In the midst of a flock of sheep, the fuzzy Mudi can only be recognized by its typical prick ears. It shares its ancestry with the Puli and Pumi, but the Hungarian herding dogs are easy to tell apart from the outside. In Germany, the active working dogs are real eye-catchers because there are only a few breeders.
Identifying Features of the Mudi: The Uniquely Beautiful Herding Dog
Externally, Mudis differ significantly from other shepherd dog breeds and spitz dogs. Its special coat with smooth hair on the chest and on the front of the legs and soft feathering on the back of the legs makes it unmistakable. Different colors are allowed for inbreeding. Males ideally measure 43-45 cm at the withers, although deviations of up to 2 cm are tolerated in inbreeding. They will weigh 11-13 kg. With an ideal height of between 40 and 42 cm and a maximum bodyweight of 11 kg, bitches are significantly smaller than males.
The Mudi from head to tail – protector in sheep’s clothing
- The head is similar to that of the German Shepherd, with the Mudi’s expression being softer and friendlier. The skull tapers slightly towards the snout and is wedge-shaped when viewed from above. The stop is only weakly developed and the lips are tight.
- The color of the nose matches the color of the coat and the eyelids and lips. In the black, white, fawn, and blue-merle colors, the nose and lids should be black. The bridge of the nose is straight and the sponge narrow and rounded.
- The narrow eyes are set at a slight angle and are dark in color. Merle dogs may also have birch eyes (light blue/white).
- The pointed prick ears are very wide at the base and can be turned independently in all directions, which allows the Mudi to show many different facial expressions. They are covered with long hair that sticks out slightly at the ends.
- The neck and body form an angle of 50-55 degrees. The neck is well muscled and forms no dewlap or mane. The back is straight and short, and the withers are pronounced and long, giving it a sporty and powerful appearance. The chest is slightly arched in front.
- The shoulders are angled and the hind legs are slightly arched back, but not as much as in the German shepherd. Dewclaws rarely form on the round paws. The characteristic of the Mudi is his tripping step.
- In Hungary, the sickle-like and well-feathered tail is often docked. Only rarely are dogs born with a natural bobtail or no tail, which is not considered a breeding fault. Under no circumstances should you support the practice of docking with your puppy purchase!
As from the dog groomer: the coat of the Mudi
On the entire body, with the exception of the head area and the front of the legs, the hair of the Mudi grows 3 to 7 cm long. It is evenly wavy or slightly curly and should be “always shiny” according to the FCI.
These colors are allowed for inbreeding
- The most popular is the solid black Mudi.
- Solid fawn with a black nose
- Chocolate brown with a brown nose
- Ash with the black nose (solid black and white hair mixed)
- White with a black nose and dark eyes
- Merle coloration (grey with irregular black patches) with dark or birch eyes.
Risk of confusion with the Hrvatski ovcar
A similar-looking relative is a Croatian Sheepdog, which is bred only in black and has a slightly longer coat. In addition, the Croatian breed is built stronger and larger.
The Origin of the Mudi: a Traditional Shepherd Dog
Until the introduction of breed standards at the end of the 19th century, shepherd dogs in Europe were not selected for breeding on the basis of their appearance, but rather on the basis of their working methods and their robustness. Within a century, distinctive breeds emerged from the shepherd dogs in Hungary, whose close relationship is no longer apparent today. Mudis are working dogs that were kept exclusively by drovers in Hungary until a few generations ago and have only been bred as family and show dogs for a few decades. All of today’s representatives of the breed still have their task as shepherd dogs in their blood.
Close relatives at a glance
- The Pumi with lop ears and mustache hair
- The Puli with its long dreadlocks and hanging ears
- The Hrvatski ovčar with his black coat
- In the 18th century, numerous Germans emigrated to Hungary and crossed domestic breeds with local shepherd dogs. Ancestors of the German Shepherd Dog, the Pomeranian Spitz, the Sheep Poodle, and the Shepherd Spitz contributed to the creation of the breed.
A Task Solver with Grit – Nature, and Character of the Mudi
You can rely on a Mudi: In dangerous situations, he keeps a cool head and solves problems independently and without uncertainty. He is a born working dog who also wants to be occupied as a family dog on a daily basis. On the pasture, he is an all-rounder who protects, drives, or keeps the herd together. He can learn different professions and serves as a police dog, a rescue dog, or runs professional dog sports. A quiet life in the apartment is not for the active helpers.
Clever minds with their own tactics
Many German shepherds are aggressive towards herd animals, pinching runaways on the legs when necessary to steer them and propel them in a certain direction. The Hungarian warhead has its own tactics and guides the herd non-violently. He uses threatening gestures, loud barks, and quick movements to control the herd. He cannot simply switch off this unique behavior in everyday family life.