Showsight Presents The Pumi

Pumi Q& A

“This breed does best in a home that is willing to train. They are social so they need homes that want to interact with them.”

ILDIKO REPASI I live in the Catskills in Upstate New York. Outside of dogs, I’m involved in farming, farm products, fiber arts and felting. I was born in Nagyvarad, Transylvania Romania. I have a BFA, porcelain major from Ion Andreescu Arts College, Cluj Napoca, Romania, MFA, School of the Art institute of Chicago, ceram- ics and multi media. I have exhibited in the US, Canada, Mex- ico, and in Europe. My works included in Kohler Factory pri- vate collection, Wisconsin. Exterior Mural St Elizabeth Church, Chicago, Illinois. I’m currently the owner of “GoatSheepShop” fiber farm shetland, merino, mohair fibers, goat’s milk products, fiber clothings accessories. “Catskill Pumi Kennel” Pumi breeder, advocate and enthusiast. Involved in herding, agility, barn hunt, lure coursing and conformation. The most important thing a prospective owner should know about the breed? Their high energy temperament, need of physical and mental stimulation The biggest misconception about the breed? Their supposed “love bug” and couch potato temperament. They can ignore any- one at any place and perform their task perfectly. With the good enough drive they also work for strangers. When can I determine a Pumi’s show potential? Often by six to eight months. How do I place my pups? Active homes, sport homes, last choice is conformation homes. Do I have a waiting list? Yes. It is not chronological (first come first serve) merit based references age limit My favorite dog show memory? Winning the first BOB in Orlando in 2016 after the Pumi was accepted in the Herding group and the first BOB, BOS and Select at Westminster in 2017. Pumis need intense socialization during the first year of their life. They are late bloomers mentally and physically. I do not breed my bitches before three years of age. HEATHER STIMSON I have been involved in Pumi since 2014 and have never looked back! This is a really fun breed and I adore them! I am more than happy to answer any questions any one may have. We live in Lil- lington, North Carolina. In addition to the dogs, I dabble in mak- ing show dog leads. The most important thing a prospective owner should know about the breed? The Pumi is a wonderful breed! They are very smart and want nothing more than to be with you and please you. However, they are talkative and need a job to do. They need a gentle hand; they don’t respond well to harsh corrections. The biggest misconception about the breed? That they are appropriate for any home. This is a vocal breed that needs training. When can I determine a Pumi’s show potential? Show pros- pects start to show themselves at six weeks old. Litter evaluations are completed when puppies are eight weeks old.

How do I place my pups? We have an application to screen homes, if someone appears to be a good fit, we then set up an interview. We place based on the temper of the dog first, then the structure. We often have a waiting list as we do not breed often, but they are worth the wait! My favorite dog show memory? I have so many! My entry into this breed was very different from my other breed. The Pumi community is warm, friendly and inviting. The passion and dedi- cation this community has to the breed is contagious and I love everything about showing them. This breed does best in a home that is willing to train. They are social so they need homes that want to interact with them. Grooming takes a little practice but it’s not hard. Please check the Hungarian Pumi Club of America’s website for quality breeders and mentors. DEBRA THORNTON I live in Rincon, Georgia. This is a totally new environment for me, but am enjoying it. What do I do outside of dogs? Is there anything? Just kidding, my family is now nearby and I am enjoy- ing them. However, my dogs are the essence of my existence. The Pumi is not for everyone. I think it must be a family who has owned other dogs. They are wonderful dogs but they can be difficult for a new puppy owner. People think they are cute. Yes, they are cute but they are also a hard working dog. They are incredibly smart and need a job. They were bred to herd cattle and sheep. They will try to herd you as well and that includes nipping at your legs and tearing your pants. They aren’t biting, but trying to do their job—you must get a hand on it. The biggest misconception may be their appearance. We keep going back to cute and they are, but they can hold their own when it comes to protecting their livestock. I don’t worry about my safety, but wonder if they would protect me if needed. They are definitely my dogs and doubt that they would allow anything to hurt me. At seven weeks old, I really look at their proportions. This is a square dog and they must be square. The loin must be short and the legs beginning to grow. It is just like any breed. Look at the entire dog. Layback of shoulder, movement, level top line can be seen at this age. The pups will sometimes roach as they go through the uglies. It will come back down as the dog matures. I place my pups according to how devoted I believe the people to be. Some families just want a pet, but they must be commit- ted to socializing these dogs. Without the socialization, you will have a great dog at home, but you will not be able to take him/ her off your property. It is imperative, that puppies are social- ized from a young age. Show pups, same thing. There is nothing more important! Gosh, my favorite show memory—not sure. I loved judging the Pumik at Westminster, but the enthusiasm that I see as these dogs run around the agility ring give me goose bumps. If you have

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

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