Rare Dog Breeds: The Mudi!
This medium-sized breed, which originated in Hungary in the nineteenth century, was bred from a cross between the Puli and German Spitz breeds. Registered in 1936, the Mudi (pronounced “moodie”) is an active, intelligent working breed, known for its excellent herding skills. This breed is also considered a rare breed, since only a few thousand exist globally; of course the greatest concentration of them is still in Hungary. Because this breed exists in such small numbers, it is currently not recognized by A.K.C.; although several other organizations do acknowledge the breed and allow it to compete at their events.
The Mudi usually weighs between 18-to-29 pounds and stands approximately 15-to-19 inches high at the shoulders. Mudis have short tails; some are born long and some are born naturally short. It's got a wavy or thick, curly coat on its body and short hair covering its head and the front of its legs. The coat is wash-and-wear, simply requiring a good, quick brushing once a week to remove loose, dead hair. Shedding is minimal with good grooming, which is an appealing feature of this breed. Mudis are a handsome breed which can be found in black, ash, white, fawn or brown colors; with black clearly the predominant color.
As with any breed, all dogs have their individual temperaments; however, if raised with small children and other animals from the time they are very young puppies, this breed is exceptionally friendly and well-suited for families that will treat him as a member of the family and not leave him unattended for long periods, or simply as an outdoor dog who basically lives in the backyard. One thing to keep in mind with a Mudi is its tendency to bark more than other breeds, although they can be trained to be quiet on command; which makes apartment living quite difficult for them. It is important to note that this need to bark is characteristic of the breed, as they were bred to be guardians whose job was to alert when they sensed trouble, and not because they are belligerent or poorly behaved.
This breed is not shy nor overly energetic and enthusiastic when it is introduced to strangers; but because they are a herding breed, they tend to be somewhat reserved until they know someone well. Once they trust a person, you will see a Mudi exhibit their generally easygoing, playful and affectionate personality. The Mudi can be very easy to train using positive reinforcement methods, rather than a dominant, controlling method. Common to most herding breeds, the Mudi will learn faster if he trusts his trainer and they work as a team. Be prepared that they have good energy and will tackle a task head on with great intensity, almost with a fearless quality.
A hearty breed with few genetic problems, they live an average of 12-to-14 years, although they can live much longer if taken good care of and kept healthy. The only thing to really consider with this breed when purchasing, is to check that the parents of a puppy were tested and cleared of hip dysplasia and any eye problems.
A Mudi has lots of energy and requires a good sized area for them to run. Even though they are relaxed and calm inside the home, Mudis love to go outdoors and play frisbee, catch with their favorite toy or just run as much as their space will allow. Remember this is a herding breed and they naturally love to stretch their legs and run, so you will have to provide regular exercise and opportunities to release pent up energy. Another fun characteristic of this breed is their exceptional ability to jump, so beware, that a poorly exercised Mudi will be inspired to jump the fence and take off to get that good run he needs.
IS THE MUDI RIGHT FOR ME?
If you are prepared to train them, and exhibit the patience needed while they get used to their new home which includes a good deal of vocal expression during that period; then you will find a Mudi a wonderful companion. Expect to have a few sleepless nights while they adjust and become familiar with their new surroundings. This smart, fun, easy to maintain breed will be loyal and provide lots of love and fun over the years.