What is a Mudi?
The Mudi, pronounced "moodie", (plural is Mudik) is a medium sized herding
dog from Hungary which has been in existence since the nineteenth century.
It is said the Mudi evolved naturally from crosses of the Puli, Pumi & German
Spitz type breeds. The distinguishing characteristic of prick ears led experts
to classify this type by naming & registering the breed in 1936. Today the
Mudi is seen as an active, intelligent, biddable working breed. The Mudi is a
rare breed. It is estimated there are no more than a few thousand Mudik
worldwide, with the greatest numbers being in Hungary, followed by Finland,
and scarcer throughout Europe, the U.S., and Canada. The Mudi excels at
agility, obedience, and flyball, as well as other dog sports. He is a true
working breed and shines when herding both cattle and sheep, and has found
fame as a Search and Rescue dog in both Finland and the U.S.
What is the general Mudi temperament?
All dogs are individuals and their temperaments vary widely, but, generally,
around people he knows, the Mudi is a friendly and playful dog (one fancier
once compared them to a cross between a Miniature Poodle and a German
Shepherd Dog, both in look and temperament).
The average Mudi is neither shy and fearful nor exuberant and overjoyed
when meeting new people. That’s not to say you can’t find individuals of
either inclination. In fact, it is not unheard of for some young Mudi to exhibit
a lack of self-confidence that may manifest in shyness, or, conversely,
aggression (putting on a gruff face to mask his insecurity). Still, he is first
and foremost a herding dog, and as with most herding breeds he can display
a certain aloofness during initial meetings. Once he knows and trusts a
person, however, he is generally easy-going, playful, and affectionate. The
Mudi does well with children and other animals when exposed to them from
Many Mudi are quite vigorous in that they approach just about everything
head on and with great (almost terrier-like) enthusiasm. They perform with
great intensity in whatever they pursue. Mudik sometimes exhibit an almost
feral awareness of the environment; although initially quite cautious in some
new situations, most recover quickly and proceed fearlessly. Make no bones
about it: these are tough little dogs. One word that sums up this breed is
"scrappy". They have been bred to herd sheep and sometimes cattle. They’ve
been used to help hunt wild boar. They even lend a paw when there’s ratting
to be done. Anyone considering a Mudi should be well aware that this fearless
attitude can exhibit itself in some not-so-welcome behaviors, such as dog-
against-dog aggression, as well as obstinacy, and just plain pushiness. These
are rare and mostly self-limiting adolescent male behaviors, but one should be
prepared nonetheless. Shyness has also been noted, particularly in certain
lines. Socialization, early and often, is key in exposing pups to new situations
and preventing any future problems with shyness or fearfulness (remember,
anything a Mudi does is usually quite dynamic-including exhibit behavior
problems; the Mudi work ethic is such that if something is to be done, it
should be done BIG, and that applies across the board).
Are Mudik easy to train?
Mudi are very easy to train, however, it is best to use positive reinforcement methods rather than heavy-
handed dominance-based methods. As with all herding breeds, the Mudi is sensitive to strong-arm corrections
and will learn far more quickly if he is trusting of his trainer and they work together as a team.
Is the Mudi a good house dog?
Mudi are well suited to the house and it’s advised that the Mudi be treated as a member of the family and not
be relegated to living in the backyard. He likes to be close to his people and is generally quiet and low-energy
in the house. The Mudi does not fare as well in apartments or community housing situations only due to his
tendency to bark. However, a Mudi taught to “quiet” on command should have no problems adapting to
apartment living. Note, some animals can be difficult to housebreak and this should be taken into
consideration when bringing a Mudi into the home. However statistics prove housebreaking is not a problem in
Are Mudik good with children?
Mudi are generally good with children and other animals, and exceptionally so if raised with them.
Are Mudik noisy?
As mentioned above, perhaps one of the only drawbacks to living with a Mudi is his propensity to bark-at just
about everything. One must remember that one of the Mudi’s jobs in his homeland is to alert the bigger flock
guardians (Kuvasz, Komondor) when he senses trouble. This has, not surprisingly, spilled over to the domestic
Mudi as well. Some lines are barkier than others, but in general, the Mudi does like to bark. Some folks have
found success in controlling barking by teaching it, and the associated quieting, as commands.
Does their coat require a lot of maintenance? Does the Mudi shed?
The Mudi has an easy-to-care for, wash-and-wear coat. With short hair on the head and front of the legs, and
wavy-to-curly hair over the rest of the body, a good (and quick) brushing about once a week or so is all this
dog needs for grooming. The Mudi is a light-to-average shedder.
How many different colors are there?
Black is, by far, the predominant color in this breed, however, there are several other colors appearing such
as white, brown, gray (commonly called ash, or hamvas), yellow (also called fako), and the merle pattern
(also called cifra)in conjunction with any of the allowable colors. Colors that also appear, but are not accepted
as part of the current FCI breed standard, are a the brindle pattern, wolf color, black & tan, yellow with a
black mask (also called masked fako) and albinism. Click HERE to see colors.
How large will a Mudi grow?
According to the FCI standard, the male Mudi should be between 16”-18.5”, with a weight of 24-1/4 to 28-
3/4 pounds”; females 15”-17.5”, 17-3/4 to 24-1/4 pounds. However, Mudi size varies greatly in their
homeland where dogs are often bred with more attention on their ability to work on the farm than adherence
to the dictated standard.
How long will a Mudi live? Does the Mudi have any health problems?
The average Mudi should live to be 12-to-14 years old. The breed is relatively healthy however there are
reports of dogs with epilepsy, hip dysplasia, congenital cataracts, color dilution alopecia (“blue dog
syndrome”), and other inherited health issues. For more information, please visit this links concerning Mudi
before purchasing a Mudi puppy and also when breeding Mudik to avoid using dogs that may contribute to
these health issues.
How much exercise does a Mudi need?
Mudi are very energetic dogs. Though they are calm and relaxed in the house, once outside they appreciate a
good run. Not surprisingly, Mudi excel at flyball, obedience, herding, and frisbee.
Mudi are quite playful and can be mischievous, particularly when it comes to digging-they are quite the little
engineers. They also are noted for their extraordinary jumping ability. A well-exercised Mudi is a Mudi who
tends not to find trouble elsewhere either by jumping over, or digging under, any fences keeping him from
the greener other side.
Does the AKC recognize this breed? Where can I show my Mudi?
Presently the AKC does not fully recognize the Mudi-the population is simply too small, however, the AKC
maintains the stud books for the Mudi in the United States via its Foundation Stock Service (FSS). As of
January 2008, Mudik who are recorded with the FSS are eligible to compete in companion and performance
events through the AKC. In July 2012 AKC established Open Shows where your Mudik can earn Certificates of
Merit at a conformation event.
Other venues available to show your Mudi are the United Kennel Club, the American Rare Breed Association,
the International All Breed Canine Association of America, ICKC-International Canine Kennel Club, ICE-
International Canine Events the Continental Kennel Club, the National Kennel Club, the World Kennel Club, and
the Canadian Kennel Club (dogs with foreign registration only-UKC, ARBA, or otherwise-registered dogs are
ineligible to compete; contact the CKC for acceptable registries).
Other than conformation the Mudi excels at agility, flyball, frisbee, herding, tracking, and obedience. There
are few things a Mudi can’t or won’t do. The opportunities for exhibiting and competing with your Mudi are
just about endless!
Is the Mudi for me?
So far, the Mudi sounds perfect. But is he right for you? On the positive side, he is a very versatile, small-to-
medium-sized dog; a good companion and worker. He is smart, healthy, fun, and needs little grooming. He is
perfect for just about any dog sport you can think of. On the down side, he can be rather barky, and some
Mudi are prone to dig. Some individuals (particularly young males) can be independent, stubborn, and
‘opinionated.’ Some can be shy or aggressive towards other dogs. Puppy terror tantrums are not unheard of;
new owners can expect to miss a few nights of sleep during the new puppy’s vocalizing his opinion about
acclimating to his new home. If none of this dissuades you and you can provide firm, fair, positive leadership,
then the Mudi just might be for you. However, as with any dog, one must be prepared to take on the
responsibility of caring for this new life for 12 years or more. Quality food, veterinary care, and exercise are
a must, as is a quality puppy class, adult training, and ongoing socialization. Do you plan on competing in any
dog sports? Do you plan to show your Mudi or are you just looking for a companion? The Mudi will do well in all
of these capacities, provided you minister firm yet kind and respectful handling of your new charge. If this be
the case, this wonderful and charming dog may just be for you.
If you have any other questions at all about the Mudi, please inquire with us by clicking on our contact page.