like “heel” or “come”, this dog is born with them. It puts its little nose to your legs following everywhere – nothing could make it leave.

This is a very cheerful and frisky dog that loves fun, playing ballgames and that needs a lot of action; full of tenancy and stamina it is exquisitely capable of agility tasks and Frisbee. It can take a standing jump so high that it can literally look into its master’s eyes. May it be the hottest summer it fetches the ball even fifty times in a row.

“Making comments” is just the typical of the Pumi. For example it expresses the joy over the daily walk. Some say it is a “barking” kind, which is not exactly the truth. It is a fact that it is a talkative breed, being a sheep dog, but it never barks without a reason. Barking always signifies something that can be guessed from the “way” of barking. This feature comes from the Pumi’s shepherd origin: it used to tell the herder where the dog is at the moment. I do not find it irritating, what’s more, it just suits the dog’s merry nature: a Pumi won’t let itself be unnoticed.

They are easy to be kept together with other animals as well as other kind of dogs. They learn quickly where their place is in the hierarchy. Naturally, it is usually the one right after the master. Because of this we have to take account of the dominating temper of our Pumi, it takes itself for a lion at the very least. So in the case of similar sexes we should take heed of helping them shake together. Actually, this great boldness is justifiable: how else could a Pumi discipline a horned cattle?

It is important to know that they are determined on doing what they want to do. One way or another they always reach their goals. As these dogs constantly observe their environment they can find the other creatures out – human or animal – that live around, all their reactions, habits and behaviour. This is a great “weapon” that they wield artfully using their logic to find the best way to achieve their goals. The others will not be even aware of doing the very thing that the Pumi wants.

It learns with the greatest ease. Showing what we want two or three times is fair enough for the dog to understand and perform it as well. Similarly to other breeds, coherence in our training is all-important.

The Pumi does not like being alone, it is a social animal. Having a Pumi suits only people who can spend enough time with their dog. It would be always with its master. This breed is not recommended for apartment life, especially for being left alone for hours. Being kept in a garden suits it more, where it “settles in” splendidly. It is important that even in this case it needs company and being cared about! Of course, it is the highest of all joys for the Pumi when it is allowed to follow the beloved master into the house. At these times the heroic guard of the house can easily turn into a well-mannered pet dog waiting to be fondled.

Grooming of Pumik is not problematic at all. They do not loose their hair exceedingly, which is an advantage because our car and house is not threatened with being covered with dog hair. At the same time a monthly brush is essential. In addition, for a neat appearance trimming with scissors is needed but it does not require being an expert in cosmetics.

This small dog with its age-old heritage stands its ground in our times as well. With a good master it can grow an easily controllable, ideal partner who brings cheer, infinite affection and love into the modern man’s hectic life.

Basic facts on the Pumi:

Pumis (note the irregular plural) are shepherd dogs with terrier-like features – both internal and external – that can be observed in their appearance (the characteristic head-shape, long muzzle, quadratic body) and are reflected by their behaviour and disposition as well: they are bold, fearless and vigorous. On the other hand they belong to sheepdogs and cattle dogs (FCI group 1) after all.

Due to this duality training of Pumik must be of a kind of dual nature too.

First of all, and it’s common in the training of all kind of shepherds, socialisation is all-important! The young Pumi must get used to unfamiliar noises or places, strangers, other animals, etc., as soon as possible; without this later it will develop a nervous, sulking behaviour!

Like all shepherds, Pumik have a sensitive nature, so commanding aloud is usually enough to discipline them. Beating and harsh treatment make them suffer!

Secondly, like terriers, Pumis must be trained consistently. Do not let these “cute little fluffballs” charm you because they take charge in no time and then it is too late!

Pumis are very intelligent like shepherds in general, they learn easily and quickly, also they can solve unfamiliar problems very fast, they “use their wits”. “Traditional” kennel-work (sit, heed, lie down, stand up) is monotonous and tedious for them, this breed is not made for this but rather for playful tasks that require some brainwork. They love, for example, searching hidden things, they excel in tracing objects, agility and Frisbee. So they can do their best in situations where there is a given task but the way it is carried out is up to them: “Tell your Pumi what to do but let it find the way!” Maybe this is the most important particularity of this breed.

Pumis are moving all the time and they need a space for it. It is a breed of playful nature so it is not choosy when it comes to exercises! They love long trips, balls and water. If we are not able to walk them we can tire them out perfectly with a ball as well (they are tough and tenacious and so we should be too…). Of course, the company of another dog can be helpful.

If you have not got enough free space do not buy a Pumi! At the end they will find a means of draining off their accumulated energy and it usually means unwelcome forms of behaviour. They will make up tasks for themselves: chasing cyclists and cars, raging at everything that passes by the fence, demolishing furniture – generally becoming unbearable.

Pumis basically get along with other animals and dogs quite well. Appropriate socialisation is essential, which must be started at a very young age.

They tend to be dominant, so keeping two males together is problematic and not advisable. Bitches get along with each other relatively well.

They are friendly to children but, again, it is important to familiarise our dogs with them early.

Since they are herd dogs Pumik have the tendency to drive everything: other animals, dogs, members of the family. It manifests in circling around or biting our ankle sometimes. Of course, consequent training can break this habit too.

The Pumi is always on the watch and constantly communicates with its environment. All of its body is always ready for action, its ears, tail are constantly on the move.

It is a talkative breed, hilarious when going for a walk, playing or when the master arrives home, comments on and reacts to everything aloud. Barks when a stranger steps to the gate, when the postman comes or when it has something to tell us. However, basically Pumik are not barkers because they never bark without a reason. If nothing happens they keep silent.

There many variations existing: black, white, grey and fawn. Grey is the most frequent. It is important to know that the grey ones are born black. Those born grey are ineligible, so the grey adults should be really called black turned grey. Depending on the degree of colour change the result ranges from dark grey to silver-grey. Black and white are much rarer. In the case of white ones there can be problems with pigmentation, lips and the nose are not dark enough (the originally dark nose becomes flesh-coloured temporarily – or even permanently), the skin is not grey but pink, which is not eligible. Fawn coat is the rarest, it can be red, yellow or cream. When it is masked fawn the base colour should be overlaid by a black or grey shade and a definite mask.

Pumis should get accustomed to grooming at an early age. The coat is easy to groom. It is an advantage that the Pumi does not really loose its hair but, for that very reason, a monthly combing and brushing is required. For a neat appearance trimming with scissors is needed, however, it does not require being an expert in cosmetics, it can be learned easily.

Standard FCI 56.

Origin: Hungary

Date of the publication of the original valid standard: 06.04.2000.

Utilisation: Herding dog of Terrier type. Also suitable for herding larger types of animals. His scenting ability is well developed. Has excellently proved his worth when combatting wild beasts of prey and rodents. Excellent house pet, can definitely be kept indoors. Needs plenty of excercise. Is an excellent companion and sporting dog.

Classification FCI : Group I. Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs).
Section 1. Sheepdogs
Without working trial

Brief historical summary: The Pumi came into being during the 17th to the 18th centrury in Hungary by crossbreeding the primitive Puli with imported German and French dogs of Terrier type with prick ears. It has been recognised as an independent breed at the beginning of the 20th century.

Pilisi-Kócos Őméltósága