The Pumi is a medium-sized alert, intelligent, energetic, and agile Hungarian herding breed, originating in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries from the ancestral Puli, and used to herd cattle, sheep, and swine. He is characterized by his square outline, curly coat, circular tail, and long head with semi-erect ears, and whimsical expression. The Pumi originated in Hungary where pastures were small and the livestock were driven to local fields for grazing. He is a versatile stock dog, equally adept at gathering, driving and keeping the stock within boundaries as directed by the shepherd, working very close to the livestock, and using his voice and quick movement to keep the stock under control.
The Pumi should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
The Pumi’s coat consists of 50 percent soft hair and 50 percent harsher hair, all the same length. He needs combing every three to six weeks, followed by a good wetting-down to let the coat curl back up. Once curled, the coat can be trimmed to keep it looking tidy. The Pumi doesn’t shed, but hair will come out during grooming. Using a blow-dryer on the Pumi’s coat is not recommended, as this will remove the characteristic curls.
The Pumi is very intelligent and energetic, needing regular exercise and mental stimulation. They’re also quite agile and will climb over and under things, and they love to be in high places to see what’s going on. Their favorite toys are often tennis balls and flying discs, and a Pumi is likely to demand a good chase-and-fetch game with these. The breed’s qualities make the Pumi increasingly popular in agility, obedience, and numerous other dog sports and companion events.
The Pumi is a thinking dog who must assess each new situation, so it is vital for the breed to have early socialization as puppies. A Pumi will learn quickly and has a boundless willingness to work without being obsessive about it. He is an active dog, and if provided with daily exercise and mental activity he makes a wonderful housedog. Because Pumik enjoy using their voices, barking should not be reinforced.