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Characteristics, History, and Health


The Pumi is a small-to-medium-sized herding dog that originates from Hungary. This unique breed is characterized by its distinctively curly coat and semi-erect ears. They are also known for their lively and protective nature, which makes them excellent watchdogs as well as family pets. The Pumi is a relatively new breed, with its origins traced back to the 17th and 18th centuries in Hungary. It is believed to have descended from the Puli, another Hungarian herding breed, and several imported terrier-type dogs used for their ratting abilities. The combination of these breeds resulted in a hardworking, agile, and alert dog, traits that made it particularly effective at managing livestock.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Hungarian Pumi, Hungarian Herding Terrier
Life Expectancy
12-14 years
Average Male Height
16-18.5 inches
Average Female Height
15-17.5 inches
Average Male Weight
27-29 pounds
Average Female Weight
22-24 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Curly, Wavy
Coat Colors
Gray, Black, Fawn, Born Gray, Born Brown, Silver Gray, White
Coat Pattern
Black & Tan Markings, Brindle Markings

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Pumik are generally healthy dogs with a life expectancy of around 12 to 14 years. However, like many breeds, they can be susceptible to certain hereditary conditions, including hip dysplasia and eye diseases like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts. Genetic testing is recommended, including for the following additional conditions: hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration.

Personality and Behavior

Pumik are known for their lively, active, and intelligent nature. They are eager to work and play, making them a great choice for active individuals or families. Because of their herding background, they may try to herd children and other pets and can be somewhat reserved and wary around strangers. However, they are typically affectionate and devoted towards their family. These dogs are highly trainable but do require consistent, positive reinforcement training methods.

The Pumi has a distinctive curly or wavy, medium-long double coat that is dense and weather-resistant. While they don't shed excessively, their curly coats require regular maintenance, including clipping and brushing, to prevent matting.

Fun Facts

The word "Pumi" is used in the Hungarian language for both the singular and plural forms of the breed. However, outside of Hungary, the term "Pumik" is often used for the plural form.

The Pumi is known for its distinctive "Pumi smile," a term used to describe the breed's expressive and endearing facial expressions.

Despite their small size, Pumik have been known to successfully herd large livestock like cows and horses due to their energetic and fearless nature.

The Pumi is also known as the Hungarian Pumi or Hungarian Herding Terrier, reflecting its origins and historical roles.

The breed gained official recognition from the Hungarian Kennel Club in 1920 and by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1935. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Pumi in 2016.