Pumi Q& A out and return to me. This does not guarantee them a puppy but they are a step closer. After the pups are born I review my applica- tions and review the desires and expectations of each applicant as far as what type of pup will fit their needs. I do temperament test- ing and assess the structure of the pups when they are 49 days old. I use this information to decide which pup will do best in which home. My goal is to set every pup and forever home up for success by really making sure they are the best fit possible. My favorite memory is when I had just started showing my dogs. I’m not very good at it but look at it as a time for my dogs and I to spend some time together and work as a team. I was show- ing my female. She is a petite little thing and she knows how to make people like her. We were doing our down and back. When we came back up to the judge and I stopped her, she looked up at the judge with her ears perked up and tilted her head sideways at the judge. The judge couldn’t help but chuckle and smile. That made my day! Pumis are incredible dogs but not for everyone. They get so attached to their shepherd and want to please. Because they are so athletic they make really good dog sport dogs. They also have very little prey drive. So they do well around cats and farm fowl. They learn very fast and often will get frustrated if you ask them to do the same trick over and over. They make great family dogs. CHRIS LEVY I’ve been in dogs since 1971, mostly with Miniature Schnauzers, but also German Short- haired Pointers, Sandra Cumpian continued
The most important thing a prospective owner should know about the breed? The Pumi looks like a teddy bear or koala bear, which belies its working roots. This is a herding dog through and through. They are extremely intelligent and need both mental and physical exercise. This is not one of those cuddly lap dogs (although they will do it for a minute or two) that they appear to be. The biggest misconception about the breed? I’ve heard people say that they’re nasty which is just not true, at least from our 20 years in the breed and importing many dogs from Europe from different lines. I think any “nasty” dogs are an exception to the rule. They are extremely bright; you need to be ahead of their thought processes and not let them get away with anything. This is not a breed for a first-time dog owner. At what age do I choose a show prospect? I’ve been in dogs for almost 50 years, and use my experience to evaluate puppies. In addition to good structure, you need to look at head (ear set, ear carriage, ear tipping, eye shape and color, width and length of skull), and body shape (square), and of course temperament. All this can be seen in an eight week old puppy which is when we make our decisions about which homes they’ll go to. We place puppies in all types of homes, both exhibition and non-exhibi- tion. They go to herding, agility, conformation, and other types of sports homes. I don’t start evaluating until they’re about six weeks, and then it’s a mad scramble in those two weeks to make sure you’ve got the right puppy directed to the right home. We don’t like keeping them longer than eight weeks because they need one-on-one training after that time that’s too difficult to do with a whole litter (usually five to seven puppies). How do I place my pups? Most frequently the new puppy owners come to our house to get their puppy. We have delivered puppies on occasion when we happen to be traveling in the right direction. We want to have a minimum of several hours with the new owners to indoctrinate them into the Pumi world. My favorite dog show memory? Wow, I have a lot of them. We discovered the Pumi at the World Dog Show in Finland in 1998 and had our first Pumi a year later. In 2014 we took one of our Pumis to the World Dog Show when it was in Finland again and won Best of Breed. That Pumi was our third one to get a World Winner Title as we were going to the World Shows almost every year. Equally important was getting a Championship title on a dog that had been a multiple World Winner and the first Pumi to get most of the titles in the US. He finished his championship at the age of 14, getting two Group 2s along the way and was the first Pumi to finish when they became recognized in July 2016. This is an awesome breed for the right people. Their connec- tion to their people and their understanding of their family is uncanny. But they need that interaction with their people. And they do bark, but only for a reason.
Cairn Terriers, and Shiba Inu. We only have Pumik now. I have worked on breed education for Miniature Schnau- zers, Shiba Inu, and
now the Pumi, and held just about every office in the clubs to which we belong. I judge the Terrier and Non-Sporting groups and about half the Sporting group. My husband, Tom, and I live in Salem, Oregon. Most every- thing we do is dog-related. We’re very active in our local all-breed club (I’m President), and even more active in the Pumi parent club where I’m the Judges Education Chair, Vice President, web- master, National Chair, etc. When I’m not doing dog activities, I like gardening.
“The Pumi looks like a teddy bear or koala bear, which belies its working roots. This is a herding dog through and through. They are extremely intelligent and need both mental and physical exercise.”
274 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019
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