As one of the newest breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Mudi seems like a mix between a Miniature Poodle and German Shepherd, both in temperament and appearance. This breed has origins in Hungary, where most of these dogs currently live, and has worked as a farm dog since the 19th century. While it has been around for some time, there aren’t many Mudi in the world, with estimates suggesting there are only a few thousand out there. Even so, these dogs are loyal, active dogs.
While Mudi look like a cross between a Miniature Poodle and German Shephard, their ancestors are believed to include the Puli, Pumi, and German Spitz breeds and this specific breed has been around since the latter half of the 19th century. Before this, Hungarian sheepdogs were simply divided into two categories based on size, large and small. But the breed wasn’t officially recognized/classified until 1936, after Dr. Deszö Fényesi and a few other breeders spent time separately breeding smaller Hungarian sheepdogs into their own breeds.
Like other sheepdogs, Mudi dogs are energetic, smart, adaptable, and enthusiastic about having a job to do. They are friendly and loving with their families but like other herding dogs, they can be reserved with strangers. All of that means these dogs need plenty of socialization, training, exercise, and enrichment to keep entertained and happy. The good news is that they are amazing jumpers and thrive at dog sports like flyball, herding, frisbee, and obedience classes. Mudi are mischievous and playful, meaning these dogs are wonderful companions for active homes looking for a fun partner in crime!
As far as grooming goes, Mudi are relatively easy to care for and pretty low maintenance. Once fully grown, Mudi stand 15-19 inches tall and weigh 18-29 pounds. They do need regular nail trims and dental care, like brushing their teeth and dental chews; but as far as their wavy coat goes, they really only need the occasional bath and semi regular brushing to remove dead hair. Mudi are average shedders and while other colors have been seen, their coats are often black in color.
Mudi aren’t really the best choice for novice dog owners and would do best for those who have had dogs before. They are medium in size but aren’t necessarily great apartment dogs, as they are keenly observant, mischievous, and tend to bark if something seems amiss. It’s possible to live in an apartment or smaller living areas with plenty of exercise and enrichment. It’s important to remember that Mudi are herding dogs and in addition to having plenty of energy and smarts, they will follow you around. If you’re looking for a hiking partner and/or dog to do fun activities with, you really can’t go wrong with a Mudi. Be aware that finding one, especially in the United States, can be difficult!
Have you ever met a Mudi dog before? Let me know in the comments!