Showsight Presents The Pumi

and alerted its owners when strange people or animals approached. In the early twentieth century, the Hun- garians identified three distinct herding breeds based on phenotype. Th e Puli was identified first, being prevalent on the east- ern Hungarian plains. Th e Pumi was next; found more in the hilly country of western Hungary; and theMudi (which carries more of the characteristics of one of its ancestors, Hütespitz) the last, from southern Hungary. Th e Pumi was considered a regional varia- tion of the Puli and the two names were used interchangeably for centuries. Dr. Emil Raitsits, a professor at the Hun- garian University of Veterinary Medicine, initiated the standardization of Puli and Pumi in the 1910’s and 1920’s. Th e Pumi standard was approved by FCI in 1935. Th e Pumi’s coat is medium long, form- ing tight corkscrew curls. Pumik range in colors from black to silver, white, and fako (fawn), but must be one base color, with possible shading. No bi-color mixtures are allowed. Th eir pigment should be dark, even in white dogs. Th e coat consists of 50% soft hair and 50% coarser hair, all the same length. Th e Pumi needs combing— never brushing—every 2 to 3 weeks and then wetting down to let the coat curl back up. Once curled, the coat can be trimmed to keep it looking neat. Th e Pumi doesn’t shed, but dead hair will come out when being combed. Th e Pumi’s hair is never blown out and flu ff ed with a hair dryer as that removes the characteristic curls in the coat; it’s the bathing that makes it soft. Pumik have a moderately angulated front and rear, with the shoulder and upper arm about equal in length. Th e loin and croup are short, allowing them to power o ff their rear to turn quickly and sharply. Th e Pumi has some terrier-like attributes, such as quick, alert, inquisitive tempera- ment, and a square, lean and muscular body type. Th e average male ranges from 16 to 18 ½ inches tall and weighs 22 to 33 pounds. Th e average female is 15 to 17 ½ inches tall and weighs 18 to 26 pounds. Th e Pumi is intelligent, a quick learner and energetic, needing regular exercise and mental stimulation. It’s always engaged, sometimes restless with unspent energy. It has boundless willingness to work, but

could be miles away. Th ey had to drive their livestock every day over narrow roads, strips of land, and if possible, had to avoid causing damage to the adjacent properties. Here the dogs didn’t have the opportunity for outruns in wide arcs, because there was no room. Often they had to go ahead between the livestock’s feet to their front to turn or to stop the flock. Th e dog had to be able to protect a cornfield immediately on the side of the road from the flock, spe- cifically it had to “patrol”—move back and forth between the sheep and the cornfield to prevent the animals from going into the crop. As a result, the sheep got accustomed to the fact that when the dog is close, it’s working. Th ere was a need for a dog which likes to work close and is not afraid of livestock. Th e Pumi’s tools were barking, quick movement, and an occasional nip if needed. Th e Pumi also guarded the farm

which were accessible only by narrow roads, through woods, cultivated fields and strip parcels. Th ere was a need for a fast, spirited, decisive dog, capable of completing a task independently; one who is perfectly capa- ble of assessing the given situation and to make decisions—correctly—because of its strong desire to please. It’s not afraid to get close to livestock, but at the same time is absolutely trustworthy not to damage the livestock; a quick learner to the point of seemingly reading its owner’s mind. Dogs that didn’t fulfill these requirements were mercilessly culled. In many cases the livestock owners didn’t even own pastures, or theirs was too small to sustain all their livestock. Conse- quently, they had to rent pastures which

212 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2014

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