The Mudi dog breed is one of two breeds newly recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2022. This new recognition created a buzz of attention around this spunky little farm dog.
Praised as an intelligent, eager, and versatile worker, many people are turning their heads to the curly-coated Mudi.
Is a Mudi (pronounced “moo-dee”) the perfect companion for you?
Here are the top seven things you should know when considering whether to open your heart and home to a Mudi dog.
The Mudi dog breed (also known as the Hungarian Mudi) developed in Hungary as a herding dog working alongside shepherds.
You can find this active little dog herding sheep in Hungary.
Mudi dogs are medium-sized with fox-shaped heads, prick ears, and wavy coats. Their coat colors include black, white, yellow, brown, gray, and merle.
Because the breed is relatively uncommon and only fully recognized by the AKC in 2022, they are easily mistaken for mixed breeds.
Their features resemble a mash-up between many breeds in the shepherd, spitz, and herding families.
Mudi dogs have existed in Hungary since the 19th century, lending a sharp mind and energetic spirit to helping shepherds manage their flocks and protect their farms.
The breed likely formed as a natural blending between German Spitz dogs and Hungarian herding breeds, such as the Puli and Pumi, creating a versatile all-around working dog.
For years, the Mudi dog breed and the Puli and Pumi breeds (all Hungarian herding dogs) were regarded as one breed.
After Dr. Dezso Fenyes encountered Mudi dogs in Hungary in the 1960s, the dogs became considered a distinct breed. Hungarian shepherds and farmers likely considered the Mudi its own dog breed earlier.
In 2022, the Mudi gained official recognition from the AKC.
1. The Mudi needs mental and physical exercise
The Mudi is a working breed at heart, with the brain power to match. Mudi dogs are brilliant and love to put their minds to work on a challenge.
They are also energetic dogs who thrive with plenty of physical activity. This combination makes the Mudi a breed that loves to stay busy mentally and physically.
Without regular mental stimulation, a Mudi will quickly become bored and may release that boredom through destructive behaviors like chewing or digging.
The Mudi is ideal for an athletic family and is generally willing and happy to accompany its humans on any activity.
They have a cheerful eagerness for work and play with a “can-do” attitude. With proper mental and physical exercise as a regular part of their lifestyle, Mudi can be content and laid-back companions in the home.
2. Easy to train
The Mudi is a brilliant dog that loves to learn and is a dog trainer’s dream. These dogs learn quickly, often needing only a few repetitions to pick up a new command or skill.
While the Mudi learns quickly, the dog can be a sensitive breed and doesn’t generally respond well to harsh negative reinforcement or yelling. With a gentle yet firm approach, Mudi dogs are willing students, always eager to please.
3. Excellent canine athletes
Mudi dogs are often described as “versatile” due to their willingness to participate in various activities, from herding livestock to canine sports such as agility competitions, hunting, flyball, scent detection, and more.
The Mudi is an enthusiastic partner if you are looking for a dog to compete with in nearly any type of sporting activity.
While the dogs were bred as all-purpose herding and farm dogs, the Mudi also worked as professional ratters, hunters, and search-and-rescue dogs.
4. Make great alarm systems
Bred to be a protector on the farm, the Mudi is prone to “alert barking” to inform their humans of any changes or goings-on around their property.
They are effective watchdogs, with the instinct to bark at the presence of newcomers, a perceived threat, or any new happenings.
Mudi dogs need to be adequately socialized when young, or they may be aloof or unwelcoming with strangers. With the proper training, they can learn to be friendly and relaxed with guests.
5. Loyal and devoted
While they are likely to alert you to the presence of strangers, Mudi dogs are generally friendly with people if socialized from a young age.
They can make excellent family pets, as they love attention and have a playful attitude with their human families. It’s common for a Mudi to become closely bonded with one human, usually their primary caretaker.
They are likely to be found following this person around, ready to join in on every activity!
6. Low-maintenance coat
The Mudi’s signature coat, full of wavy curls that give them the constant appearance of having just rolled out of bed, is easy to maintain.
Mudi dogs are average shedders and require only occasional baths and simple brushing to remove loose hair. This is not a breed that needs haircuts or professional grooming.
7. Generally healthy
The Mudi dog breed is generally healthy. They may carry some predisposition to hip and elbow dysplasia, luxating patellas, cataracts, and epilepsy.
These are things to ask a breeder about, as a reputable breeder will be willing to give you information about the health and genetics of your Mudi puppy’s parents.
Because they tend to be highly active dogs, it’s essential to watch for injury and note any signs of limping, stiffness of joints, or discomfort when moving.
Considering adding a Mudi to your family?
The Mudi dog breed is somewhat rare in the United States, so be prepared to do your research and be open to the possibility of waiting to find your perfect companion.
Many Mudi breeders and rescue organizations are located in Hungary, the breed’s country of origin. An excellent place to start your search is the Mudi Club of America, which lists Mudi dog breeders and affiliated rescue organizations on its website.
You can also try websites like Good Dog to find Mudi breeders in your area or Petfinder to browse adoptable rescue dogs near you.
Remember that because the Mudi is an uncommon breed, these dogs are less likely to be found in animal shelters.
Final thoughts on the Mudi
The Mudi is a dog with a genuine “can do” attitude. These intelligent, attentive, lively herding dogs are always up for the next job, game, or challenge.
They love their human family members and are natural protectors who tend to bark at anything they deem noteworthy. They have low-maintenance needs for health and grooming.
This breed vitally needs mental and physical exercise.
Without enough mental and physical stimulation, Mudi dogs can become bored, restless, or destructive without daily tasks.
They may be prone to chewing, digging, or other behaviors as a way to burn off their energy and engage their mind.
Those looking for a couch potato companion may want to look elsewhere, as a Mudi is only happy on the couch after a solid day’s work.
Want an active companion to accompany you on adventures or a competitor to participate in canine sports? You cannot go wrong with a Mudi.