The Mudi dog – The unknown shepherd breed

Dogs Human Classroom

The Mudi dog (pronounced “Moodie”), The breed’s name in Latin is Canis ovilis Fényesi, belongs to the Hungarian sheepdog family, although it is not very well known worldwide, it is loved in its origin country. This dog breed is known for being very loving, loyal, dedicated to working, independent, intelligent, and confident. He has demonstrated to be gifted in the sheep herding and other animals, also for the hunting if he is trained with that intention, he is an agile and strong animal, but at the same time he is a dog that likes the tranquility and also be spoiled by his family, he is an excellent dog as a pet. 


This breed comes from Hungary, although it is true that it doesn’t have an exact origin of how they were created, it is only known that they appeared naturally among the crosses of Hungarian shepherds of the Puli, German Spitz, and Pumi breeds. It’s said that there are ancient records in the historical Hungary of the 14th century where a black dog with curly hair is described. In the same way, it is considered a modern dog breed since its presence was recognized in the 20th century, and it was the last of the 4 to be recognized among the Hungarian herding breed the pumi, the puli, and the komondor, and all thanks to Dr. Dezso Fenves director of the museum in Balassagyarmat, in 1936 he was the one who was able to achieve his recognition in the Federation Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.), and established the breed standard and gave it the name Mudi with the title of being a native Hungarian breed. 

Unfortunately, during the Second World War, just as it was a strong time for humans, it was also a strong time for the furries. Many dog breeds were close to extinction, including the Mudi, but thanks to the dedication of shepherds and people who kept specimens, it was possible to save the Mudi breed little by little, and in the 1970s this dog began to be exported, reaching Finland, Switzerland and later Canada and the United States. As years went by, the breed standard in the F.C.I was changed several times accepting new sizes and colors.

Currently in the United States is not very well known this breed and there are very few specimens, most are recognized as herding dogs by shepherds to work sheep and cattle herds. Although if you take advantage of the mudi excels in agility, obedience, and flyball as well as other dog sports. The Mudi Club of America was founded in 2004 by owners of this breed to promote, protect and preserve the growing Mudi population and later they were recognized by The American Kennel Club.


The Mudi breed is a dog of great qualities and has peculiar characteristics, it is a medium-sized herding dog, which can reach about 15-18.5 inches in height and can weigh between 18-29 pounds. It has a life expectancy between 12 and 14 years old. Its body is square, robust, strong, and muscular, its head is wedge-shaped, its muzzle is long and straight with a sharp nose, its eyes are oblique, medium, and dark but vary according to the coat, they can also be blue or brown, it has prick ears, they are large and triangular and the tips lean slightly forward. Its most striking feature is its coat, is made up of two layers, the external layer of a wavy or curly coat of about 7 cm, soft and good brightness, and the inner layer is a coat attached to their skin to protect it from cold temperatures, in the head is short and smooth but is extended to the body in a long way. The colors of his coat may vary, but always maintains a common feature that is a single color and uniform, over time this has varied and gets Mudi dogs with spots, among the colors that are allowed are black, white, brown, bluish, or gray.

Mudi temperament is based on what he has dedicated in all his life, to the shepherding, he is a dog used to obey his owners, he is intelligent, he learns and responds quickly, at the moment he continues with his original activities, he is a versatile farm dog, dedicated to the conduction of cattle and the assistance in hunting. Also, thanks to its great sense of smell, it currently performs tasks as a police dog and is very good at detecting narcotics, as well as performing surveillance and alert tasks, or participating in physical tests such as Agility.

This dog is very affectionate and familiar, so it is a suitable dog to be a pet, but you have to take into consideration that this dog has great physical resistance and gets tired very rarely, so you have to make sure you give him the lifestyle he deserves, gives him time to exercise, plays and distracts him, if you have a safe garden at home it is also a very good option since he is very independent and can play by himself, dig holes, he can make decisions by himself that will benefit him. At the same time, this can be a defect since if this dog gets bored or spends a lot of time alone it’s usually to be destructive, so having a schedule or routine in his lifestyle is very convenient. Another fact that is very important is the education in its socialization from a puppy since they are dogs distrusted to strangers and are constantly in alert, can be noisy and bark constantly, accustom it from puppy to be surrounded by people and children, that can create bonds with the rest of the family, and can be friendly with the people, affectionate with their owners, cheerful and faithful, with a good education you don’t have to worry and they will be able to be perfect companions until with the children but whenever they are with children it is recommendable to keep them watching.


This dog does not require much care but you must always be aware of certain details, as their coat, because of its curly can get to form knots so it is good to perform during the week several brushes to help him untangle and at the same time remove their dead coat. They don’t need baths in a row but if you see that it is very dirty or has a bad smell you can bathe it whenever you want. You must take good care of his nails, use dog nail clippers to keep them short. Always check his ears, eyes, and legs, to prevent fungus and infection. You must always be aware of the fur on their body to see if they have fleas, ticks, or parasites, as well as spikes and weeds, as they lead a country life are susceptible to all these types of invaders. They can also have skin irritations and allergies. Your vet will recommend you which products to use to avoid all this and that which are healthy for your pet. Make sure you take your pet for a check-up every 6 months and that you are up to date with its vaccinations and deworming.

Due to their great and muscular body, they can enjoy good health, and they don’t have a tendency to have hereditary diseases but also like other dogs they can suffer from certain conditions and illnesses that can harm them if they are not given the proper care. One of the main ones that are better known in dog breeds with Mudi’s physical characteristics usually have a percentage of risk for bone malformation diseases, tend to suffer from hip dysplasia being one of the most common, it is a disease that makes the hip bone doesn’t fit with the femur, causing wear and joint pain, so if you see your dog limping you should go to the vet as soon as you can as with any other changes on his behavior. Another condition that is very similar to this condition is elbow dysplasia but limping by the front legs, that with early diagnosis it can be treatable and even prevented. If you think your dog has any symptoms, make sure you have his veterinarian check this and anything else as irrelevant as you may think it is.

Also, they can develop diseases such as luxating patella or patellar luxation, a problem that is common in dogs, and this occurs when the kneecap is not well aligned, producing pain and at the same time limping or difficulty walking, and this can later develop arthritis, the moment you see your Mudi dog showing some pain when moving or is limping you have to go directly to the vet. 


Feeding is very important since it will determine your dog’s health, since your Mudi is a breed that is very active and does a lot of exercises, he will require a good amount of nutrients to recharge his energy if you decide to give him commercial food the main thing you have to do is to make sure you give him high-quality food, or if you decide to give him home-prepared food you have to guide yourself under your veterinarian’s indications to know which is his best diet. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so you should be careful with your dog’s caloric consumption and weight level. It will also depend on the age of the pet or what type of food he should eat, because if he is a puppy he needs certain nutrients that will help him to develop well and have good health, and later on, depending on his adult lifestyle, will vary his feeding as well as when he is a senior, always you can inform yourself with your vet what would be the best for your puppy. Don’t forget to leave him his plate of clean and fresh water so he can stay hydrated all the time and more in this breed that is known to be a working dog.


As has been mentioned before, this breed is very uncommon in the United States, and in the world, getting a breeder will be something difficult so I recommend you to look for it through the legally recognized clubs and you can get your Mudi puppy through a reputable breeder. Once you have contacted them, you have to make sure that your breeder gives you all the information about your puppy, the main thing is to know how they were raised and if they have a pedigree that shows if they are purebred, that their parents have been treated and cared for in the right way, and they have to give you all the information about their diseases that they can inherit or not, they also have to give you the record of their vaccinations and make sure that they were cared for, dewormed and checked by a veterinarian. 

The Mudi dog is a great option to live in family and more if you live in the country or have a farm, you can teach him to perform many tasks and he will learn and do it, he has a lot of energy to spend, he will be a faithful, loyal and loving companion, you will not regret it. I hope all this information has been helpful to you and if you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers
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