A Mudi is a high-energy and faithful breed of working dog. Originating from Hungary, these spritely dogs make excellent herding dogs and valued workers on farms. Now found more widely than Hungary, their lovable and loyal personalities make them beloved pets.
15 – 18 inches
18 – 29 pounds
12 – 14 years
Black, white, yellow, gray, brown
Large properties, stock work, families, active owners, rodent control
Brave, hard-working, high-energy, alert, loyal
Mudi is pronounced as “moody,” which is somewhat ironic because these even-tempered dogs are anything but. Their reliable personalities make them a joy to own, as long as they are given lots of outlets for their energy!
Because a Mudi is an uncommon breed, finding a breeder can be difficult. For breeders, they have a smaller gene pool to work with when breeding. The high cost of these puppies is reflected in the breeder’s requirements to produce healthy puppies. Sourcing parent dogs, undertaking veterinary health tests and screenings, and raising healthy puppies is no cheap feat. The low amount of Mudi puppies available compared to the demand also drives up the price. Don’t be surprised if you have to hang around on a waiting list before a puppy is available to you. If you are fortunate, you may happen to find a Mudi in a shelter.
When you bring a Mudi into your home, be ready to have a loyal pup by your side. Mudis are high-energy and very alert, which is important to consider since you will need to commit plenty of time to their exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom in your pup.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Mudi
Now found across the world as a rare but popular pet breed, Mudis are still primarily found in their home country of Hungary. They are still fulfilling their vital working roles are herding dogs, working with stock on farms. They are also beloved in a rural setting for their pest hunting abilities. Much like a cat, the Mudi is great at finding and destroying small rodents.
With a history of working alongside humans, the Mudi is highly enthusiastic and eager to please. They find purpose in their work and are always looking to provide services. The Mudi will discover their role as a guard dog in a family home without any farm work to complete. Alert and protective, they will look after your family and your property. They will be skeptical of strangers at first, but not to the point that they are overly aggressive.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
The easy-going nature and high energy of the Mudi make them great with children. They will enjoy living in large and active families, and children offer fun and activity in their lives. They will, however, need great socialization when they are young on etiquette around young children. Children’s erratic behavior can ignite the Mudis herding instinct, and they may try to herd kids on the front lawn!
With their high physical and mental stimulation needs, the Mudi does well in a large household with plenty of family members to interact with. They will also do well with active individuals or couples if they get plenty of exercise and attention. They will quickly become bored and destructive if left alone for long periods in confined areas, such as apartments.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Generally, Mudis get along well with other animals. They are non-confrontational and will not look to cause any issues. However, they may be a bit stand-offish at first when meeting new friends. Once they feel comfortable with other dogs, they will love to run and play together.
Due to their strong herding and hunting instincts, Mudis do not do well with small animals like cats or other small pets. With early socialization at the puppy stage, they may learn to co-exist in a household with cats.
Things to Know When Owning a Mudi:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Mudis require a diet formulated for a high-energy and working dog breed. Due to their energy levels, they need high-quality energy sources. High protein kibbles and quality fat sources will support your Mudi and their requirements.
The high levels of activity of a Mudi keep them at a low risk of becoming obese, so overfeeding is generally not an issue. However, you should always follow the recommended feeding amounts for your dogs, which will usually depend on their weight.
Treats can be incorporated into their daily allowance. They are especially great for use during training sessions.
Mudis make challenging dogs when kept as pets simply due to their high demands for activity. They require over an hour of exercise a day. A mere walk will not suffice. A couple of walks a day and other energy-burning activities are needed for a Mudi to feel satisfied.
Running, swimming, hiking, and playing are all activities that should be incorporated into a Mudis day in addition to general walks. Your Mudi will excel at activities such as obedience and agility programs.
Mudis have soft temperaments. They do not respond well to negative responses from their trainers and owners. Frustrated owners can become angry when an understimulated Mudi exerts their energy in destructive ways are the home.
In reality, a Mudi is exceptionally well behaved given they have the appropriate outlets for their energy. In addition, when trained by a patient and consistent owner, they will show that they are very eager to please and pick up new things very quickly.
Your Mudi will excel in their training and quickly show off an ability well beyond general dog manners. There is a lot of room for them to learn all kinds of tricks and behaviors.
At first glance, it is easy to assume that the medium-length and wavy coat of a Mudi will need high levels of upkeep. But their beautiful coat is mostly self-sufficient. Mudis will only require basic grooming.
The occasional brush, bath, and nail trim are only needed when there is a visible issue. You may want to bathe them more often after an outdoor adventure where they pick up dirt and debris.
The grooming you will need to be most vigilant with is checking your Mudi’s ears. The upright shape of their ears leaves their ear canal open to the elements. These types of ears pick up dirt and allergins easier than folded ears. Dirty ears can lead to ear infections, so checking your Mudi’s ears regularly is vital.
Dogs can often dislike their ears being touched. You can condition your Mudi to tolerate this touch at a young age by regularly touching their ears during petting. This makes caring for their ears a lot easier in their adulthood.
Health and Conditions
Male vs. Female
Physically, there are some significant differences between male and female Mudis. The male Mudi is significantly bigger than a female Mudi. However, the differences between genders stop there.
There are no reported differences between the personality of the male and female Mudi. Their even temperaments mean that the hormonal differences of the genders do little to change their basic character.
If you choose to keep your Mudi intact sexually, then there are some things to consider. A female dog will periodically come on “heat,” where she will be receptive to any suitable male dog. She will have to be managed closely. Meanwhile, an intact male will be a slave to his hormones. If he senses a receptive female, he can become unreasonable in trying to reach her and perhaps aggressive toward other males he sees as competition.
These differences are general for all dog breeds, and your choice in gender will depend on your ability to manage their hormonal responses. If you desex you Mudi, then none of these issues will apply to your dog!
3 Little-Known Facts About the Mudi
1. Mudis almost became extinct.
At present, there are only a few thousand Mudis around the world. While this may seem very little (and it certainly is), this is a lot better than it once was! Before Mudis were found worldwide, they were once only found in Hungary, serving as herding dogs. During World War II, Hungary suffered significant losses, and many of its dog breeds became critically endangered. A few years after, Mudis began to recover and were officially registered as a breed.
2. Mudis make excellent guard dogs.
As working dogs, Mudis have a real sense of duty in their position in their family pack. In a family setting, this can combine with their sense of loyalty to create a dog that will display a very protective quality. They will be sure to tell you when someone comes onto your property.
3. A Mudi’s ears prick up over time.
Much like the classic German Shephard ears, a Mudi puppy has floppy ears that hang loosely down the side of its face. As they age, their ears prick up, and once they are fully grown, they have fox-like ears that point towards the sky. The best part is when one ear precedes the other in pricking upwards, and they’re left with that adorable and goofy one-up, one-down look.
Overall, there are some challenges involved in owning a Mudi. They need more work and attention than many other relaxed pet breeds. But given the right outlets for their fizzing energy, a Mudi will make a great addition to any family. They will prove themselves to be faithful and attentive.
They won’t suit small spaces such as apartments and will need lots of room to run around. They have excellent general health and long lifespans, so they will require little specialized treatment as they age. However, this lovable breed is quite rare, so finding one will prove to be the real challenge!
Featured Image Credit: Katinka Bakos, Shutterstock