About the Mudi Dog Breed

With their intelligence, eagle eyes, and the aptitude to be easily trained the Mudi excels at herding, wild boar hunts, dog dancing, agility, nose work, and numerous other dog sports.

Mudi General Appearance

A medium-sized Hungarian herding dog with spitz-like qualities. Purposely bred for work, it has a “Wedge-shaped” tapering towards the nose, with prick ears and almond-shaped eyes. “Moderate bone”, firm, and well-muscled body. When viewed from the side, the slightly sloping topline to croup and legs should approximate a square. The coat is dense and varies from short, straight, and smooth on the face and front of legs, to a longer wavy or curly coat on the body

  • Plural: Mudi or Mudis (Mudik should only be used when speaking in Hungarian)

  • Pronounced: "Moody” - phonetic and IPA [moo-dee | mōōdē | mu di]

  • Official Latin Name: Canis Ovilis Fényesi

  • UKC Breed Descriptionhttps://www.ukcdogs.com/mudi

Mudi Dog Breed Standards Links:

The Mudi Overview:

  • Mudi Life Span: Up to 16 years.

  • Mudi Activity Level: High herding drive, which requires daily exercise and some sort of mental stimulation. 

  • Mudi Size: Medium-sized and moderate boned sheepdog; with a compact body and sloping topline. There can be a significant dimorphism/differences between male/female dogs when it comes to size. They may also vary from the standard depending on sports -vs- show lines.

    • Weight: ​Base weight using below Body Condition Score (BCS) for heights:

      • Ribs: Easily palpable, minimal fat covering.

      • Waistline: Easily noted, viewed from above.

      • Abdomen: Abdominal tuck evident.

    • Height: (tolerance of one inch below or above).

      • Females: 16-17 inches.

      • Males: 17-18 inches​​.

  • Head: Wedge-shaped head tapering towards the nose, prick/upright ears, scissor bite. Tails: Long Tail or Natural Bobtail (NBT - which includes nubs, long bobs, 1/2 tails, and 3/4 tails).

  • Mudi Coat: Single-coated and low to medium shed. The correct lengths and type of coat comprise:

    • Face: Short, straight, and smooth.

    • Front of legs: Short, straight, and smooth.

    • Ears: Wavy to curly feathering around ears.

    • Body: 1.5” - 4” long and wavy to curly.

    • Back of front legs: Abundant feathering.

    • Back of upper thighs: Abundant feathering.

    • Tail: Long abundant feathering.

  • Mudi Colors:

    • See our Mudi Colors & Locus page.

    • Solids: Black (Fekete), White (Fehér), Fawn/ Yellow/Biscuit (Fakó), Brown (Barna), Ash (Hamvas), Ashbrown/Isabella (Hamvasbarna).

    • Merles: Black Merle (Cifra), Brown Merle (Barna Cifra), Ash Merle (Hamvas Cifra),
      Ashbrown/Isabella Merle (Hamvasbarna Cifra).

    • Links:


Mudi History:

The Mudi in all probability has existed since the 15th to 18th century, initially in 1773 with Comte de Buffon describing a Mudi-like shepherd dog. Continuing in 1815 with Ferenc Pethe in the History of Nature, in 1902 with Lajos Méhely and then, and in 1912 with Ottó Herman.

The purposeful breeding of this dog is attributed to Hungarian Dr. Dezső Fényes who obtained some brilliant haired, erect eared, highly intelligent, and docile specimens of unknown breed. He began to breed them and in 1936 presented the dogs at the breeding animal fair. He submitted the first standard for the breed, and the committee accepted the description using the breed name "Mudi".

The present-day Mudi is accomplished at doing everything its owner requires. With their intelligence, eagle eyes, and the aptitude to be easily trained the Mudi excels at herding, wild boar hunts, dog dancing, agility, nose work, and numerous other dog sports.

The UKC recognized the Mudi on July 1, 2006.

Because of this history these dogs were bred to help herd flocks, rid the property of vermin, provide protection, and alert the farmer and guardian dogs to danger. They currently are still used by shepherds in Hungary to actively herd flocks of up to 500 sheep.

Mudi Description:

The Mudi is a medium-sized Hungarian herding dog with spitz-like qualities. Purposely bred for work it has a wedge-shaped head, prick ears, moderately boned, firm, and well-muscled body. When viewed from the side, the slightly sloping topline to croup and legs should approximate a square. The coat is dense and varies from short, straight, and smooth on the face and front of legs to a longer wavy or curly coat on the body.

The Mudi dog breed is Lively, Vocal/Loud, Intelligent, Inquisitive, Sensitive, Loyal, Fun, Courageous, and Energetic. As a herding dog the Mudi dog breed is loose-eyed, upright, and intense. The Mudi is extremely popular with shepherds and is often used on large and difficult livestock. With these all-around skills they make exceptional guard, watch, and alarm dog (vocal/loud). 
 

Mudi are different from other herding breeds, with a strong terrier characteristic and more independence than your typical herding breed from the UK or US. They are quick to alert, run toward perceived danger, and can be quite the tenacious character.

This breed bonds with members of its family and will form a stronger bond with one particular person.  You will need to gain their trust before bonding. Once that happens the Mudi is easy-going, affectionate, and obedient. 

 

Owner Quote: “I find the Mudi to be excellent house dogs; they settle easily if taught an off switch early on. The effort with a Mudi comes from their intense environmental sensitivity - a quality that has not been too problematic on farms in Hungary but is not very compatible with living in the US or competing in sports. However, after raising a number of Mudi puppies, I feel that the sensitivity can be improved through intense early socializing.” (Yvette)

Mudi Characteristics:

As a herding dog, the breed is loose-eyed, upright, intense, powerful, and dedicated to duty with an excellent work-all-day endurance.

They are inherently courageous, vigilant, suspicious, and slightly reserved producing an outstanding guard, watch and alarm dog.

Exceptionally versatile, agile, energetic, playful, and obedient they enthusiastically participate in various dog sports and activities.

Nutrition:

Provide a high-quality dog food and hip/joint supplement. Mudi can be prone to gaining weight; so, it may not be appropriate to provide open feeding.

Mudi Grooming:

Easy to groom, with a very 'wash and wear' type of single coat. A quick weekly brushing helps to keep the coat clean. The Mudi does shed yearly but infrequently. Nails should be trimmed every 2 weeks.
 

Mudi Exercise & Activity:

Mudi are high-drive energetic dogs and need daily activities/exercise. If you don't provide a daily activity/outlet for your Mudi they can come up with their own games, which can include digging and other destructive behaviors. 

Mudi do well in numerous activities and competitive types of dog sports (agility, obedience, herding, flyball, dock diving and Frisbee). They are also noted for their jumping ability.  

 

Mudi Vocalization & Barking:

Mudi do have a high herding drive and this herding background tends to make the Mudi more prone to barking and alarm barking. Mudi do have a vocalized or loud high-pitched bark (vocal/loud). It is a good idea to teach them the words 'quiet' along with the word 'speak' so that you can easily get your Mudi to stop barking.

 

Mudi Training & Temperament:

Mudi enjoy learning and are eager to please. They adapt quickly to living in an apartment or on a large piece of land. Mudi require some sort of mental stimulation such as obedience or trick training in the household. 

 

A Mudi will learn the rules quickly; they are very intelligent dogs who like to think, but they will also change the rules based upon what they want. The key to this is early training and continued socialization.

Owner Quote: “My dogs are all very toy and food motivated, while being incredibly quick learners. This breed is one where you can literally see the “lightbulb come on”, when they figure something out - it's one of my favorite qualities they have. Overall, they are motivated thinkers but grow bored quickly and dislike repetition. They are not, and will never be, a robotic dog like you may expect from a border collie or Belgian breed. In fact, I joke that my Mudi are like a Malinois crossbred with a cat.” (Heather)

Mudi Health:

Mudi are usually very healthy, but problems in the breed do include Epilepsy, Luxating Patella's, Hip Dysplasia, Skin Disorders and Cataracts.  It is important to ensure that the parents of your new puppy have been tested for most of these genetic diseases.  There is no test currently for epilepsy, but your breeder will have knowledge of your dog’s pedigree along with the associated risk for epilepsy.  Unfortunately, a lot is not spoken about epilepsy and this knowledge is learned from others rather than being put out into the open. Find Recommended Health Tests from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

Mudi Socialization:

Most Mudi love children if they are raised around them.  They are reserved with strangers but can quickly warm up to them.  It is very important to socialize your Mudi from an early age to children and people of all ages, along with different environments and other dogs. They key word here is SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE. If they receive the right amount of exposure, and experience good social interactions, they can be very reliable dogs on the outside.  Without the added exposure Mudi can be reactive in new situations.

 

Owner Quote: “Mudi tend to be reserved with strangers, but they should not be aggressive. My dogs may bark at a strange person or dog, but I expect them to stop when told. My dogs will also greet strangers if I ask them to, but sometimes they are just as happy to ignore people. I will say, I encouraged my dogs to be more outgoing with people." (Heather)

 

Owner Quote: “Strange dogs are a bit of a different story - Mudi are notorious for not liking newly introduced dogs. One of my dogs will readily accept any new dog on my property as long as they are not rude, while the others are more reserved.  Sassy will avoid new dogs and Puffin will bark at them until she's decided they are not dangerous." (Heather)

Mudi Fear Periods:

Most Mudi do experience at least two or more intense fear periods, during these times it is important to continue to socialize them to help them over this time.  Playing games, they are comfortable with will help them work through this fear period. It is best not to introduce new behaviors at this time as a negative experience can impact future experiences.   Your breeder will be best able to help you during this time.

Mudi Breeders:

Also see our Breeders page.

Your breeder is one of your most valuable resources as they are very familiar with your lines and the dog’s behaviors.  There are many groups on Facebook that can provide additional information, just remember that the information gleaned online is only as good as the person who is providing their opinions.  A lot of information about the Mudi is found out via back-channel communication. This means learn everything, listen and most importantly enjoy your dog!!