Is a Pumi the dog for you?
They are wonderful amazing partners, but there are some quirks that everyone should be aware of. I always suggest to people interested in the breed to meet Pumik and their owners and spend some solid time with the dogs…… dog shows are how we met Gumby and Virgil for the first time, and we are not really show people…. but shows still remain best way to meet them in person.
Pumik are definitely not for everyone, they require enormous amounts of exercise, attention, mental stimulation and a task to do around the house.
We spend many nights running around the park in the pouring rain. And they don’t like being left alone for long periods, They WANT to work and work with you, and if you don’t put that to something constructive they may choose something destructive. The good news is they are flexible on what their task is, you don’t need sheep to keep a Pumi busy… but you have to be involved.
They are also more sensitive to emotional damage than other breeds. If they get damaged, because of their long memories often require long and careful recoveries. These are very smart dogs who can also exploit someone who is not on top of everything so these are not good dogs for someone who has little dog experience. Pumik may challenge Border Collies for being the smartest dog breed, so experience with dogs is very valuable to keep from being manipulated. Since they are so sensitive an “angry” home may cause deep emotional or behavioral issues. They need and want a strong, but fair, consistent and very loving home.
They also have an agenda, unlike most dogs who live for the moment. Ours both have some expectations like a Saturday hike every week, and may give us some serious grief if we don’t go out. Ours know the days of the week, and directions around our area…and have a lot to say on how we spend our time and where we go. They are vocal dogs, ours like to move to opposite corners of the house and talk back and forth… but ours also know when to keep quiet at times, like coming into a hotel at 1 am… so they can turn it off if they see the reasoning behind it. But its often a negotiation of sorts… They like being partners in life and decisions, although they will do what you tell them to do, they will make their opinions known.
Also, you will get a lot of people coming up to meet your dogs, we once had 50 people surrounding little Jive! If you want to be left alone, these are not dogs for you. But Pumik are naturally wary of strangers, and can seem stand-offish, after all these were farm dogs where people didn’t often just visit. Proper and continued socialization in needed from a young age, this also reduces their tendency to bark, but its a process that never ends.
I liken them to a high performance Italian sports car, fast, noisy, some extra maintenance…and you will get lots of extra attention… But unlike a sports car, they can turn their drive off and cuddle (mostly upside down) for a blissful hour of pure heaven.
– Van Rue