Showsight Presents The Pumi

PUMI THE

1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? 2. Pumik haven’t been around shows too long but they’ve cer- tainly gained a fan base. Currently ranked at 151, the Pumi is obviously popular with the general public, too. What’s the most important thing a prospective owner should know about the breed? 3. What’s the biggest misconception about the breed? 4. They’re about the cutest pups in, well, forever. How can you possibly pick the best? At what age do you choose a show prospect? 5. How do you place your pups? 6. What is your favorite dog show memory? 7. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. SANDRA CUMPIAN After discover-

used their dogs so you will understand the needs and personality of the dog. Pumis require a job of some type. They need to be physically and intellectually challenged on a regular basis to be happy and healthy. I think the biggest misconception is that a Pumi is a cute little “stuffed animal” looking dog with cute ears that would be so fun to have sit in your lap and cuddle. Pumis are nice to cuddle and they will stick close to their shepherd, maybe even in your lap, but they are much more than that. They are a dog with physical and mental requirements and because of their intelligence they require a shepherd with a firm and consistent hand. But they are also sensitive to correction and cannot be overly reprimanded. They will remember! At what age do I choose a show prospect? I’m a very conserva- tive breeder. My kennel goals are not to breed champion show dogs. Although that is nice too! My kennel goals are more about furthering the Pumi breed with a focus on health, structure and temperament. That includes trying to infuse more diversity into the US bloodlines and making sure all my breeding dogs have health test clearances that are appropriate and recommended for the breed. I also look at the coat color DNA of my breeding pairs so that I’m not producing a large number of unacceptable colors and I’m a big supporter of the CHIC DNA Data Base. I assess my pups from birth for temperament and physical characteristics. At six weeks I start really looking at structure and personality. My goal is that every puppy will meet the AKC Standard for the breed but of course that is not likely. By eight weeks you can usually get a pretty good idea of how they will look. Of course there is so much growth to still happen that it’s never a certainty. How do I place my pups? I go through a multi-stepped pro- cess to pick the forever homes for my pups. It’s starts when an interested person gets in touch with me, usually by email. I ask them if they have ever seen a Pumi in person and what they are looking for in a Pumi puppy. Based on their answers the next step is a phone discussion so we both have a chance to ask questions. If they have never seen a Pumi before I see if they can come and visit my dogs or if I can find a Pumi in their area and set up a meet and greet for them. I feel it’s so important to see a Pumi up close and personal. See how they move, get your hands in their hair and hear their ear-piercing bark. I talk to them about the groom- ing needs of a Pumi and their activity level. I ask questions about what they plan to do with their Pumi and how long the dog will be left at home alone. I find out what type of housing they have and the ages of any children in their home. After that conversation I decide if they are a suitable home for one of my pups and if they are interested I email them a copy of my puppy application to fill

ing the Pumi when living over seas in the Netherlands I got my first one and the more I learned about the breed the more I loved it. With my background in neonatal nursing it seemed natural to take the next

step and consider breeding to help thin out the bloodlines and promote the breed when we moved back to the US. It took many years of research, learning and testing to whelp our first litter in 2017. It’s a rewarding and time consuming process but also very rewarding. I am a retired nurse and live on eight acres, out in the boon- docks, in Central Texas. Besides “dogs” I have a number or inter- ests. I garden and have a flock of chickens for eggs. I love to sew and quilt and just about any type of craft project. I enjoy spending time with my kids and my ten month of granddaughter. I also follow college football. The most important thing a prospective owner should know about the breed? This is a working breed! Pumis were developed and bred to herd sheep and other farm stock. They are very intel- ligent and can problem solve and remember previous experiences. It’s important to understand how Hungarian shepherds lived and

“They need to be physically and intellectually challenged on a regular basis to be happy and healthy.”

270 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019

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