(aka: Hungarian Mudi, Canis Ovilis Fenyesi)
The Mudi (pronounced "moodie") is a medium sized herding dog from Hungary which has been in existence since the nineteenth century. It is said the Mudi evolved naturally from crosses of the Puli, Pumi & German Spitz type breeds. The distinguishing characteristic of prick ears led experts to classify this type by naming & registering the breed in 1936.
Today the Mudi is seen as an active, intelligent, biddable working breed. The Mudi is a rare breed. It is estimated there are no more than a few thousand Mudi's worldwide, with the greatest numbers being in Hungary, followed by Finland, and scarcer throughout Europe, the U.S., and Canada. The Mudi excels at agility, obedience, and flyball, as well as other dog sports. He is a true working breed and shines when herding both cattle and sheep, and has found fame as a Search and Rescue dog in both Finland and the U.S.
The Mudi has a wedge-shaped head with a pointed nose. The jaws are muscular with a scissors bite. The skull is convex with a well-marked stop. The eyes are oval and dark brown. The ears are erect in the shape of an upside-down "V". It is not unusual for the puppies to be born without a tail. The back is straight and rather long. The hind legs are surprisingly wide set. The hair on the muzzle is short, becoming bristly toward the ears. Its dense, wavy to curly coat is about 2 inches long with glossy hair that forms tufts and easy to care for.
The Mudi is truly a rare dog. The few owners who employ and favor the Mudi find him incomparable. His seemingly unending list of talents combined with his pleasant disposition makes him a top dog among canines. Highly intelligent, they can learn as quickly as Border Collies or even faster. Extremely powerful and courageous, the Mudi is afraid of nothing, not even wild boar, which it can overpower quickly. It makes a good guard dog. It is very loving and gentle in the family and has therefore gained appreciation as a companion dog that, if the need arises, will defend both property and person. Within the family it also has a tendency to bond with one particular person. Mudis can be wary of strangers. Socialize them well preferably at a young age. Some will not come up to a stranger until it sees that the person is friendly and doesn't want to hurt it. They are not aggressive when they meet someone they do not know; they just need to get accustomed to them. They will do okay with children if they are treated in such a way that they see humans above them in the pack order. Mudi are friendly with other dogs and will be okay with non-canine pets if they are raised with them from puppyhood or properly introduced as a new pet in the home. It is an obedient and playful companion, but can sometimes be noisy. They need to be taught not to bark unnecessarily. Mudi will do very well with a job to do. They need an owner who knows how to properly communicate the rules and one who has time for daily exercise.
The Mudi has an easy-to-care for, wash-and-wear coat. With short hair on the head and front of the legs, and wavy-to-curly hair over the rest of the body, a good (and quick) brushing about once a week or so is all this dog needs for grooming. The Mudi is a light-to-average shedder.
The Mudi's full name is Canis Ovilis Fenyesi (Dr Dezso Fenyesi separated Mudi from the Puli and Pumi). The Hungarian herdsman's dogs were all classified together until the 1930's when the Mudi was separated from the Puli and Pumi. This all-purpose rural breed does not appear to be the result of planned breeding. The breed formed spontaneously and is only about one hundred years old. It is rare, even in Hungary - its country of origin. Its conformation stabilized in the early 1900's and its standards were written down according to these original traits. Perhaps much of the reason for the rareness of this breed can be attributed to the ever-present Puli and Komondor - older and more popular Hungarian working breeds. Perhaps the least known of all Hungarian dogs, it is noted for the multiplicity of its uses both inside and outside its native land. It has served as a flock guardian, sheep herder, cow herder, guard dog, hunter of wild animals, killer of mice and weasels and as a companion. He is capable of handling his own flock without the assistance of a third paw. In Finland they are used as mountain-rescue dogs. Without the intervention of dedicated breeders, it would be in danger of extinction.
Mudi are very easy to train, however, it is best to use positive reinforcement methods rather than heavy-handed dominance-based methods. As with all herding breeds, the Mudi is sensitive to strong-arm corrections and will learn far more quickly if he is trusting of his trainer and they work together as a team.
Though it is rare, there have been instances of hip dysplasia; puppy buyers should ensure the potential parents of their new puppy have been tested and cleared of this disease as well as any eye problems. Recently epilepsy has been diagnosed in the breed. Great care should be given when purchasing a Mudi puppy, or when breeding to try and avoid dogs that may contribute to this devastating disease.