Every purebred dog has a written standard that describes the perfect dog. Every Pumi owner should read the standard and be familiar with it since you will constantly be asked about this cute, amazing breed by the general public. You can read and download the Pumi Standard here.
A PowerPoint presentation has been developed to help judges understand how to judge the breed. It includes history and lots of photos of good dogs. This is very helpful to understand more about your own Pumi. You can view the Powerpoint here.
The Pumi’s coat is unique among all breeds of dogs. It’s important that it form curly locks of hair all over the body. The Standard says that there is a mix of harsh and soft coat in a 50:50 proportion. Puppies are usually 100% soft and get the harsher, curly hair sometime up until they’re 3 years old. Until they get that harsher hair, they will probably need to be combed more often.
A Pumi puppy is usually born with straight or slightly wavy hair. As they grow, at about 3-4 months, that hair starts coming in curly at the base. It’s probably best to give them their first full haircut at 3-1/2 to 4 months. In the meantime, you should neaten up their face and bum by trimming.
The allowed colors of Pumik are (from the Standard), “black, white, or any shades of gray, shades of fawn from pale cream to red, with some black or gray shading desirable.”
View a Hungarian chart of Pumi colors and the names. These names are what the Pumi breeders and owners call the different shades, but they all fall within the allowed colors above.
Also from the Standard: “The grays are born black and fade to various shades of gray. In any of the colors, an intermixture of some gray, black or white hairs is acceptable as long as the overall appearance of a solid color is maintained.”
Occasionally a puppy will be born gray instead of black. This is called “Born Gray” and should be registered as that color. This is a dilute and not an acceptable color. There are two (that we know) genes that control Born Gray. One gene (d1) we’ve known about for some time, but the second one (d3) has just been discovered. We’ll put more information about that in the near future.
If you’re interested in the genetics of Pumi coat colors, you find some information here. In addition, there are many websites describing coat color in dogs. Just Google them for more info.
You should not have to do anything with your puppy’s ears for them to tip correctly. In other words, no gluing or taping. Do not trim the hair on your puppy’s ears until they’re about 6 months old. The weight of the hair keeps the ear leather flexible. The ears will go through all sorts of shapes and sizes as your puppy grows, and in most cases you shouldn’t be concerned if they go straight up for a week, then straight down, or fold differently, especially while they’re teething at 4-5 months old.
The only time you would trim the hair on a puppy’s ears is if their ears are heavy and fold more than the proper 1/3. This will take some of the weight off and allow them to fold higher. But be careful because you could take hair off and find they pop straight up!
If you think the ears need a better fold, you can massage the ear leather to make it more flexible. See a video of that process.
There are two majors parts to keeping your Pumi looking beautiful, combing, and scissoring. There is a DVD available from Chris Levy on how to scissor the Pumi. You can order it on her website. She’s planning to make a much more comprehensive DVD on both combing and scissoring sometime in 2020.
The adult Pumi must be thoroughly combed every 2-3 weeks. Puppies, especially as their coat changes (6 months – 18 months), will need combing more often. It’s really important to get all the knots out of the hair. You should be able to comb through their hair easily in any direction when you’re through combing them. Chris’s grooming page has her favorite grooming tools shown.
Once your Pumi’s coat has been combed, wet down (or bathed), and then air dried, he can be neatened up by scissoring. Get your Pumi’s breeder to show you how or order the DVD by Chris Levy.
A Pumi needs both physical and mental exercise.