The Pumi


Taking a rest during hiking with the gang

BoM_BannerThe Pumi is a fast learning,  highly trainable, intelligent terrier type herding dog.  He is a native breed of Hungary, where he is officially recognized as one of the “National Treasures,” a “HUNGARICUM” of the country,

Most likely, the Pumi  originates from the Puli, an old Hungarian herding breed, dating back to the nomadic period of the nation, prior to the arrival to the Karpathian-Basin from Central Asia (the Puli is still an active herding breed today.) In addition, the Pumi has also related to the Mudi and other Central European herding breeds and continental terrier type dogs present in the 17th and 18th century. The Pumi has officially been recognized in Europe since 1920.

Please click on the link below to read one of the most comprehensive descriptions available about the breed. It has been translated from primary sources.

Easily trainable, great recall drive, action with an off switch

Easily trainable, great recall drive, action with an off switch

The Pumi is not for everyone!  It is a terrier type, highly intelligent herding breed, luckily with an off-switch. The Pumi is easily trainable, however, he needs daily off leash physical exercise and mental stimulation. The Pumi does not take raincheck easily and he is certainly not a backyard dog to be left alone.   The Pumi might appear to be tough and invincible from the outside, he can be a fragile and delicate soul.  He wants to be a partner, and a family member.  A Pumi thrives the most in active families.  He is  a great companion, sport and recreational dog. He is naturally good off-leash (in safe areas) and has a fantastic recall.  Still, it is important that the Pumi gets proper training, socialization and exposure to various stimuli of versatile environments to earn the full reward of his wonderful personality and character. The Pumi tends to be vocal, however, his voice can easily be controlled if he is properly cared for.  The Pumi likes guidance and even though, tend to be a “one person dog,” he always listens and obeys to the “rest of the pack.”

Pumis everywhere

Pumis everywhere

The good news is that it is easy to provide high quality  exercise to a Pumi without highly specialized training skills or above average physical ability. Barn hunt, lure coursing, dock diving, tracking, nose work, sled competition can provide great physical  exercise as well as mental stimulation for one’s dog.

However, for those who are considering trialing with their Pumis, it is a good news that the Pumi excels in most sanctioned dog trials.

When visiting breeders and kennels, remember that the Pumi is not a shy breed…! He might be reserved and cautious when introduced to strangers and unfamiliar places , however, a Pumi with the right disposition and proper socialization should recover fast, act naturally and happy with new people in new surroundings.

When we plan a Pumi litter, we focus on temperament, physical health, correct anatomy, correct hair type, characteristic head, pigmentation, and desired colors. We try to see several offsprings, siblings and other relatives of the dogs whom we consider in our breeding program. We collaborate with breeders overseas and research different bloodlines to find the best possible match for our dogs.  While titles and popularity are important, they are secondary in our selection process to pick a quality dog. 

Pumi puppy (Catskill)

Pumi puppy (Catskill)

We interview and screen every potential puppy buyers and whom we think are the most suitable and can provide the best home, will be able to purchase dogs from us.

We do not sell dogs to people who plan to keep our dogs in kennels.  A Pumi must live together and share the home with its owner… 

All Pumi puppies to be sold, will be registered with AKC, microchipped, vaccinated with the first round of shots and dewormed up to date.

If for any reason, (and we believe there are almost none) a Pumi from our breeding needs a new home, regardless of age or health condition, we reserve the right for that dog to be returned to us.


Its General Herding Style

The Pumi, is a lose-eye herding dog and is mostly referred to as a driver type. He is agile, vocal, and works close to the stock. He is comfortable working with sheep, goat, cattle, ducks and swine.

Since the Club did not Schedule a photographer for the herding event, We had no official documentation of the trial. I posted an earlier herding photo of Agyag from Hungary, in 2013

Agyag herding sheep in Hungary

First Impression – The Informal Pumi

The Pumi has a lively and playful temperament and he is also considered as bold, however, he tends to be reserved or suspicious towards strangers, like most herding breeds. In public,  Pumik always attracts attention because of their attractive conformation and always active playful behavior. The Pumi tends to be vocal, however, with a balanced lifestyle, he barks only when there is a reason for it.  A shy or dispassionate behavior are atypical of the Pumi. The Pumi is a “telltail” dog (his tail tells everything…).

Family Pet, Sport and Performance Dog, Herding Dog


Up until WWII, the Pumi breed had gone through a rather harsh, selection process. Pumis were needed for herding, and as watch dogs. Many of them performing complicated tasks. Taking the herd to the common pastures between crop fields in the morning, take them back to the well for drinking midday, and herd the stock back home and select them to their respective homes in the evening. Shepherds needed fast learning reliable dogs and they had no or small tolerance for mistakes. Dogs which “did not get it,” were not fed and chased away from the herd. However, where nature and nurture managed to work together in harmony in the existing environment, the outcome was a close to perfect herding Pumi, ready for any task. A dog fierce with the stock, fearless with intruders and the most loyal to his “master.”

As a result, we got an amazing breed today; The Pumi is a great family, companion, sport or herding dog.  The Pumi usually choses one person to whom he has unquestionable allegiance however, always obeys to other family members when the “boss” is not around. Last but not least, he is also a superb entertainer.


The Pumi is very athletic and the breed is among the top agility dogs in Europe. Some Pumis have already gotten national attention here in the U.S. too. It is literally a breathless experience to watch them on the agility court from start to finish. Competitive obedience also comes to them naturally and one can always find Pumis in the top tear of competitions.

We’ve posted FCI Pumi Standard for those who interested to compare to the AKC standard. One of the main failures of the AKC standard is to ignore the Pumi as a TERRIER TYPE herding dog, that is one of the most important feature in the FCI Standard.

FCI Standard No. 56 Pumi


UTILISATION : Herding dog of Terrier type. Also suitable for herding larger types of animals. His scenting ability is well developed. Has excellently proved his worth when combating wild beasts of prey and rodents. Excellent pet, can definitely be kept indoors. Needs plenty of exercise. Is an excellent companion and sporting dog. CLASSIFICATION FCI: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)

Section 1 Sheepdogs

Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Pumi came into being during the 17th to the 18th century in Hungary by crossbreeding the primitive Puli with imported German and French dogs of Terrier type with prick ears. It has been recognised as an independent breed at the beginning of the 20th century.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : The Pumi is a cheerful, medium sized herding dog of Terrier type. His Terrier character is most obvious in his head. The foreface is elongated and the upper third of the otherwise prick ears is bending forward. The conformation is square. Because of his constant alertness, his neck carriage is higher than normal. The wavy coat of medium length forms curls. The Pumi can have various but must always be of one solid colour.

The body length is equal to the height at the withers.
The dept of the brisket is slightly less than half of the height at the withers.
The length of the muzzle is slightly less than half of the total length of the head.
The length of the neck is equal to the length of the head and is 45% of the height at the withers.

BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT : This rather lively herding dog has a restless temperament. Extremely bold, a little suspicious towards strangers. As a result of his sensible behaviour, his liveliness and his expressiveness, he attracts attention always and everywhere. The Pumi is rather noisy. His whole appearance embodies thirst for action and because of his restlessness and activity, all parts of his body are constantly on the move. He is always active and ready for duty. A shy or phlegmatic behaviour are untypical of the breed.HEAD : Relatively long and narrow. The shape of the head is characterised by the elongated muzzle.


Skull: The top of the head is relatively broad and domed. The long forehead is only slightly domed and flat seen from the side. The superciliary ridges are moderately developed.Stop: Barely perceptible, the forehead running an almost straight line between the eyebrows toward the bridge of the nose.


Nose: Narrow, bluntly cut-off. Always black in all coat colours.

Muzzle: The bridge of the nose is straight. The elongated facial region tapers towards the nose but is never pointed.

Lips: Tight-fitting to the teeth, dark pigmented.

Jaws/Teeth: Strong jaws. The strong, well developed teeth are white. Regular, complete scissors bite according to the dentition formula.

Cheeks: Well muscled.

Eyes: Set moderately wide apart, slightly oblique. Medium sized. Medium sized, oval, dark brown slit-eyes. The expression is lively and intelligent. The eye-lids are tight and close-fitting to the eyeballs and well pigmented.

Ears: The upright ears are set on high, the upper third of the ears bending forward. The medium sized, even ears show a reverse V-shape. They show alert reactions to all stimulations.

NECK : Of medium length, little arched, well muscled, forming an angle of 50 to 55 degrees to the horizontal. The skin at the throat is tight, dry, without folds.

BODY : Well developed muscles, dry, exceptionally taut and tough. The breed is particularly lean and of harmonious appearance.

Topline: Straight.

Withers: Pronounced, long, sloping towards rear.

Back: Short, straight and taut.

Loins: Short, firmly coupled, straight.

Croup: Short, slightly sloping, of medium breadth.

Chest: The forechest is straight, not broad, rather deep. Ribs slightly arched, rather flat. The brisket is deep, long and reaches to the elbows.

Belly: Tight, tucked up towards rear.

TAIL : The high set tail forms a wide circle above the croup. The hair on the underside of the tail is 7 to 12 cm long, wry standing apart, with little undercoat. A natural stumpy tail or tail docking is not permitted.


FOREQUARTERS : The front legs, placed under the forechest, support the body like pillars. They are vertical, parallel and not too wide apart.

Shoulders: The shoulder blade is long and a little steep. Angle to the horizontal is approximately 55 degrees. The points of the shoulder blades are placed vertically above the deepest point of the brisket.

Upper Arm: Short and well muscled. The shoulder blade and the upper arm form an angle of 100 to 110 degrees.

Elbows: Close-fitting to the body.

Forearm: Long, gaunt.

Pastern: Steep.

Forefeet: Rounded cat feet with well-knit toes. The pads are springy. Nails strong, black or slate grey.

HINDQUARTERS : The hindlegs are very strong. Seen from the side, they are somewhat extended beyond the rear. Seen from behind, the legs are parallel, straight, standing neither too narrow nor too wide apart.

Upper thigh: Muscular, long, sloping to the rear.

Stifle: On the same level as the elbows.

Lower thigh: Long, dry.

Hock: The hock is lean with clean outlines.

Metatarsus: Short, steep.

Hind feet: Like forefeet. Dewclaws are not desired.

GAIT/MOVEMENT : Quite lively and spirited. Stride short, energetic, dynamic and harmonious. The posture is bold and proud. The trot is light-footed and harmonious; the dog puts his hind feet exactly into the foot prints of the forefeet.

SKIN : Without folds, strongly pigmented. The areas of bare skin are black or slate grey.


HAIR : The wavy, curly coat forms tufts and is never smooth or corded. The coat has an average length of 4 to 7 cm, growing to smaller or larger tufts; it is elastic, shaggy and dense. It consists of a strong, but not coarse, topcoat and a soft undercoat. The dense, wiry protective hairs of medium length on the ears grow upwards. The eyes and the foreface are free of long hair. The desired coat preparation is achieved by hand trimming. Smaller corrections, done with scissors on head and legs, are possible. Preparing the entire coat with scissors is not desirable.


Grey in various shades (normally, the colour at birth is black, turning grey with time). Black.

Fawn. Primary colours: red, yellow, cream (a trace of black or grey and a distinct mask are desirable).

A white mark on the chest less than 3 cm in diameter and/or a white line on the toes are not faulty.


The coat colour must always be intense and solid.



Dogs: 41 to 47 cm; Ideal height: 43 to 45 cm. (English – 16″ to 18 1⁄2″, Ideal height: 17″ to 17.7″)

Bitches: 38 to 44 cm; Ideal height: 40 to 42 cm. (English – 15″ to 17.3″, Ideal height: 15.7″ to 16 1⁄2″)


Dogs: 10 to 15 kg; Ideal weight: 12 to 13 kg. (English – 22-33 lb, Ideal weight: 26 1⁄2 – 28 1⁄2 lb)

Bitches: 8 to 13 kg; Ideal weight: 10 to 11 kg. (English – 17 1⁄2 -28 1⁄2 lb, Ideal weight: 22 – 24 lb)

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportions to its degree.


Round, Puli-like head. Foreface shorted than 40% of the total length of head. Strongly defined stop.

One or more missing teeth (incisors, canines, premolars 2-4, molars 1-2). More than two missing PM1. The M3 are disregarded.

Over- or understand mouth, wry mouth.

Completely upright prick ears. Ears pendant from base or carried unevenly.

Short smooth coat. Long, very matted, sticking out or dull coat.

Chocolate coloured, multicoloured coat. All uniform, clearly defined patches (i.e. tan markings, mantle forming markings).

Size deviating from the height limits given by the standard.

(Official Translation: Mrs. C. Seidler and Mrs. Elke Peper)

Grooming the Pumi



One of the great advantages of the Pumi is that his hair does not shed. The dog should have an average coat lenght, that ideally forms locks. The hair requires a relatively low maintenance, grooming by raking or combing about every two to three weeks. The hair needs to be thoroughly raked, deep, all the way down to the skin to eliminate any tangling, matting and get rid of any lose undercoat. Do not use flicker brush, as it ruins the integrity the natural locks and curls.


After raking, I scissor the hair.  Scissoring the Pumi is an easy and straightforward job. Straight parallel lines, on the legs (like columns) and head that is somewhat terrier like with long rectangular face. DO NOT CUT A STOP! the tip of the ears should flip to the front. The ears can be lifted if necessary by trimming the hair on the back. Cutting from the edges inside and outside can help in the correct  angulation of the ears. The neck must be shaped long (this is one of the major differences between the Pumi and the Puli!) The back (topline) is straight with a slightly accented wither and the croup somewhat dropping. The tale is shaped as a “crescent moon.” The sides are flat(!) over the ribcage. The forechest  is flat,  and integrated with the neck and front legs. (It should not be protruding). If you make a “show cut” take your time and scissor more than ones. I usually scissor twice three/four days apart because after raking, the curls are stretched out and you might inadvertently end up cutting the hair too short.  After scissoring, I wash the dog.  After washing  the hair, it should dry naturally without blowdrying it. This way the hair better maintains its natural curl formations.  To be clear, DO NOT BLOW DRY your Pumi’s hair!

Some details:

Scissoring the hair shorter (1/2”- 1 1/4”) on the chest and back side helps to get the desired square look. Leave it longer (1 1/2” – 2”) on the two sides of the body. On the belly, lower chest and legs, the hair should be left the longest, aproximately 3”. The backline should be straight. Cut the hair shorter on the cheeks and the dogʼs profile is trimmed straight without a stop.


The hair on the ears should be shaped rounded and trimmed. The amount to be cut always depends on the correctness of the ear. Custom cutting the length of the hair can help a more correct appearance of a less perfect ear. It is important to keep the ear channel clear by pulling the hair using hemostats about every two-three months.

The hair on the tail is also scissored. Avoid the hair appearing separated so it can hold a steady uninterrupted hairline while the center of the tail curl should be transparent On the legs the emphasis is on straightness, therefore, the hair needs to be shaped more than shortened (see above). On the feet the hair is rounded. Also, if your dog cannot wear his nails down short enough, than they need to be trimmed.

Do not go crazy with grooming. For a healthy coat and resembling a somewhat “original” look it is advisable to wash your dog less, and cutting the minimum to enjoy those lush and dense natural curls.

The basic tools you need to groom your Pumi are a metal rake, a good quality pair of scissors, (something Iʼve learned not to try saving money on) and a nice length hemostats to have a safe grip to pull the hair from the ear canals.  All these tools are available at major pet stores or online.


Credits: Grooming illustration by Tamara Länger, agility photographs by Ruth Hill with Twinkle and Julia Garside. Thank you for your permission to use these images. or (917) 488-1015, (917) 375-7029.

You can see our puppy and adult Pumis in action and the way they grow up on YouTube by typing in the search box “Goatsheepshop”… lean back and enjoy!