- Breed group — Herding group (American Kennel Club)
- Height — 15-18.5 inches
- Weight — 18-29 pounds
- Coat length & texture — Medium wavy or curly coat
- Coat color — Solid or merle black, brown, white, yellow, or gray fur.
- Exercise needs — High
- Intelligence — High
- Barking — Frequent and loud
- Life span — 12-14 years
- Temperament — Energetic, affectionate, and stubborn
- Hypoallergenic — No
- Origin — Hungary
Mudi dog fun facts
- The mudi dog is a rare breed in the U.S. According to the American Kennel Club, there are estimated to be less than 500 of them across the country.
- They were bred to work on farms. Responsibilities include herding sheep, hunting vermin, and alerting farmers to danger.
- It’s pronounced “moody.” The mudi dog breed originated in Hungary, and the plural form of the name is “mudik.”
Mudi temperament and characteristics
Take one look at a mudi’s medium-sized stature and you may think, “that’s a good apartment dog.” Well, no one may disagree with you more than the neighbor of an apartment-dwelling mudi. Though friendly and affectionate, mudik (if you didn’t see above, this is the plural form of mudi!) are also frequent barkers. Bred to alert farmers of suspicious activities, the mudi will alert you to just about everything, suspicious or otherwise. Obedience training combined with sufficient mental and physical stimulation will go a long way in curbing this behavior. Which brings us to the next reason why the mudi may not be the best fit for apartments — they are extremely high-energy.
This is why the breed fares well with active owners prepared to give their mudi a good workout. If properly socialized, the mudi should do well with kids and other pets they’re raised with but may be standoffish with visitors and other humans they don’t consider part of their pack. They are also attention-craving dogs who prefer to play, exercise, and snuggle with their humans rather than spending time alone.
Common mudi health problems
The mudi dog, also known as the Hungarian mudi, is considered generally healthy. But like any breed, they have certain medical conditions they’re prone to. Here are some health issues that a mudi may experience:
- Hip dysplasia. This chronic condition occurs when your dog’s femur bone doesn’t align with their hip socket, causing them to limp or run with a “bunny hop.” Treatment is typically non-invasive and can be managed with anti-inflammatories and physical therapy.
- Epilepsy. A mudi dog with epilepsy will typically experience seizures between six months and three years of age. As scary as it seems, it is the most common neurological disorder in dogs and can be managed with long-term anti-epileptic drugs.
- Patellar luxation. Some mudi dogs may also experience a luxating patella , a condition in which the dog’s knee joints pop in and out of the groove within the femur. Your vet may recommend joint supplements or surgical intervention to prevent it from getting worse.
- Cataracts. Mudi owners will want to inspect their pup’s eye lens for cloudiness, an early symptom of cataracts that can significantly impair their vision. Surgery may be necessary to replace the cloudy lens with a clear artificial one.
Cost of caring for the mudi
Mudi owners will want to familiarize themselves with different health insurance plans and enroll early to lower out-of-pocket expenses. Alternatively, budgeting for a pet savings account can protect you and your dog in the event of an emergency. Cataracts, for example, are a common condition seen in the mudi that may require a surgery that costs between $2,700 and $4,000.
History of the mudi dog
Although the mudi dog was only officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2022, their history traces back to the 19th century in Hungary. They likely descended from puli, pumi, and German spitz dogs and were first bred separately from the others by museum director Dr. Deszö Fényesi, who came up with the name for the herding dog.
Hungarian dog populations were significantly reduced during World War II, and the mudi almost disappeared completely. The breed was revived in the 1960s when new breed standards were written to include a wider size and coat color range.
Today, the mudi dog remains a rare breed, with fewer than 500 in the United States and a couple thousand worldwide. They are most popular in their native country of Hungary, where they continue to work on farms herding flocks of sheep. Mudik are also skilled competitors in dog sports, most commonly in agility and obedience events.
Caring for your mudi
Before you bring home a mudi, get prepared by planning your first trip to the vet, scheduling vaccinations, providing flea and tick preventatives, and puppy-proofing your home. The mudi is an active dog that requires plenty of outdoor playtime. Signing up FidoAlert provides you with a free Fido ID and tag in the event your dog takes off.
If your ideal Saturday is spent curled up on the couch basking in the glow of your favorite streaming service, the high-energy mudi might not be a fit for you. Active families, on the other hand, will find a suitable companion in the breed. The mudi loves to hike, go on long walks, and swim. These dogs don’t tire out easily and will resort to barking, digging, and other destructive behaviors when not properly physically and mentally stimulated. Plan on at least an hour of exercise each day to keep your mudi satiated.
The breed is incredibly athletic and can participate in agility courses to meet their exercise needs. According to the Mudi Club of America, the breed also excels at flyball, obedience, herding, and frisbee. Their thick coats make them more adaptable to colder environments than warm ones, so be wary of overheating in hot summer months.
While some dogs are short-haired and others are long-haired, the mudi is the best of both worlds. Their wedge-shaped head and the front of their legs have short fur, and the rest of their body has a long thick coat. They shed their winter coats in the spring but otherwise only need to be brushed every couple of days to avoid matting. Unless they get dirty from outdoor play, mudi owners should only need to bathe their pups once a month with a high-quality shampoo. Be sure to routinely trim their nails, clean their ears, and brush their teeth to prevent dental diseases.
Diet and nutrition
As with any dog, mudi owners will want to consult their vet to determine how much to feed their four-legged friend. Because they have high exercise needs, dog foods formulated for active canines may be recommended. To avoid obesity, make sure that treats don’t make up more than 10% of their daily caloric intake. Every dog is unique, but generally speaking, an adult mudi will require 1 to 1.5 cups of kibble a day, split into two meals.
Training your mudi
Looking to burn some of your mudi’s seemingly-boundless energy? Try some training exercises! The mudi is a working dog with high intelligence, and training gives them fun tasks to keep busy.
- Use positive reinforcement. Excessive praise and reward-based activities go a long way with these people-pleasers, so keep high-value treats handy.
- Teach a “quiet” command. The biggest hurdle you’ll probably want to overcome with a mudi is their tendency to bark nonstop. These dogs love to make themselves heard. Gain control over this behavior by teaching them the “speak” and “quiet” commands.
- Start when they’re young. As with any dog, it is best to begin training the mudi when they are a puppy before they start forming habits.
- Burn energy as you train. Agility and scent training can also go a long way in redirecting bad behaviors towards ones that satiate their physical and mental workout needs.
Breeds similar to the mudi dog
Not quite sure that a mudi is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:
- Komondor. Another Hungarian sheepdog is the Komondor, a large breed best known for their mop-like coats. These dogs are as gentle and affectionate as they are striking.
- Border collie. With similar high energy and intelligence, mudik and border collies are cut from the same cloth. They make loyal companions to their humans and aim to please.
- Keeshond. Looking for a medium-sized dog better suited for apartment living? The Keeshond has only moderate exercise needs and a penchant for snuggling.
Frequently asked questions
Do mudi dogs bark a lot?
Yes. The mudi was bred to work on farms, and one of their responsibilities was to alert their owners to danger. They possess this instinctual watchdog tendency to this day and are known for frequent vocalizations. Using a “quiet” command can help curb this behavior.
How many mudi dogs are there?
The mudi is a rare breed with less than 500 in the United States and a couple thousand worldwide. The dogs are most common in Hungary, where many continue to work on farms herding sheep.
What health problems do mudi dogs have?
Although they are generally considered healthy, the mudi breed is prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, luxating patella, and cataracts.
Are mudi dogs friendly?
The mudi is incredibly affectionate and loves to please their humans. They can be standoffish with strangers at first, but with proper training and socialization will be friendlier towards others they don’t consider part of their pack.
How much exercise does the mudi need?
The mudi is a high-energy breed that requires at least one hour of exercise a day. They fare best with active owners who can satisfy their physical and mental needs.