Tag Archives: Laszlo Sulyok

Fear and Loathing in Pécs, Hungary

March 13, 2016

The flag of Pé with the coat of arm of the city. it says, Seal of the Free Royal City of Fivechurch" granted by Maria Theresa (i thin

The flag of Pécs with the coat of arm of the city. It says,
“Seal of the Free Royal City of Fivechurch” granted by Maria Theresa (i think in the center MT stands for her)

Studio detail of Marta Csille where I planned to have two days of felting workshop.

Studio detail of Marta Csille where I planned to have two days of felting workshop.

JPEG image-C5F2E519EBB1-1

Work station at Martha Csille’s felting studio

The county building. Pecs is also the county seat of Baranya County

The county building. Pecs is also the county seat of Baranya County

Barely back to Budapest from Graz, Austria on Monday and by early Thursday morning we hit the road again to the south, to the City of Pecs.  First we stopped in a small town, Egerág, at the studio of Marta Csille Hungarian felt artist, for a two day workshop to learn more about the tricks of the trade and enhance my felting toolbox.  I felt tired and a bit sick, I thought because of the crazy weather, lots of traveling, and lack of sleep.  By mid day, I had high fever, serious sinus pain and major headache.  Things did not go well. I finished the day early, got some cough and headache medicine that somehow got mixed with some palinka (Hungarian distilled spirit)  and went to sleep. Since I did not improve overnight, I got some antibiotics next day. I cancelled my second day of workshop and took an early and a pretty drowsy drive to Pecs, to the weekend FCI dog show.  I could not wait to arrive. I crashed at the duplex that I rented in the middle of town and tried to get some rest.

empty street with one of the perfectly preserved petrified body of one of the victims of the massive volcanic eruption.

empty street with one of the perfectly preserved petrified body by the massive volcanic eruption. He never got to finish his coffee.

Even though, my  condition improved somewhat by Saturday morning, I was still heavily under the effect of the unfortunate mixing of medicines and  alcohol from last night. First thing, I took the dogs for a big walk in the city center of Pécs, while holding my swollen running nose and barely balancing my 100lbs head on my neck.

The streets were dead empty not a single soul in sight. It seemed strange.

the empty Szécheny Square where is everyone?

the empty Szécheny Square, where is everyone?

Location Location Location…Hungary might have been the real estate dream market  throughout history, however, it must have been the nightmare for insurance companies for close to two thousand years. No wonder why. Hungary has been a virtual crossroad between east, west and south where different cultures have clashed for hundreds of years. They thrived, prospered than disappeared overnight, giving space for the next weave of invaders,  Romans, Avars, Celts, Mongols, Ottomans and others who fought over religion, land and resources.

The ghostly street sweeper and the Pumis

The ghostly street sweeper and the Pumis


Pécs’s history  go back to the ancient Romans. The City was established in the 2nd century and was named Sopianae. Excavation have unearthed Celtic burial sites and a Christian Necropolis. By the first millennium Pecs, like other parts of the country was under the control of the first Christian Hungarian King, Stephen I.  As the  nation accepted its new religious faith, the semi nomadic tribal military culture gradually faded into extinction and the ruling feudal system has risen from the blood and tears of the past.

The holy Trinity statue erected in 1714 to commemorate the escape from the plague, the Black Death. There are the plague saints on the bottom, and above the father, the son and the holy spirit.

The holy Trinity statue erected in 1714 to commemorate the escape from the plague, the Black Death. There are the plague saints on the bottom, and above the father, the son and the holy spirit – do not mix it with your medicine (I mean the holy spirit).


Medieval Pecs was built from the remains of five christian chapels and Sopianae was renamed “Five Churches.” Its new name was used in all of the languages of the area. The name has  been reduced to Pecs over the next 1200 years. The city has become a major cultural center. By 1367, Pécs has opened the doors of the first university in Hungary.  Next, the expanding Ottoman Empire has left its  impact  on the region and the whole country for 150 years…and I kept walking with the dogs in the empty city streets…

Pumis and of Janos Hunyadi the Overlord of Transylvania on horseback. I wonder what was he doing here...

No signs of life except the Pumis and  Janos Hunyadi the Overlord of Transylvania on horseback. I wonder what was he doing here…

The dramatic eruption of the nearby volcano of Mt. Mecsek destroyed the city of Pécs, killing all and burying the city under 20 ft of volcanic ash. For several hundreds of years the buildings, objects and the bodies that lay beneath the ash cover have been untouched and perfectly preserved because of the lack of air and moisture.  When the excavation uncovered the hermetically sealed site, plaster fillings were injected in the voids of the ash layers that held human bodies. It allowed to see the body positions of the people, as they died.  The city has remained an empty haunted place, virtually an archeological site ever since.

First floor of the duplex that I rented in Pecs. It served more as a hospital.

First floor of the duplex that I rented in Pecs. It served more as a hospital.

the Pumis got comfy while I was chatting with Timothy Leary

the Pumis got comfy while I was chatting with Timothy Leary

The Mosque Pasha Quasim converted into a catholic church in 1702. The largest Turkish building in Hungary

The Mosque of Pasha Quasim converted into a catholic church in 1702. It is the largest Turkish building in Hungary

As I walked on the empty streets with the two dogs, the rhythmic clacking noise made by the impact of the dogs’ nails with the cobble stones pavement,  echoed from  the thick walls of the empty buildings.  My brain was pulsing, my vision was blurry and my body still exhausted from the fever when finally the fresh air and the warm rays of the morning sun slowly started clearing my druggy head.  I felt hungry and my brain craved for coffeine.  I walked into a patisserie and I bough a croissant and a large cappuccino.

When two Pumis occupy an empty city.

When two Pumis occupy an empty city.

After a few sips of coffee, I went into panic mode as I realized that holly @*#%…! I was mixing up the history of Pécs, Hungary and Pompeii, Italy.  But  something still did not add up, where did all the people disappear from the city…? “Why are the streets empty?” I asked the barista.

“There is a dog show in town and they all went to see some wonder dog from New York, I think a Pumi…,” she answered.

p.s. Agyag did fantastic both days. She got BOS, CACIB, CAC and Excellent 1 Saturday and Sunday too.

Kaffogo Agyag BOS, CACIB, CAC, Excellent 1 both days. the mystery has also been resolved. Yes, indeed, the good citizens of Pécs all came to see the American wonder Pumi at the dog show just look at the seats behind me.

Kaffogo Agyag BOS, CACIB, CAC, Excellent 1 both days. the mystery has also been resolved. Yes, indeed, the good citizens of Pécs abandoned their city and all came to see the American wonder Pumi, Kaffogo Agyag at the dog show. Do not believe me? Just look at the seats behind me.

the proof of that we were there and the rest was a nightmare.

the proof of that we were there and the rest was a bad dream.










I am sinus free and back safe and sound in Budapest again.

on the way back to Budapest. Double vision? oh not again...

on the way back to Budapest. Double vision? oh not again…

there is light at the end of the tunnel. Huhh...

there is light at the end of the tunnel. Huhh…


Last Week Tonight

February 22, 2016

The FeHoVa dog show hall

The FeHoVa dog show hall

It’s been seven busy days in Budapest with the girls, Fruska and Agyag.  In this short time, I’ve managed to squeeze in a family reunion, a four day international dog show, some city hopping/shopping  and a three-day long  un amour de chien. By the way, Kaffogo Agyag justified her amorous attitude with a  quote from the  famous romantic  poet, Ashley Madison, a contemporary of Jane

Austen NOT…,  “Life is Short, Have an Affair…”

Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison, – stories of discretion

Jayne Austen

Jayne Austen – stories of indiscretion

Meeting my family is always a passionate affair...

Meeting my family is always a passionate affair…

Meeting my family is always a passionate gathering and my sister’s high-rise flat seemed a bit tight at times…

Starting on Thursday, February 18, we’ve participated the FeHoVa International  Dog Show at HUNGEXPO, the Budapest fairground. Five shows in four days. Dog shows are a different  kind of animal in Europe than in the U.S. One is better to cancel any other plans on a dog show day (the day really goes to the dogs.)  The organizers certainly give you all the time for your entry fees.

Agyag's result less one CACIB

Agyag’s result less one CACIB

I was glad that I entered Kaffogo Agyag to the shows.  I had a chance to get a partial inside look at the Hungarian Pumi field.  Partial, because, unfortunately, there has been a major schism between the Hungarian Pumi aficionados.  There are breeders and dog owners who are members of the official Magyar Pumi Klub (Hungarian Pumi Club) and than there are the “others” who refuses to recognize the official Club. If you thought that the partisanship in the U.S. Congress is serious than you ain’t see nothing.  It is a sad state of affairs, because there are good breeders and great minds on both sides.  Members of the opposition, with a few exception, do not enter to dog shows organized by or associated with the official Club and vice versa.  As a result, I had a chance to see approximately  70% of the Pumis of those who tend to participate at dog shows and a handful of foreign breeders.

The tram in front of Eifel's Budapest West Railway Terminal than...

The tram in front of Eifel’s Budapest West Railway Terminal than…

...and now (sort of...)

…and now

Since the 2013 Budapest World Dog Show, I’ve noticed some changes. Some Hungarian breeders/handlers started following the Nordic countries and have been experimenting with a more dramatic grooming than what we used to see earlier. Shorter hair and sculpting becoming a more frequent appearance. Interestingly, even some of the judges seemed to prefer the more sculpted Pumi look. In fact, I’ve heard some judges suggesting to some handlers whose dogs entered the ring with a  more natural coat that they should groom their dogs better. I am hesitant to go either way, however, one of the disadvantages that I can see is that much shorter cuts will reduce the importance of the quality of the Pumi coat because it simply won’t be possible to check it. Attitudes and customs have been changing.  One thing however, most handlers seems to be resistant to is, wearing former attire in the ring.

Gray has become the dominant Pumi color. Fawn, unless it is white or off white looking, appears to suffer some set backs.  I had a chance to talk to some of the foreign participants and it sounds that they’ve experienced similar tendencies in their countries too.

IMG_4527The Teddy Bear Syndrome:  I had an interesting discussion with some breeders and “off duty” judges about the increased number of Pumis on the smaller end with softer denser hair with more curvy angles than one would think of the Pumi after reading the breed standard. They are certainly cute and huggable, however, they are missing the size and stamina necessary for the breed’s original function, herding.  I’ve noticed this trend  the past few years in the northic countries and now in Hungary too. Some voices have also raised concerns about this issue in the U.S. too.

in front of the beautifully restored Central Market Hall

in front of the beautifully restored Central Market Hall

The update on Friday’s story is that I filed a formal complaint with the MEOESZ, the Hungarian Kennel Klub, about Judge Istvan Laszlo’s action of withholding the CACIB certificate from Agyag, because she was in “heat.”

photo from upstairs

the market indoor

According to FCI rules, the judge’s decision is final an cannot be reversed. However, if the MEOESZ rules in my favor, the judge can get sanctioned or disciplined.  I was  surprised how much support I’ve got from people. Surprisingly, there were also some supporting opinions from the opposition Pumi camp.

the cholesterol department

the cholesterol department

fruits and veggies

fruits, veggies and the famous paprika

Even though the dog show has consumed most of my time and energy,  I managed to have a nostalgia ride with my sister on the number 6 tram on the ring around the center of the City. The line is 8.3 km long has 19 stops in 29 minutes and it runs 24/7. The tran stops 225 times at each station during the day in both directions during the school year and 210 times when schools is out. The tran starts and ends on the Buda side of the city, however, rides the longest on the pest side.

Now that Agyag’s love affair and the dog show are over, I am ready to catch up with myself.  I am starting my spin class in the nearby gym tomorrow.

ready for my tomorrow spin class

ready for my tomorrow’s spin class

ready for my tomorrow's spin class

ready for my tomorrow’s spin class



WTF…?! (World Trade Fenter…)

February 19, 2016

The four-day long FeHoVa International Winter Show has begun at HUNGEXPO, the Budapest International Exposition site yesterday. The show is becoming a rather peculiar event.

There have been 25 Pumis from 13 kennels and 4 countries yesterday.  The judge was Mrs. Szabo, Katalin Ivanyi.  Kaffogo Agyag placed second in her class with Excellent 2 and Res. CACIB. Well done Agyag!!


Excellent 2 Res. CACIB good job Agyag!

Excellent 2 Res. CACIB good job Agyag!

Before I start to tell today’s bizarre experience in the ring with judge Mr. Istvan Laszlo, Let me congratulate to Nyirsegfia Tuske/Pityke/ BOB and Heczendorfer Jozsef, his owner/handler.

To make the story short, I’ve noticed that Mr. Istvan, the judge, has made some not exactly complimentary statements about a fawn (fako) male Pumi  to the dog’s owner in the ring earlier. He also asked the handler/owner of the same dog that who was the breeder of the dog.  When later we walked into the ring, he also asked me whether Agyag’s breeder was the same person as the fawn Pumi dog’s earlier. I told him that no, my bitch comes from a different kennel.

IMG_4469.JPG Excellent 1

Excellent 1 No CACIB… reason, Bitch in heat! I am pleased with the description but to deny a dog  of CACIB and to advance further because she is in heat, that is kind of…

Judge Istvan overall complimented Agyag and gave her first place in the Class,  “Excellent one, ” however, withheld the CACIB from Agyag by saying, “I cannot give her the CACIB because she is in heat….” (it is on her official written record)  Mr. Istvan Laszlo also did not allow Agyag to advance and enter the ring for the BOB title, even though, she won her class.

I admit, I was unpleasantly surprised. I looked at him, and nonchalantly told him that, how funny this was because three years ago this was not an issue when he, Mr. Istvan Laszlo selected Agyag to be the first Junior Raisits Cup winner in a much larger competition and Agyag, was in heat just like today. He stared at me with wide eyes and open mouth, (I think his tonsils have been removed..)and after a short pause he composed himself again and said, “yes, but she was close to finishing it back than…”

Nyirsegfia Tuske BOB today,

Nyirsegfia Tuske BOB today,

Since we did not have to show again, thanks to the judge, it gave me plenty of time to check the FCI rule book. I copied out the relevant sections for our situation. below is the direct copy of those sections.


…Bitches on heat are allowed to participate subject to the show regulations of the organisers.


…CACIB – Certificat d’Aptitude au Championnat International de Beauté de la FCI

The only dogs which can be taken into consideration for the CACIB are those which have been awarded “EXCELLENT 1st”. A CACIB can only be awarded if the dog in question has been assessed as being of superior quality. The CACIB is not automatically and compulsorily linked to the “EXCELLENT 1st”.


So yes, indeed, he has the right to withhold the CACIB, even though, the dog got Excellent 1 and won her class.  The rule book does not give examples of reasons why the judge might withheld the International Certificate.  The unfortunate part is that he also withheld the Res. CACIB from Annika Linden’s dog, Akkinaz Rams who got Excellent 2 and second place.  He won our class and also BOS yesterday.

To be clear, I am not questioning the fact that Mr. Istvan withheld the CACIB because he has the right to do that.  What I do not understand  is, his reasoning, that “the dog was in heat.” He did not say  and wrote that she was not a “superior quality” for the following reasons…(and listing the reasons.) He said that the bitch was in heat and that’s why she cannot get CACIB and go for the BOB.  The rule book clearly says that “…Bitches on heat are allowed to participate subject to the show regulations of the organizers “ based on the information at the time when I checked, there was no stipulations by the organizers that while bitches in heat can enter the conformation show, they cannot earn CACIB and advance for the BOB title (because they are in heat.) I am not sure that when a bitch is in heat what that has to do with her conformation. (I think it is safe to say  Mr.  Istvan Laszlo  would not vote for Hillary Clinton for the same reason… but that one is for another blog…)

This story might finally makes me one of  the “official” whiners and complainers of the Pumi breed, (now internationally too,) but you know what, someone has to stand up and ask the uncomfortable questions for the integrity of the “game” while the rest  of the group hide quietly in the bushes.  By the way, those in the bushes, watch out  for dog poops.

Canis familiaris ovilis villosus terrarius Raitsitsi

February 17, 2016

There have been several discussions lately about the Pumi; about its origin, history, function – (original and contemporary), its standard, adaptive trait(s) and also how newer generation of breeders or planning to be breeders and owners are getting connected to the breed and what they really know about the Pumi.

This short article (using informal citation ) is a result of a recent email exchange and it might be a useful addition  for those who are participating in these ongoing conversations on various FaceBook Pumi groups and planning to explore the Pumi’s origin further.

There have been voices in the U.S. for years trying to discredit the idea that the Pumi’s development has been impacted by terrier type dogs. Recently, there was a short article, not more than a “soundbite,” posted on Facebook, “A Pumi Kutya Bemutatasa” (Introduction of The Pumi Breed) describing the Pumi as a terrier type herding dog. The article received some negative comments by some readers.

Familiar with the Pumi’s unique temperament for many decades from Hungary and now as a novice Pumi breeder and farmer who actually uses Pumis for daily farm tasks and who also puts significant amount of time into international travel, studying and researching the breed, I have decided to discuss one of the Pumi’s most important features that he is a “terrier type” herding dog.

The idea that  the Pumi has no terrier impact in him, is based on the false premise that terriers were a British invention and there have been no terriers  in Europe because terriers have not been imported from Britain until the advent of organized dog shows to the continent and consequently, they could have not contributed to the Pumi’s development. In this short article I attempt to make a convincing argument that there have been continental terriers and terrier type dogs, that could have contributed to the Pumi’s development. In addition, it is  important to emphasize that although no one points to any specific British terrier breeds as source of the Pumi’s DNA, it is also a mistake to categorically exclude informal import and export of dogs of many kinds, including terrier types, between continental Europe and the British Isles prior to 1873.

Tamara Langer from Hungary has described a composite  wire haired German/continental terrier type dog, similar in size to the Pumi, as “one of the significant contributors” to the Pumis’ “terrier blood line.”

In her recent email of an excerpt from Johan Gallant’s book, “The World of Schnauzers,” Chris Levy suggests that standard Schnauzers likely had a significant role for the Pumi’s hallmark conformation .

While the Schnauzer’s history written by Gallant is certainly important, I found it more intriguing that additional archeological findings, parallel with the proto Scnauzer’s discovery,  clearly contradicts the idea that terriers have originated from the British Isles. Gallant specifically states that the terrier actually originates from the continent since its archeological remains together with the ancestor of the Schnauzer (the latter was Gallant’s primarily focus) have been found in Lattringen, Switzerland. Gallant quotes from W. Tchudy’s book, “Geschichte des Hundes”, that “the skulls found in Lattringen are in structure the nearest to our schnauzers and terriers and have to be considered their link with prehistory.” By closely reading Gallant’s text, about the pinchers of Germany, the chapter clarifies the debate about the existence of continental terriers. For our purpose to trace the Pumi’s development, Gallant’s explanation can point to the missing link, to one of the Pumi’s ancestral breeds the mysterious terrier type dog(s) in question that have been present in Europe, however, gotten “lost in translation.”

wire hair pinschers illustration from...

wire hair pinschers illustration from 1834

To be fair, it is important to mention that similar developments happened also on the British isles during the same time. Looking into some other archeological readings about the time period, (Archeological Science/ English Heritage, Research Department Report Series no. 29-2011 ISSN 1749-8775 “Review of Animal Remains From the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Southern Britain (4000BC – 1500BC) Environmental Studies Report by Dale Serjeantson)one can learn, that the neolithic era introduced the increased use of dogs. It is suggested however, that the steadily increased migration from the continent also transported livestock and early dogs to the Isles after the ice age. The evolution of agriculture including animal husbandry at different geographical locations in the same time period, either independently or through the impact of migrations, fueled the need to develop specific types of dogs (herding, hunting farm dogs and pets) in various sizes (36cm-60cm) as shown by archeological findings of dog remains in southern England.

wirehaired Pinscher and smooth haired Pinscher

wirehaired Pinscher and smooth haired Pinscher


Pinscherhund from Theodor Gotz’s book

Obviously, the Pumi is a composite dog that primarily originates from the Puli, Mudi, and some other herding breeds and certain terrier type dogs. My suspicion is that where some Pumi aficionados gone wrong is that they have been looking for a few specific breeds that can be pictured…(!) basically dogs that resembles the Pumi…, as opposed to considering the idea that we should search in a “DNA mutt pool” based on available records, and read and interpret from historical, agricultural and even geopolitical context.

Painting including British terriers

Painting  of terriers by Arthur Wardle

illustration of British terriers by Sny

 terriers by Maude

terriers by Maud Alice Earl

When researching into Hungarian sheepdogs, one has to put the history of Hungarian dog breeding in context. Conditions…: Hungary was a backward country ravaged by wars, long term foreign occupations where serfdom practically was not dismantled until 1848. After the defeated revolution and subsequent freedom fight of 1848-49, the country, especially the common people, experienced severe oppression by Austria until 1867. Clearly, under such conditions, modern dog breeding, like in the west, could not take off. People of the countrysides faced poverty. Shepherds shared their food with their dogs. “Talented” herding dogs earned their position by demonstrating their abilities and were fed. Those who did not succeed were not fed but strayed away or got a lower position in the hierarchy of farm dogs. Dogs still had to augment their daily ration by themselves out on the pastures by hunting vermin, rabbits and other small animals to supplement their diets.   Another dog feeding alternative within agricultural communities, was to “feed” working dogs out on pasture lands with dead livestock. Shepherds often did not bury livestock carcasses. Instead they cordoned them off with wires so the sheepdogs could feed on the decaying bodies. These facts might suggest that environmental factors have also had serious impacts on the breed… (!)

While the Pumi’s conformation may resemble other continental herding breeds, to a certain extent, his temperament among them remains unique and when he is in action, he exhibits a clear terrier type behavior.  He is more agile, more lively, more restless and communicative than any other similar herding breeds.  As a herding dog, within 15”-18” size with the right disposition, his terrier type behavior is strongly asserted and cannot be ignored. To be clear, we are not trying to prove that there is a clearly identifiable specific terrier blood in the Pumi, either British or continental. What we are advocating is that the Pumi has clearly been impacted by terrier type dogs.

So called “dog breeds’” bloodlines have been in flux until modern dog breeding got started with the establishment of The Kennel Club of England (1873) even though, dog breeding among affluent Europeans was already fairly frequent by the mid 19th century.
Galant’s book also includes illustration of pinschers. However, British paintings –  e.g. Arthur Wardle, Maud Alice Earl –  from the 1800’s depicts strikingly similar dogs to those German illustrations in Gallant’s book. I especially enjoyed to see Durer’s name in the context of this discussion since Durer’s father migrated to Germany from the Baja region of Hungary. (According to research papers, Durer owned several dogs that resembled the modern day schnauzers and they are also depicted in some of his work.)

Is it a schnauzer as Gallant claims it? a Puli by a longing Durer for hisHungarian heritage? or a Portugese Water dog as Dr. Elizabeth Garnell believes it?

Is it a schnauzer as  some Durer researchers claim it? a Puli by a longing Durer for his Hungarian heritage? Or a Portugese Water dog as Dr. Elizabeth Garnell believes it?

The mystery dog in Durer's

The same mystery dog in Durer’s Apocalypse The Martyrdom of St John

The descriptions of the continental (German) dogs from the excerpt called “pinschers” and the “terriers” (British) are obviously quite similar. There are two instances where the author points out the back and forth use of the terms “terrier” and “pinscher” to describe similar types of dogs performing identical tasks at different geographical locations. Gallant cites Gotz’s book, “Monographie des Hundes” from 1834 and Weiss’ translation of a British book, by William Youatts, “The Dog,” published in 1852. He points out that this latter translation appears to be one of the causes of the popularization of the term pincher in the case of terriers as Weiss also uses the term “pinscher” in the case of British dogs. (It might be far fetched but it is wort mentioning the centuries old German complaint about their isolation in the middle of Europe and consequently the relative isolation of their language. (Pinscher vs. Terrier -…?)

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the German philosopher, in his “Unanticipated Thoughts” writes about the gaps of the German language mentioning the  advance of Latin based Roman languages and English.  Even though, English is a germanic language, Latin and Romance influence in English is 58% while these language groups have only 26% influence on German.

In Gallant’s book, there is also a specific sentence that mentions Weiss’ writing about the influx of terrier type dogs back to the continent, “over the southern German hinterland…” although it is described as “vaguely mentioned.”  Yes indeed, there have been numerous occasions for informal import of dogs to the continent such as military campaigns and trade. This influx of dogs have been possible via ships sailing back and forth between Germany, Poland and other Baltic states, the British Isles across the Nordic Sea (the Hanseatic Leagues). There have been records of cargo ships clearly mentioning ratters and other dogs as permanent fixtures on boats for centuries. One famous ratter is described in the article, “Meet Hatch the world’s oldest sea dog from the Mary Rose an article by beth Hale in the Daily Mail, (March 10, 2010). Another example is the sea journey of Polish Lowland Sheep dogs to Scotland via agricultural export from the Kingdom of Poland or the catholic Scottish migrant farmers and craftsmen moving to Poland with their belongings, including dogs.

The taxonomic name of the Pumi is “Canis familiaris ovilis villosus terrarius Raitsitsi.” This definition is clear, a “bushy haired terrier type herding dog” ( a dog with inclination to herd). The intention of Raisits and Anghy cannot be misinterpreted. (perhaps with taxonomy’s new developments and directions these all can be genetically tested some day). They wanted to develop a terrier type herding dog.  The fact that this did not become a conscious effort prior to their involvement until the late 1800’s or even later until the early part of the 1900’s, is well known from magazines, newspapers and other records of the period.   So I believe that the description,“terrier type” used by Hungarians is consistent, even if the mystery dog they refer to as ratters and other “continental terriers” are officially called Pinschers or were crosses of pinschers.

Gallant also includes an article, that published a letter by R von Schmiedenberg, in the magazine “Der Hund,” from 1879, “What is a Pincher?” where the author of the letter declares how much pinschers and terriers are analogous. In the context of developing and solidifying dog breeds in Hungary, we should not forget that Hungary has been a quite backward country. Agriculture including animal husbandry and for that matter working dog breeding were way behind western Europe. Based on records, the Pumi and the Puli have not been officially divided into two different breeds for breeding purposes until 1910’s!

A Puli with Pumi impact

A Puli showing Pumi impact- phenotypic plasticity?

Pumi or Puli?

So what do you have a PUMI… or PUMI…?

For our purpose to follow the Pumi’s evolution as a breed, Gallant’s text, supports the idea that continental terriers and terrier type dogs have existed in Europe and in Germany and that the likelihood of British terriers and terrier type dogs entering the continent before organized dog breeding and “modern” dog shows have been also high.

Writings, specifically focusing on the Pumi’s history from Hungarian archival materials collected by Tamara Langer in the Pumi archive, the “Pumitar” (Pumi Warehouse), provide the detailed chronicle of the Pumi’s development as a terrier type herding dog in a historical, social and economic context.

In the article, “Magyar Juhasz vagy Pasztorebek” “Hungarian Sheep Dogs” in one of  the issues of the “Ebtenyesztes”  or “Dog breeding” magazine from 1915, the author, Buzzi complains about the dismal state of dog breeding, especially of working farm dogs in Hungary. He retells stories heard from shepherds about  wolves breeding with Komondors and Kuvaszes, or about fancy purebred dogs, including terriers of aristocrats, spending time in the country breeding with Pumi/Puli dogs. He also warned about the potential negative effects of the war on preserving Hungarian breeds as the Great War was already raging on (the article was written in 1915).

We know from historical records that  introduction of new types of sheep in Hungary came in waves that also brought along various herding and other dogs from France, Germany and from England.  The imported sheep from the British were also mentioned In 1907 by Geza Felix Buzzi in the article “The “Regeneration of Domestic Sheepdogs,” where among many stories, he also mentioned the possible impact of English sheep dogs from England that escorted the livestock to Hungary. The Old English Sheepdog was most prominently mentioned in the article.

Not long ago, in response to one of my comments on the topic of terrier type and Pumi, one tried to vaguely recall an old Hungarian article in which the author used the term “terrier,” in his writing in relation to the Pumi allegedly with false intentions and without merit proposing the idea to advertise and promote the Pumi as a terrier. I found the article in question is from 1984, “Mi Lesz Veled Pumi?” that loosely translates as ”What is Your Future Pumi?” The article calls the reader’s attention to the endangered position of the breed during the 1980’s and in this context quotes Csaba Anghy, from 1935,  “Every one should take advantage of the fact and spread the word abroad  that finally we also have a terrier, that is a terrier for its own merit, based on its temperament, conformation, and its utilization. Emphasizing the Pumi’s terrier type would help marketing the breed abroad. Unfortunately, no one has thought the obvious yet.” The correct reading of the quote clarifies that in fact, Anghy considered the Pumi as a terrier for its on merit (terrier type dog) and did not want to promote or advertise the Pumi under false premises…!

In his article, “Pumitenyesztesunk” or “Pumi Breeding” in the magazine, ”What is New in the Zoo?” XV. February 1-15. 1928, Raisits writes, “The real Pumi with his lively and restless temperament very similar to the Fox Terrier…” In the same article he describes the visit of Dr. Ludwig Heck who after his participation at the International Zoological Congress, in Budapest, picked up “Gezenguz Allatkert,” a Pumi puppy  and took him along to Germany (for its outstanding terrier type attributes). The author also chronicles a dog show of the Hungarian Fox Terrier Breeders’ Club  that was judged by Dr. Otto Wiesbaden, a highly regarded Fox Terrier judge from Germany of the period who also visited the Budapest Zoo and checked out an important Pumi of the time,  “Icig Ficko.” According to Raisits, Dr. Weisbaden noted that “…he wished that many Fox Terriers had such a great terrier type conformation.”

So until we have a better proof, I say, that if it looks like a terrier, acts like a terrier then the Pumi is a terrier type herding breed…

Rat King and Strawhenge…

December 5, 2015

En route to Florida, we stopped for a barn hunt trial at “Tailwaggin’ Events” in Robbinsville NJ.   The weather was glorious. Blue sky and radiating warm sunshine. Climate change at its best!

The rat King Installation by Katharina Fritsch

The rat King Installation by Katharina Fritsch


..and a real rat king from the collection of Naturkundliches Museum Mauritianum in Altenburg, Germany. (if you do not know about rat king, you might want to check it out)

Have you ever been at a barn hunt event? The course is built of straw bales where the dogs must navigate through tunnels, ramps, and other straw structures to find the rat in a tube somewhere under or between the straw bales. By looking at these straw bale structures that appeared so similar to the structures of Stonehenge, I thought, I just solved the approximately 5000 years old great mysteries of Stonehenge. Those New Stone Age (Neolithic) stoners must have played barn hunt. Rats should have been abundant and therefore, good farm dogs, had to be in great demand…

Stonehenge, the real stuff...

Stonehenge, the real stuff…

Anyway, the place was packed with people and tons of dogs.  It always makes me wonder what makes dogs so special in our lives that we create crazy events and form organizations to entertain these four legged beasts… Four Pumis entered out of 12 (!) present! With such a rate, the unique Pumi cuteness fast will turn into everyday delight.

Strawhenge the real stuff...

Strawhenge, the real stuff…

There were 43 entries in novice class and two of the two Pumis have stolen the show. My Kaffogo Agyag has won second place. It has been the happiest second place I can think of, because, the winner was Catskill CAVU from our B-litter (owner Sandy Mainardi).  CAVU recently recovered from a serious knee surgery after an unfortunate accident during agility training.  No wonder, I was so happy that she beat Agyag. It was nice to see him happy and healthy again.  Marika Foreman has also entered her two Catskill Pumis, Csibesz and Bikfic.  This event was their barn hunt debut.  Both dogs  were very excited  and Csibesz passed his rat instinct test.

the villain of the barn hunt - the rat...

the villain of the barn hunt – the rat…

Barn hunt is in great demand... handlers' meeting

Barn hunt is in great demand… handlers’ meeting

The rest of the Pumis were cheering from the sideline.  People could not stop smiling by looking at the cutest and biggest herd of Pumis in Robbinsville today.

The Hero and star of the story, Kaffogo Agyag...

The Hero and star of the story, Kaffogo Agyag…

There was even a rat bar... The rat wrangler recommendation was, Rattus Norwegicus on the rocks...

There was even a rat bar… The rat wrangler recommendation was, Rattus Norwegicus on the rocks…

After the event, we are back on the road today.  We plan to spend the night in Virginia and tomorrow  to complete the last leg of the annual Eukanuba pilgrimage to Orlando Florida.

No one can resist barn hunt...so why don't YOU try it next time...?

No one can resist barn hunt…so why don’t YOU try it next time…?