The Pumi is a Hungarian breed that can be found in other countries as well. Primarily, it sees use as sheep dogs, but it has proven to be versatile enough that it can be found in a number of other roles as well. The Pumi is recognized in both the United States and the United Kingdom, but recognition in said countries happened in very recent times. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Pumi:
1. The Plural Is Pumik
Since the Pumi is a Hungarian breed, it makes sense that there are some people who will use the Hungarian plural of Pumik even when they are using English.
2. Sometimes Called the Hungarian Herding Terrier
The Pumi is an excellent example of a breed that can’t be considered a true Terrier but is sometimes called a Terrier nonetheless. In its case, it is sometimes called the Hungarian Herding Terrier because it possesses a number of similarities with true Terriers, with examples ranging from its alertness to its lean but muscular form.
3. Uncertain Origins for the Name
No one is sure how the name of the breed came into existence. The most popular line of speculation is that it comes from Pommern, which is short for Pomeranian Spitz. Said breed is relevant because a lot of the German herding dogs that have been crossbred into Pumi lines came from Pomerania.
4. Close Relative of the Puli
The Pumi is a close relative of the Puli, which is another Hungarian herding breed. However, the Puli can be distinguished from the Pumi by the fact that its coat resembles nothing so much as dreadlocks, which provides the breed with an unmistakable appearance. With that said, there was a time when the two breeds were even closer, so much so that the terms Pumi and Puli were used in an interchangeable manner.
5. Has Some Central Asian Heritage
It is believed that the Pumi is descended from the herding dogs used by the Magyars, meaning that the breed can claim some Central Asian heritage. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the Magyars is a term often used to describe the ancient Hungarians, who moved to the Carpathian Basin from Central Asia and South Siberia.
6. Has Some French and German Heritage
What separates the Pumi from the Puli is the fact that the breed has been crossbred with French and German breeds as well. With that said, it is important to note that the Pumi came into existence in a relatively organic manner because the origins of the breed predate the concept of pedigree dogs.
7. The Pumi and the Puli Were Separated in the 20th Century
The Pumi and the Puli were separated into two breeds at the start of the 20th century based on their appearances. One of the reasons that this took so long was because the breeding of native Hungarian dogs was not encouraged under the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the second half of the 19th century.
8. Got Devastated By the World Wars
Like a lot of European breeds, the Pumi was hard-hit by the World Wars. First, a lot of the dogs as well as the livestock that they herded were lost during the First World War, which wasn’t helped by the political chaos that followed the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Second, a lack of food plus a lack of veterinary care resulted in even more losses during the Second World War. Fortunately, the breed managed to survive both conflicts, though their numbers are still relatively low in the present.
On the whole, Pumik are wonderful dogs. For starters, they are smart but biddable, meaning that they are easier to train than a lot of the other breeds out there. Furthermore, while they can be suspicious when meeting strangers, they are neither particularly aggressive nor particularly shy in their interactions. On top of this, Pumik even retain a playful attitude when they are full-grown, which is why they are sometimes called the clown in Hungary.
10. Has Been Known to Be Bossy
With that said, the Pumi has certain instincts that can be a bit problematic if they are not kept under control by a capable dog owner. For example, they can be pretty vocal. Likewise, they have been known to herd people. Due to this, proper training from an early age is essential for ensuring that Pumik won’t become nuisances, which is true for pretty much all breeds.