With its cheerful demeanor, curly coat and dedication to the job at hand, the Pumi has undoubtedly earned its reputation as a hardworking and loving companion. Whimsical and outspoken, this breed originated in the late 17th or early 18th century though a combination of Eastern and Western European crossbre
eding. BestBullySticks is excited to share the history of the Pumi on this week’s Breed Spotlight.
Hailing from the vast rolling farmlands of the Puszta — an area in east Hungary known for its expansive grasslands — the Pumi arose from a regional need for a better shepherd’s companion. The Pumi primarily owes its lineage to a breed that was, already common in Hungary — the Puli. However, unlike the Pumi’s “dreadlocked” ancestor, it’s hair does not grow into long hanging curls. Cross-breeding with newly introduced breeds of the late 17th century helped to eliminate the coat’s length yet retained the curls.
With coats appearing in grey, grizzle, rust, black, sand and silver, the Pumi’s coat exhibits a wide range of colors. Grey to silver shaded Pumi’s are born black and slowly fade to their permanent colors. Thick and curly, the Pumi’s harsh top coat is offset by a soft undercoat. This coat grows year round and must be brushed bi-weekly as well as trimmed seasonally to prevent matting. While the coat may be thick, there is little no shedding. Be sure to check out BestBullySticks’ wide range of all-natural pet grooming supplies to keep your furry friend looking fresh all season!
There is some debate about what specific breed(s) constituted the other half of the Pumi equation. Western European farmers settling in the Puszta brought along their long established French and German herding dogs. Believed to have been the Hutespitz or Pomeranians, these breeds would have a definitive impact on the long-term development of the breed. However it wouldn’t be until the early 20th century when the Pumi was selectively bred to enhance the more desirable and modern herding characteristics associated with the breed today.
Intelligent and observant, the Pumi picks up new ideas quickly making them a pleasure to train. The Pumi’s affectionate yet protective demeanor makes them a particularly great family dog. While lovingly social, the Pumi can still be wary around strangers and it is suggested to begin socializing the breed at a young age to ensure a well-rounded personality. The Pumi’s renowned vocal nature makes them an excellent watchdog.Most recently, the Pumi has gained notoriety for its performance in agility, dance and obedience competitions. The Pumi’s high trainability has lent itself to the demands of the rescue dog world as well — a job well suited for a breed standing a mere 14–18 in (38–47 cm) and weighing between 22–33 lbs (10–15 kg).
Pumis are a long lived breed (12–14 years) and major health complications are few and far between. Known medical issues include patella luxation and canine hip dysplasia.
Given the Pumi’s history as a very active outdoor breed, the breed is not a good match for apartment life. Even homeowners with small backyards are ill advised to keep Pumis as pets. Requiring not only ample space to run and exercise, the breed is also happiest when it has work to do and a family to please. For those in denser urban environments, a Pumi requires at least one lengthy walk or jog every day, at least an hour in length. Pumis love to play catch, chase down toys, and excel at any task demanding agility. Toys like the Hyper Pet Flying Duck Slingshot are perfect for this active breed!
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