Let's talk Pumis

An adorable breed with a chipper outlook, the Pumi is a beloved dog of Hungary. This doting canine was bred as a shepherd, a job they take very seriously with a compact body that handles the work well. Tons of energy fuels their daily agenda and, when not at work, play is the next best thing, which the Pumi takes just as seriously. Their sprightly temperament will win you over in a heartbeat, but it’ll be those erect, captivating ears that will seal the deal.  

Official name: Pumi

Other names: Hungarian Pumi, Hungarian Herding Terrier

Origins: Hungary

Pumi sitting looking away from camera in black and white

 

 Drooling tendencies  Very low  Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level  Very low  Suited to apartment living ? High
 Energy level*  High  Family pet?* Very high
 Compatibility with other pets  Medium   Can stay alone?* Medium

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 

Inline Image 15
Illustration of grey Pumi
Male
41 - 47 cm Height
10 - 15 kg Weight
Female
38 - 44 cm Height
8 - 13 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 10 months
 Adult age 10 months to 8 years
 Mature age  8 to 12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

Pumi standing on grassy ledge

1/7

Get to know the Pumi

All you need to know about the breed

One could nickname them “the pleasant Pumi”, such is this breed’s very affable nature and keen perspective on life. The native dog of Hungary is perky as all get out, with rounded and incredibly erect ears that give off the impression of perpetual gaiety. This is a dog that’s always ready to go - into the field, on a walk, out into the yard. As a herding breed, they’re at their best when in motion and all too pleased to help out with any task, and it’s always better if humans are involved.

Still used as working dogs in plenty of places, Pumik - as they are known in plural in Hungarian - are increasingly seen as a family pet. Their almost limitless energy makes the Pumi a great dog for families with children, who will have an instant and appropriately sized playmate (the Pumi never stands more than 2½ feet, or 47cm, high), and their easy going manner means they also see other family pets as pals.

Their wash-and-wear coat is just as facile as they are. Grooming the Pumi is not an all-day affair. Combing every few weeks and dousing with water to let their natural curls fall back into place is all they need.

Their smarts are also valued by those who know and adore the Pumi breed. The dog was bred as a herder and drover, and despite their size, they’re surprisingly capable of moving large cloven animals - swine and cows - across distances into pastures. On the homefront, they are just as adept at a game of fetch or helping to herd small children into place. Teamwork is the Pumi’s middle name!

Pumi standing on grassy ledge looking away from camera

2/7

2 facts about Pumis

1. Make some noise

The Pumi has a restless spirit, which makes them superb workers on farms and ranches, herding cattle and flocks, and a fun family dog. They are known to be barkers however, which is only their way of alerting their owner but it can sometimes be a bit much. Make sure to discipline your dog from the start to help them learn that you - and the neighbours - would like them to keep the noise to a minimum.

2. Terrier respect 

True to their roots, the Pumi dog is a great breed to use for rooting out vermin, on farms or in other domiciles. Terriers are traditionally used for ratting - the practice of capturing rats, as well as other vermin, in barns or open fields. Known for their determined nature, the Pumi breed excels at this task, a piece of cake for this very lively dog. But not to worry:  if you’re not in need of their skill set in this area, there are plenty of others upon which they can draw.

3/7

History of the breed

In a world full of familiar breeds, the endearing Pumi stands out. Bred starting 300 years ago in Hungary, the dog descends from his fellow Hungarian canine, the Puli. They were then bred with Western European herding dogs and terriers to produce the breed we know today, one with a very terrier appearance.

The Pumi was developed as a stock dog, equally adept at gathering, driving, and keeping the stock where they need to go. The breed is prized for their athleticism and devoted nature.

In the 1990s, registrations for Pumik in their native Hungary ranked in the 2,000s.

The Hungarian Pumi Club of America was formed in 2005 and the breed was first recognised by the American Kennel Club in 2016.

Pumi standing looking towards camera in black and white

4/7

From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Pumis

1. Ears

Whimsical ears, standing erect, set high, very mobile.

2. Head

Long head and muzzle.

3. Coat

Distinctive corkscrew coat, strong not stiff overcoat, soft undercoat.

4. Body

Square-shaped body, strong, firm, and lean.

5. Tail

Corkscrew tail set high, forms circle over back.

Pumi standing in grass looking at camera

5/7

Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Pumi
Pumi running through long grass towards camera

6/7

Caring for your Pumi

Grooming, training and exercise tips

It’s their characteristic curls that the Pumi is known for, and the style is easier to care for than one would imagine. Combing their coat every three to six weeks will keep them lovely, followed by a wetting down of the fur so the curls can spring back up. Look for any debris that can get stuck in their fur, like twigs, grass, or thorns, especially after walks in the country. Shedding is next to nil for the Pumi, a plus for owners new and old. Exercise is a given for the Pumi: They are sprightly, eager, and always up for activity of any sort. Fetch is a favourite, as is climbing up, in, and under places to check out what’s going on. High intelligence is also a hallmark of the breed, which makes training your Pumi a breeze. They have an almost limitless desire to be occupied and work at anything that’s in front of them.

7/7

All about Pumis

The Pumi is a purebred dog hailing from Hungary and a descendant of their Hungarian cousin, the Puli, although the two dogs could not be more different in appearance, since the Pumi was developed from cross-breeding with terriers over the years. Their small size and bright face has made the Pumi a perpetual favourite in their home country.

This breed is very suitable for family life, and is especially great with other family pets and with kids, once trained. Because of their stature, there is less risk of a Pumi knocking over small children as some larger breeds might, although the Pumi’s playful personality might be a little much for toddlers.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/