The Pumi is a herding dog of Hungarian ancestry, which is known for its intelligence and courage. Compact and quick, this breed is as nimble as a cat and one of the most family focused and affectionate dogs around.

Instantly recognizable by their signature corkscrew curled coat and semi-erect ears, these dogs are an alert and playful addition to any family. They are an ever loyal and watchful breed that has a zest for life and easy-going nature. Read on to learn more about the Pumi.

Description of the Pumi

On the outside the Pumi oozes cuteness. With its curly coat, circular tail, and playful expression, this dog is sure to charm anyone he meets. But underneath this adorable exterior is a bold, vigilant, and powerful working dog that loves duty and family above all else.

Originally bred to herd flocks along the narrow roads of Hungary, the Pumi is as agile as they come and capable of a lot more than his small size may indicate. His fearless nature combined with boundless energy makes him a great choice for active homes.

This dog has a lean, well-muscled body that is well proportioned and ready to move. He is light-footed and powerful all at the same time. Their curly coat comes in black, white, and grey and can have shades of fawn in it.

Life Expectancy and Size

The Pumi is a hardy breed that lives an average of 12 – 3 years. Their active lifestyle no doubt contributes to their good health, so providing them with quality nutrition and exercise can help your dog live its fullest life. Working with a reputable breeder who screens their stock for potential health problems is a good way to prepare yourself for certain issues that may arise in your dog.

While you may look at a Pumi and be surprised by its herding prowess given its small size, this is a tough dog who can do a lot more than may appear. Males stand 16 – 18.5 inches tall, and weigh 27 – 29 pounds. Females stand 15 – 17.5 inches tall, and weigh 22 – 24 pounds. But their compact size is well suited to moving quickly and getting their job done right.

Protective Ability

Naturally protective of its flock, the Pumi is an excellent watchdog, and always has his alert eyes on the lookout for trouble. Quick to vocalize the arrival of strangers, this breed is aloof and wary with outsiders, but their sweet nature means they are docile and will observe from the sidelines. When properly introduced, these dogs can become good friends with anyone they meet.


The Pumi loves nothing more than to work, and combined with his strong intelligence and good-natured personality, they are real gems in the training sector. Quick and eager to learn, this breed loves nothing more than to try new things and spend time with you. Making things fun and interesting by using games and canine sports is a great way to make training sessions more fun and efficient for you and your Pumi.

Using treats is another important tool in training your Pumi. This breed responds well to treats and will be even more willing to train if you use them. Just be sure to avoid giving your dog too many treats as they can become overweight.

Starting socialization early is another important step for your dog. The Pumi tends to be wary with strangers and doesn’t do well with other dogs, so exposing him to many situations early can help him grow up to be friendly and even-keeled with new people and pets.

Energy Level

The Pumi is a ball of energy and their lively, whimsical eyes are always a giveaway to their desire to play. They love to be on the move and, given their small and agile bodies, are likely to climb over and under anything they find. Allowing them plenty of daily exercise is key for their happiness and health. This breed is a great option for many canine sports like agility and obedience.

While these dogs need plenty of movement every day, they love to snuggle up with their humans once they are tuckered out. An affectionate and loving breed, the Pumi wants to be close to you and will often follow you around, or find a place up high to watch over you. Their social nature means they do not do well if left alone, so be sure that you can give them plenty of interaction everyday.

What Living with a Pumi is Like

This is an all around kind breed.

These dogs love their families and do well with kids. They can do well with cats if raised together, but tend to be more aloof with other dogs. Lots of socialization form an early age can help with this.

Spending some time in the backyard with one of their favorite toys, often a tennis ball or flying disc, will make your Pumi love you forever, and he will be ready to curl up into your lap for some well deserved rest time after a long session of fetch. These friendly, energetic, and fun dogs are a great addition for anyone looking to add some activity and liveliness to their home.

Care of the Pumi

The Pumi can adapt well to almost any home as long as he is provided with plenty of exercise and companionship. While a big backyard is best for these rambunctious dogs, they can adapt to smaller homes or apartments if their owner is creative and gets them outside everyday.

Environmental Needs

These dogs are hardy and strong, able to adapt to many climates. Their thick and curly coats protect them from the cold, and can also adapt to heat, but limiting time outside in extreme temperatures is usually the best course of action. Providing a jacket to protect their small figures in colder weather can help.

Exercise Needs

The Pumi loves to move, and you will find your furry friend ready to run around outside everyday. Their seemingly endless supply of energy can be curbed by a long walk or jog, plenty of backyard playtime, canine sports, and lots of social time with the family. Give them enough of this and they will be ready to snuggle up like the warm teddy bear that they are.

The Pumi also loves to herd, and you may find your dog trying to get you and the family into formation! Early training can help discourage your dog from dragging the kids across the floor by their pants in an attempt to get them to the right side of the room.

Shedding and Grooming

The Pumi has a half and half coat. Half of their fur is soft and the other half is harsh. This blended fur needs a good brushing every three to six weeks, and can be wet down to get the curls to reform. This will allow you to trim it so that it looks neat and tidy. The Pumi doesn’t technically shed, but when you brush him, fur will come out.

Ideal Home Environment

These dogs are a friendly and adaptable breed that just requires space to play and a loving home. They do well with kids, but should be supervised and introduced early to make sure both dog and child knows how to play properly.

They can also do well with cats if raised together, and sometimes even dogs, but the Pumi tends to be more aloof with other pups. Overall, this breed can do well with almost any owner that can provide it with plenty of daily exercise and companionship.

They make great watchdogs and are wary of strangers, but are too sweet to be good guard dogs. However, once introduced you will love your Pumi for being such a friendly and affectionate dog to everyone.

Health Concerns

The Pumi is a generally healthy dog but they can be prone to certain health conditions. These include elbow and hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, degenerative myelopathy, and eye problems. Working with a reputable breeder and regular check-ups can help your dog live its fullest and happiest life.

Behavior Problems

This breed is naturally social and can have separation anxiety, which may lead to destructive behaviors. Be sure to provide them with plenty of daily interaction and mental stimulation to keep them happy.

The Pumi also tends to be a more vocal breed. Plenty of early socialization and training can help keep their barking in check.