- Height: 15 to 18.5 inches
- Weight: 18 to 28.75 pounds
Because of his herding background, the Mudi tends to bark an alarm when he notes anything out of the ordinary. While some Mudis may bark more than others, it’s best to teach him both the “speak” and “quiet” commands early in life.
Mudis can get along with other pets and children if they are raised with them, but they don’t welcome teasing or abuse. Teach children how to interact politely with the dog and always supervise young children and dogs.
The Mudi does best in a home with a securely fenced yard. He is curious and will roam if not confined.
Highly people-oriented, Mudis are not suited to life as “backyard” dogs (no dog is). Although they get along with other dogs, they also are not suited to living in a pack of half a dozen or more dogs. They tend to do best in homes where they will receive plenty of one-on-one attention.
Other Quick Facts
The Mudi has a wedge-shaped head (think foxlike) with prick ears that turn like a radar dish, a furry tail and a thick, wavy coat.
- The Mudi’s coat comes in several different colors including black, white, yellow, gray, brown and gray-brown with merle patterns.
The History of the MudiLittle is known of the Mudi’s origins. He was first “discovered” as a breed in 1936 by Dr. Dezso Fenyes in Hungary, where he was known as the “driver dog.”
It’s suggested that Mudis may descend from crosses of Spitz-type dogs with herding dogs. It is likely that the Mudi is somehow related to Hungary’s other herding breeds, the Puli and the Pumi. Mudis nearly disappeared soon after their recognition because many were killed during World War II. From a few survivors, the breed was rebuilt.
The Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed in 1966, followed by the United Kennel Club in 2006. Although the Mudi is classified as a herding breed with the American Kennel Club, the organization has not fully recognized the breed because the population is still small. However, as part of the AKC Foundation Stock Service, Mudis are eligible to compete in AKC companion and performance events. The Mudi Club of America represents the breed.
Mudi Temperament and PersonalityThis breed’s name is pronounced “moody,” but that word doesn’t describe his lively and busy temperament. Generally willing to work, he’s a good choice for anyone who enjoys training dogs, whether for doing tricks at home or on therapy visits, or for competing in a multitude of dog sports. He can excel in herding, of course, (overall health permitting) as well as agility, flyball, freestyle, nose work, obedience, rally and tracking. Don’t bother training him and he will make up his own fun, such as digging up your garden or running along the fence barking at passersby.
The Mudi has what’s called a soft temperament. Show him what you want and reward or praise him when he does what you like and he’ll be yours for life. He doesn’t respond well to harsh verbal or physical corrections—no dog does.
Because the Mudi is quite alert—one of the common characteristics of herding dogs—you can count on him to bark to let you know someone is on your property.
Expect a Mudi to follow you closely wherever you go. It’s his job, after all, to be right there in case you need him. If it would bother you to have him always at your heels, choose a different breed.
While the Mudi sounds like a great dog, it’s essential to begin socializing him at an early age to help prevent him from becoming overly protective, shy, dog-aggressive and fearful. Socialization should begin during the first year and continue throughout his life so that he learns to take everyday encounters in stride. Before you buy a puppy, familiarize yourself with the parents’ temperament to make sure you like what your puppy may become. Ask to see temperament test scores for both puppies and parents, if available.
The Mudi is smart and learns quickly. Start training him the day you bring him home or before you know it, he will have you trained. He is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see their puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality.
The perfect Mudi puppy doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Look for a puppy whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from an early age.
What You Need to Know About Mudi HealthThe Mudi is a generally healthy breed with an expected life span of 12 to 14 years.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on her puppies, who claims that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
Health problems that have been seen in the Mudi include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, cataracts, elbow dysplasia and patellar luxation.
The Mudi Club of America participates in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), a health database. A dog need not receive good or even passing scores on the evaluations to obtain a CHIC number, so CHIC registration alone is not proof of soundness or absence of disease, but all test results are posted on the CHIC website and can be accessed by anyone who wants to check the health of a puppy’s parents.
Health certifications your pup’s parents should have:
- Hip Dysplasia: Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or PennHIP evaluation
- Elbow Dysplasia: OFA evaluation
- Eyes: Examination by a board-certified veterinary
If a breeder tells you she doesn’t need to do those tests because she’s never had problems in her lines or because her dogs have been vet checked or if she gives any other excuses for skimping on the genetic testing of her dogs, walk away immediately.
Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices. Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in many cases the dogs can still live good lives. If you’re getting a puppy, ask the breeder about the ages of the dogs in her lines and what was their cause of death.
Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the more common canine health problems: obesity. Keeping a Mudi at an appropriate weight is one of the easier ways to extend his life.
The Basics of Mudi GroomingThe Mudi’s coat sheds dirt (and hair, of course) and doesn’t require frequent bathing. A weekly brushing is usually all it takes and the coat needs no trimming.
If your Mudi is like most, he will enjoy swimming in a pool, lake or ocean. Follow that with a thorough freshwater rinse to remove chlorine, algae or salt and restore the spring to his coat, and he’s good to go.
The Mudi sheds in the spring and doesn’t fully regain his coat until the end of summer.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every few weeks or as needed. Brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.
Finding a MudiFinding a good breeder is a great way to find the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. She is more interested in placing pups in the right homes than in making big bucks.
Good breeders will welcome your questions about temperament, health clearances and what the dogs are like to live with and will come right back at you with questions of their own about what you’re looking for in a dog and what kind of life you can provide for him. A good breeder can tell you about the history of the breed, explain why one puppy is considered pet-quality while another is not and discuss what health problems affect the breed and the steps she takes to avoid those problems.
Start your search at the website of the Mudi Club of America, which maintains a list of breeders.
Look for a breeder who is active in her national breed club and a local club, too, if possible. She should regularly participate with her dogs in some form of organized canine activities, such as conformation showing, obedience or other dog sports or therapy dog programs. She should sell her puppies with written contracts guaranteeing she will take the dogs back if at any time during their lives the owners cannot keep them.
Ask the breeder to provide you with documentation that your prospective puppy’s parents were cleared for health problems in the breed and have results registered with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the Canine Health Information Center or the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).
Avoid breeders who seem interested only in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will go through. You should also bear in mind that buying a puppy from a website that offers to ship your dog to you immediately can be a risky venture, as it leaves you no recourse if what you get isn’t exactly what you expected. Put at least as much effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long run.
Lots of reputable breeders have websites, so how can you tell who’s good and who’s not? Red flags include puppies always being available, multiple litters on the premises, having your choice of any puppy and the ability to pay online with a credit card. Quickie online purchases are convenient, but they are almost never associated with reputable breeders.
Whether you’re planning to get your new best friend from a breeder, a pet store or another source, don’t forget the adage “let the buyer beware.” Disreputable breeders and facilities that deal with puppy mills can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations. There’s no 100-percent guaranteed way to make sure you’ll never purchase a sick puppy, but researching the breed (so you know what to expect), checking out the facility (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals) and asking the right questions can reduce the chances of heading into a disastrous situation. And don’t forget to ask your veterinarian, who can often refer you to a reputable breeder, breed rescue organization or other reliable source for healthy puppies.
And before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Mudi might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams. An adult Mudi, if one is available, may already have some training and will probably be less active, destructive and demanding than a puppy. With an adult, you know more about what you’re getting in terms of personality and health and you can find adults through breeders or shelters. If you are interested in acquiring an older dog through breeders, ask them about purchasing a retired show dog or if they know of an adult dog who needs a new home. If you want to adopt a dog, read the advice below on how to do that.
Adopting a Dog From a Rescue Group or ShelterBear in mind that the Mudi is a rare breed and few are available in this country. It is unlikely that you will find one in a shelter or through a rescue group. If you want to search, though, here’s how to get started.
1. Use the Web
Sites like Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com can have you searching for a Mudi in your area in no time flat. The site allows you to be very specific in your requests (housetraining status, for example) or very general (all the Mudis available on Petfinder across the country). AnimalShelter.org can help you find animal rescue groups in your area.
You can also check your local newspaper for “pets looking for homes” sections you can review. Keep in mind, however, that when you acquire a dog this way, he probably hasn’t been evaluated by a person experienced in the breed who is affiliated with a rescue group. If you happen to know someone who is familiar with the breed, ask him or her to go with you to meet the dog.
Social media is another great way to find a dog. Post on your Facebook page that you are looking for a specific breed so that your entire community can be your eyes and ears.
2. Reach Out to Local Experts
Start talking with all the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Mudi. That includes vets, dog walkers and groomers. When someone has to make the tough decision to give up a dog, that person will often ask her own trusted network for recommendations.
3. Talk to Breed Rescue
Most people who love Mudis love all Mudis. That’s why breed clubs have rescue organizations devoted to taking care of homeless dogs. The Mudi is a rare breed so few dogs are available through rescue, but the Mudi Club of America works to place dogs when they are in need of a new home.
The great thing about breed rescue groups is that they tend to be very upfront about any health conditions the dogs may have and are a valuable resource for advice. They may also offer opportunities to foster a dog if you are an experienced dog owner.
4. Key Questions to Ask
You now know the things to discuss with a breeder, but there are also questions you should discuss with shelter or rescue group staff or volunteers before you bring home a pup. These include:
- What is his energy level?
- How is he around other animals?
- How does he respond to shelter workers, visitors and children?
- What is his personality like?
- What is his age?
- Is he house-trained?
- Has he ever bitten or hurt anyone that they know of?
- Are there any known health issues?
Puppy or adult, breeder purchase or adoption, take your Mudi to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.