The Hungary is a home these 9 great dog breeds, from which 5 of them are sheepdogs. There are two large sheepdogs, the Kuvasz and Komondor, but this video will be about the three small sheepdogs – The Pumi, Puli and Mudi.
The larger Hungarian sheepdogs were mostly used for protecting the flock, while the smaller breeds were used for herding and driving sheep. All three breeds can be characterized as independent hard workers with great stamina, strength and eagerness to please.
It was not until the end of 19th century, when scientists divided „Puli type of dogs“ into three categories. The first one was the Puli, who was characterized as a dog with coat of rounded or flat cords. Second was Pumi, who was characterized as a dog with terrier like head. And the last one was Mudi, who was characterized as a dog with erect ears.
But what is the origin of these dogs. They are most likely descendants of Asiatic herding breeds, who came to the area of today Hungary with nomadic Magyar tribes. The dogs name – Puli – means small shepherd dog and they were used and bred for centuries for herding purposes. The shepherds were trying to create the best small herding dog, so only the healthiest and smartest dogs were bred together.
The separation of one breed into three began in the 17th or 18th century, until then, the dogs were bred very selectively. In this time, some of the dogs were crossbred with Pomeranians, Briards and various terriers (which is the reason why you can definitely see a terrier head when you look at the Pumi), and that is, in the nutshell, how the Pumi was developed.
Just like the Puli, the Pumi was amazing herding dog, but thanks to the terrier blood, they were sometimes also used to kill small vermin. They definitely have higher prey drive.
The Mudi ancestry is rather unknown, but it is actually possible, that they are the oldest of all Hungarian sheepdogs. The first theory suggest that they were developed by crossing the Puli and Pumi together, but there is another theory which claims, that Mudi was developed by crossing local Hungarian dogs with dogs from the Baltic States, and the German Spitz. And i dont know how about you, but i can definitely see a Spitz like dog, when i look at the Mudi. It is also believed, that Mudi like dogs were living in the ancient times in the lowlands of Panonia.
It is said, that the Mudi is the best herding dog of these three, they have amazing work drive, they can handle even the most difficult cattle, they can kill vermin and even guard the property. Until this day, they are mostly seen living on farms as workers, rather than family pets.
As you can see these three dogs are pretty similar, but there are definitely some important differences. So how can you recogniez the Pumi, Puli and Mudi apart? Lets start with the Mudi.
The Mudik look like a curly coated spitz, with pricked ears and oval eyes. The eyes of Pumi and Puli are more roundish. The coat is curly, which is another important difference.
The Pumi is the most boisterous of all and it is the most popular Hungarian sheepdog these days. They are extremely intelligent, pretty noisy (they can make amazing watchdogs thanks to this) and kinda sharp, which is probably thanks to the terrier ancestors. The Pumi coat is different, and the coat is probably the easiest way how to recognize these three dog breeds apart.
And than we have the Puli. I guess they are the easiest to recognize, thanks to their matted, corded coat. They kinda look like small version of the Komondor. This coat type is useful in the harsh weather, because it is proceting the dog. In the past, only black Pulis were viewed as purebred, but today, you can find them in white, reddish or grey color.
Neither of these three dogs is the best choice for novices, because of their need to work and high energy. They really need to work or exercise every single day. They are also not pushovers to train and they need firm and consistant trainer.
The beginning of the 20th century were dark ages for Hungarian sheepdogs. After the first world war, Hungary lost a lot of their area, flock and cattle. Without it, not so many herding dogs were needed. During the second world war, the lack of food caused death of many dogs. Hundreds of Hungarian sheepdogs were shot by foreign soldiers. But the breed survived this, and they survived years after the war, which were years of communism and isolation. On the other hand, thanks to the Hungarian isolation, Hungarian sheepdogs are pretty rare even today and they were never the victim of overbreeding.
Thanks to that, all three are generally very healthy dogs. The only concerns are hip and elbow dysplasia and patellar luxation. They have great lifespan, around 14 years.