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Pumi Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Hungarian Dog Breed Pumi_katinka bakos_shutterstock

Height: 15 – 18.5 inches
Weight: 22 – 29 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 13 years
Colors: Black, Gray, Silver Gray, White, Fawn
Suitable for: Active families, House with a Yard
Temperament: Energetic, Intelligent, Confident, Lively, Agile

The Pumi (pronounced POO-me) is an AKC recognized purebred from the Herding Group and is a lively, intelligent dog bred to herd sheep and cattle in Hungary. They become attached to their family quickly and are affectionate and energetic dogs that are protective of everyone in the household.

Pumis are medium-sized dogs with curled tails and erect ears that flop over at the ends, giving them a rather whimsical appearance. They come in a variety of colors such as black, white, silver-gray, gray, and fawn and can have black & tan or brindle markings. They are most well known for their gorgeous corkscrew curly coats of fur.
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Pumi Puppies


Pumis are high energy dogs that are very healthy and are known to live past their expected lifespan. They are easy to train due to their intelligence and willingness to please, but they can be wary of strangers.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Pumi

1. The Pumi likes high places.

They love to know what’s going on at all times and will, at times, gravitate to high places to check everything out.

2. The Pumi is one of three Hungarian herding dogs.

The Mudi, which is in the Miscellaneous Class, and the Puli, are all Hungarian herding dogs but the Pumi comes in as a little more popular than the Puli with a rank of 151 compared to the Puli’s 160 out of 196.

3. The Pumi is a barker.

Because the Pumi is a herding dog, they tend to be quite vocal and might not be the best dog for apartment living.

Pumi Dog Breed
Image Credit: Enna8982, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Pumi 🧠

The Pumi is an energetic breed that is a quick learner and excels at working as it is agile and is willing to work endlessly. They will bond with the entire family but will choose one person out of the family as their favorite.

Pumis are herding dogs and will attempt to herd children and smaller animals in the household. They are very intelligent and lively dogs. Their intelligence allows them to evaluate every new situation, whether its new places or strangers, and they might appear standoffish while figuring out their circumstances.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Pumis are excellent family dogs as they enjoy spending time and bonding with the entire family. They will protect the whole family but without any serious aggression, and they are devoted and affectionate. Because they are herding dogs, they might tend to nip at the heels and legs of younger children in an attempt to herd them, but they won’t hurt them.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Pumi will get along with all other pets in the household, provided they are socialized as puppies and were raised with them. Just like with the children, the Pumi might also attempt to herd other animals, and they should be watched around any pets other than cats and dogs.

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Things to Know When Owning a Pumi:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Pumis are medium-sized dogs and should be fed high-quality dog food, which should work out to about 1 to 1½ cups of kibble 2 times a day. How often and how much you feed them can be determined by following the instructions on the back of the food bag and consulting with your vet.

Be careful with giving your Pumi treats and human food as you want your dog to avoid overeating or eating something that could cause harm. Speak to your vet if you’re ever concerned about your Pumis health and weight.

Exercise 🐕

Pumis are highly energetic and will need lots of daily exercise as well as activities to help with mental stimulation. They enjoy chasing and fetching, so throwing balls and frisbees is an excellent way to help them burn off some of their energy. They also excel at various dog sports such as agility, obedience, tracking, and naturally, herding. If the Pumi is left alone for too long and isn’t given enough exercise and playtime, they will become noisy and destructive.

Training 🦮

The Pumi learns quickly as it is a smart dog and will pick up training quite easily. They should be socialized early, and as with most dogs, the Pumi will respond best to positive reinforcement. As long as it has enough mental stimulation and exercise, it will grow up a well-adjusted and happy dog.

Grooming ✂️

The grooming process for the Pumi is low maintenance but with a few notes. Their curly coat is unique with half of the fur being coarse and the other half soft. It is recommended to comb your Pumi every 3 to 6 weeks but combing them once a week will help remove dirt and mats. After combing your Pumi, you should wet down its coat (no shampoo) and allow it to airdry, all of which will bring the curls back up. Avoid using a blow dryer, or you’ll end up with a frizzy, poufy dog.

The Pumi should be given a bath not more than once a month with a high-quality dog shampoo. Any more frequently than that could damage your dog’s skin. The Pumi does need to be trimmed occasionally, about once every 2 or 3 months.

Two pumi dogs in a studio_jne valokuvaus_shutterstock
Credit: Jne Valokuvaus, Shutterstock

You also need to brush their teeth several times a week, clean their ears about once a month and trim their nails around every 3 or 4 weeks.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The vet will check the Pumis hips, elbows, and knees and run an MRI and CT scans to check their spine for any issues. Your vet with run a full physical exam on your Pumi and check its eyes for any potential problems.

Minor Conditions
  • Dislocated eye lens
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Kneecap dislocation
  • Spinal cord disease
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Male vs. Female

The female Pumi is a little smaller and lighter than the male. She might run 15 to 17 inches in height compared to the male at 16 to 18 inches. The female might weigh about 22 to 24 pounds and the male around 27 to 29 pounds.

If you elect to have surgery for your dog, neutering the male dog is not as complicated as spaying the female and is, therefore, less expensive and has a shorter recovery time. Neutering and spaying can potentially give your dog a longer lifespan as it might prevent future health issues. Your dog also might be less likely to run away and could lose any aggressive behavior.

Finally, some believe that there’s a difference in temperament between males and females. It’s thought that the females are generally less aggressive and more affectionate than the males, but there are discussions about this perspective. However, how a dog was socialized and trained and how it’s been treated throughout its life will be the main determinate of its personality and behavior.

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Final Thoughts

The Pumi looks like an adorable muppet with its perky ears and fluffy, curly coat and is a smart and lovely companion.

As previously mentioned, the Pumi is a rather rare purebred, particularly in North America. If you’re looking for a Pumi puppy, you could start by looking for breeders of the Pumi, but if there aren’t any in your area, you could attend dog shows or speak to local and national dog clubs. Some breeders are willing to fly puppies to your location but be prepared for a much larger expense. Posting a message on social media will also spread your message to a bigger audience. Also, don’t forget to look into adopting a rescue dog.

If you want to add a lively, affectionate, and smart dog to your family, the Pumi is a unique and loving bundle of floof that will make a wonderful addition to the right family.

Featured Image Credit: Katinka Bakos, Shutterstock

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