top of page

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.

  • Plural: Mudi or Mudis (The word Mudik is only used when speaking in Hungarian).

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

  • Official Latin Name: Canis Ovilis Fényesi

  • UKC Mudi Breed Page -​​

Mudi General Appearance:

A medium-sized Hungarian herding dog, purposely bred for work. Overall, a well-muscled, moderate-boned, and firm-bodied dog with spitz-like qualities. When viewed from above, it has a wedge-shaped head that tapers towards the nose, with prick ears and almond-shaped eyes. In profile, the Mudi has a topline that slopes very slightly downward from the withers to the croup, and its length is slightly longer than its height. The coat is short, straight, and smooth on the face and front of the legs, to a lengthier wavy or curly coat on the body.

The Mudi Overview: (based on UKC standard and other general infromation)

  • Mudi Life Span: On average, up to 16 years.

  • Mudi Activity Level: A high herding drive requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. 

  • Mudi Size: Medium-sized and moderate-boned sheepdog; with a compact body and sloping topline. There can be 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 with minimal fat covering.

      • Waistline: Easily seen when viewed from above.

      • Abdomen: Abdominal tuck evident.

    • Height: 

      • Males: 15 1/2 - 19 inches.

      • Females: 14 1/2 - 18 inches.

  • Head: The foxlike head is proportionate to the body, “Wedge-shaped” when viewed from above. When viewed in profile, the skull and muzzle lines form parallel planes. 

  • Tail: Long and Natural Bobtail (NBT) includes nubs, longer bobs, ½, and ¾ tails.  

  • Mudi Coat: Shown naturally, the easy-care wash-n-show coat requires no trimming or sculpting.

    The coat may form cowlicks or ridges on areas of the body.

    The texture may vary from fine to a rougher texture and should not be wiry. The mane should be proportionate to coat length and slightly more pronounced in males.

    The correct coat lengths/types comprise:

Face: Short, straight, and smooth.

Front of legs: Short, straight, and smooth.

Ears: Wavy to curly feathering around ears.

Body: 1.5” - 3.5” in length and wavy to curly.

Back of front legs: Moderate feathering.

Back of upper thighs: Moderate feathering.

Tail: Has longer coat with moderate feathering, while shorter NBT tails may have less to none.


Black | Fekete

Black Merle | Cifra

Brown | Barna

Brown Merle | Barna Cifra

White | Fehér
White Merle | Fehér Cifra

Yellow | Fakó

Yellow Merle | Fakó Cifra 

Ash | Hamvas

Ash Merle | Hamvas Cifra

Ashbrown | Hamvasbarna

Ashbrown Merle | Hamvasbarna Cifra

Albino (DQ'd in standards)

Other Merle Alleles | Cifra | color locus, (Mc, Ma, & Mh)
(Cryptic, Atypical, & Harlequin)

Sable & Tan Points are not shown

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 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 individuals of an 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 dog breed name “Mudi.” The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) officially recognized the breed in 1966.

The Mudi was recognized by the United Kennel Club 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 are still used by shepherds in Hungary to herd flocks of up to 500 sheep actively.

Mudi Overall Description:

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

Unlike other herding breeds, the Mudi has strong terrier characteristics and more independence. 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. This quality 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 several Mudi puppies, I feel that the sensitivity can be improved through intense early socializing.” (Yvette)

Mudi Characteristics:

The Mudi has a loose-eyed and upright herding style with intense, powerful, dedicated to duty, and excellent work-all-day endurance.


They are inherently courageous, alert, and may be aloof to strangers, producing an outstanding guard, watch, and alarm dog.


Versatile, playful, and obedient, they enthusiastically participate in multiple dog sports and activities.


Provide high-quality dog food and hip/joint supplements. Mudi can be prone to gaining weight, so providing open feeding may not be appropriate.

Mudi Grooming:

Shown naturally, the easy-care wash-n-show coat requires no trimming or sculpting. If needed, a quick brushing helps to keep the coat clean. The Mudi is a low to medium shedder who may shed yearly but infrequently. Nails should be trimmed every two (2) weeks.

Mudi Exercise & Activity:

Mudi is a high-drive energetic dog and needs daily activities/exercise. If you don't provide a daily activity/outlet for your Mudi, they can develop their own games, including digging and other destructive behaviors. 

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


Mudi Vocalization & Barking:

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


Mudi Training & Temperament:

The Mudi enjoys learning and is eager to please. They adapt quickly to living in an apartment or on a large piece of land. A Mudi requires 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 on their wants. The key to this is early training and continued socialization.

Owner Quote: “My dogs are all very toy and food motivated while being rapid learners. This breed is one where you can 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. I joke that my Mudi is like a Malinois crossbred with a cat.” (Heather)

Mudi Health:

The Mudi is usually very healthy, but problems in the breed include Epilepsy, Luxating Patella, Hip Dysplasia, Skin Disorders, and Cataracts.  It is essential 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 know 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 aloof with strangers but can quickly warm up to them.  It is essential to socialize your Mudi from an early age with children and people of all ages, along with different environments and other dogs. The key word here is SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, and SOCIALIZE. If they receive the right amount of exposure and experience good social interactions, they can be reliable dogs on the outside.  Without the added exposure, Mudi can be reactive in new situations.


Owner Quote: “A Mudi tends 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 encouraged my dogs to be more outgoing with people." (Heather)


Owner Quote: “Strange dogs are a bit of a different story - Mudi is 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 experience at least two or more intense fear periods; during these times, it is essential to continue socializing with them to help them over this time period. They are comfortable playing games, which 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 know your lines and the dog’s behaviors. Facebook groups can provide additional information; remember that the information gleaned online is only as good as the person providing their opinions. Much information about the Mudi is found via back-channel communication. This means learning everything, listening, and, most importantly, enjoying your dog!

bottom of page