Showsight Presents The Pumi

JUDGING THE PUMI

By Chris Levy

T he Pumi is one of three Hungarian herding breeds, all of simi- lar origin, represent- ing regional variations within Hungary. Th e Puli originated in the eastern plains, the Mudi in the southern plains, and the Pumi in the hilly Transdanubian region of west- ern Hungary. Th ese breeds are so closely related that even today Pumi-appearing puppies can be born in Puli litters, and Mudi-appearing puppies could be born in Pumi litters. Understanding the close rela- tionship between these breeds will assist a judge in their prioritization of dogs when judging each of these breeds. Th e three breeds vary the most in coat type, ear shape, and tails. Th e body types are quite similar, all calling for a square, light-bodied dog. Head & Ears Th e head shape of the Pumi is longer and narrower than the Puli, with the muzzle from 40-50% of the length of the head. Th e stop is slight compared to the Puli’s which is “defined, but not abrupt”. Th e standard asks for a “full complement” of teeth, and we ask that judges check the dentition by pulling the lips back to view the sides. If there are any missing teeth (which is not common), it is usually the premolars. Th e ears are one of the most distinguish- ing characteristics of the Pumi, and lends to its whimsical expression. Th e ears are erect, with the top ⅓ of the ear tipped over, the tips pointing slightly to the sides. Judges will see ears from ½ to ¼ tipped over, but the ideal is ⅓ . Don’t be fooled by a lot of hair on the ear covering up an erect ear, which is a disquali- fication. Th e fold of the ear is not distinct, and is more of a curve than a crease. Body Shape Th e Pumi was used for herding cattle, sheep, and swine. Th ey need to be quick

to think and light on their feet, able to change direction instantly. Th e Pumi is moderately angulated, with moderate reach and drive. Th e picture should be of a tightly held together square, moving in a very collected manner at a moderate trot. Th e dogs bond very tightly to their owners, and rarely will show for someone they don’t know. Typically they are cau- tious of strangers, not backing away, but not going up to them either. Th is is one reason the Pumi is a table breed. Where they will stand very well for a judge to go over them on the table, they do not appre- ciate a stranger hovering over them while on the ground. Th e Pumi is light-bodied, with the depth of chest slightly less than the length of leg. Th ey are like a distance runner— light-bodied and wiry, but with good mus- cling. Th e thigh muscling should be sur- prisingly thick considering the lightness of body. To better see this proportion, see Fig. 2 for a shaved dog. Coat Th e coat is distinct among AKC breeds. It is a mixture of hard and soft hair in a 50-50 proportion. Th e hard hair and the soft hair are basically the same length. Th e hair

Figure 1: Ears should be 1/3 folded over

Figure 2: The chest is less than 50% of the height of a Pumi S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2014 • 205

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