Other names: Hungarian Pumi, Hungarian Herding Terrier


The Pumi originates from Hungary and has become famous all over the world for its quirky, teddy-bear-like looks. Originally bred to herd livestock, this is a highly energetic and intelligent breed which thrives as part of an active family. Naturally protective and loyal, the Pumi forms strong bonds with its family and makes for a lovely companion.


Key facts about the Pumi

  • Life expectancy : Between 11 and 13 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Long

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)


Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the Pumi

Adult size

Female dog Between 15 and 17 in
Male dog Between 16 and 19 in


Female dog Between 18 and 29 lb
Male dog Between 22 and 33 lb

Coat colour

White, grey, black or fawn.

Type of coat

Wavy or curly, and dense.

Eye colour

Dark brown.


The Pumi is a medium-sized, compact dog that is often compared to a koala bear - yes, really! This cute-looking breed has an extremely long muzzle, semi-erect ears, dark brown, wide-set eyes and a jolly facial expression. The body is square-looking but small, and fairly muscular for its size.



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The Pumi is devoted to her family members and comes across as warm, affectionate and loving. She has been known to show exclusive love to one member of the group.


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Nicknamed ‘the clown’ in Hungary, the Pumi is a super playful breed, remaining puppy-like into her adult years.


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The Pumi is bold and vocal - probably not the best choice for those looking for a calm, placid dog!


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As a herding dog, the Pumi is an intelligent and helpful companion. She excels at agility and ball sports and enjoys obedience training.


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The Pumi holds a very high prey drive and will chase small animals.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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The Pumi is very suspicious of unfamiliar faces and becomes anxious around strangers. Early socialisation can help this problem slightly, although the Pumi will likely always need time to warm to people.


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Bred to hunt independently, the Pumi wants to be the boss and needs a firm, confident owner. She has a definite stubborn and willful streak.

Behaviour of the Pumi

Tolerates solitude

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The Pumi forms a super close bond to her owner and family members and, therefore, doesn’t cope well with being left alone for too long. Early habituation to short periods of alone time may help.

Easy to train / obedience

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The Pumi is intelligent and can pick up new tricks and follow orders with ease. However, the independent streak means training should start early.


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She is known to be a vocal dog who barks loudly and excessively if not trained well.

Tendency to run away

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Due to her strong herding and hunting instincts, the Pumi may run off around livestock, wildlife and small animals.


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If a Pumi is trained, exercised and isn’t left alone for long periods of time, behavioural problems are unlikely. On the other hand, the Pumi can be a huge troublemaker when lonely and/or under-exercised, resulting in barking, digging and unwanted herding.

Greedy / Gluttony

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Not known to be a particularly greedy dog, but treats are a welcome reward for good behaviour.

Guard dog

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Naturally suspicious of strangers, the Pumi makes a fantastic watchdog who will bark at strangers to protect her social group.

First dog

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She is a very good first choice for sporty and dynamic masters who wish to keep active or even work with their dog.


Pumi in a flat

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She can live in an apartment without too much trouble, but only if her needs are met and her owners are available and active.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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The Pumi has a very high exercise requirement and should be walked for a minimum of 1-2 hours per day. On top of this, she will need plenty of playtime and ball games throughout the day. This is a very intelligent breed who will quickly become bored.

Travelling / easy to transport

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Her average size does not allow her to travel in a transport bag but her docile and communicative temperament makes her a very pleasant traveling companion.


Pumi and cats

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A very well-socialised Pumi may tolerate a family cat if introduced to it whilst a puppy.

Pumi and dogs

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Assuming the Pumi is well-socialised, she won’t have any problems living alongside other dogs.

Pumi and children

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The Pumi will form strong ties with the children, and will play gently with them.

Pumi and the elderly

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An elderly person would probably find the Pumi’s high exercise needs and stubborn streak too much to handle.


They are fairly hard to come across in the UK, but you can expect to pay upwards of £1000 for a KC-Registered dog. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £50 to £80 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


The Pumi’s glorious coat requires a good comb around once a month. It’s essential to wet the coat down after brushing and let it air-dry naturally to retain the lovely, natural curl. Many Pumi owners also prefer to trim the coat to keep it under control.


Moderate shedder.

Nutrition of the Pumi

The Pumi will do well on any high-quality, complete and balanced dog food, suitable to its age. However, if the dog in question is particularly active, she may suit a working breed formula.

Health of the Pumi

Life expectancy

Generally a healthy and long-lived breed, with an average life expectancy of 12 years.

Strong / robust

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Fairly muscular and agile for her small size.

Withstand heat

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Tolerates both hot and cold temperatures, though not to extremes. She shouldn’t be overworked during times of heat wave.

Withstand cold

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Tolerates both hot and cold temperatures, though not to extremes. She should live indoors in winter.

Tendency to put on weight

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The Pumi isn’t known to be excessively prone to weight gain, though it’s still essential to keep an eye on her weight and adjust daily calorie intake sizes if necessary.

Common illnesses

Good to know

Although they are sometimes referred to as Terriers, they are not related to Terriers. They are simply comparable in terms of their alert natures and robust constitutions. 

Origins and history

A descendant of the high-energy Puli breed and a touch of terrier, the Pumi originates from 17th century Hungary, where she was used by shepherds to herd cattle, sheep and pigs. She has since remained the most popular herding dog in Hungary but has gained popularity in other countries too, mostly down to her adorable, koala-like looks.


Kiwi, Sydney, Lazlo, Juno

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