Mudi Dog: A Hungarian National Treasure

Mudi Dog standing on grass
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

When you hear the word moody, usually, you try to stay away from it, right? No one wants a dog that’s acting like an angsty teenager. But although this breed is called the Mudi dog, they’re nothing like their namesake. In fact, the Mudi dog is the complete opposite of how their name sounds.

The Mudi dog is an energetic, social, and intelligent breed that loves to be around its family. Though originally these dogs are a Hungarian herding breed, they’ve made their way into people’s homes as companion dogs. They’re well-known for their courageous acts and will stand up against any threats that are posed to them or their families. With them by your side, you’re well protected.

The Mudi dog is a pretty interesting breed, right? Well, if you’re curious and want to know more about them, keep reading as we’re going to show you everything about them. Whether it’s their personality, care, or feeding schedule, you’re going to be given a complete picture of this breed. Once you have a better idea, you’ll be able to see if the Mudi dog is the right breed for your home.

Breed Characteristics

Mudi Dog with a marble coat

  • Adaptability: High; but needs space to run around in

  • Trainability: Very Good; very intelligent

  • Health and Grooming: Moderate; quite healthy and sheds moderately

  • All Around Friendliness: Moderate; wary around strangers

  • Exercise Needs: High Maintenance

Dog Breed GroupHerding Dogs
Size15 - 18.5 inches
Weight18 - 29 pounds
Lifespan12 - 14 years

The Mudi dog is the national treasure of Hungary. They’re a herding breed and still used in Hungary to herd large flocks as they can contain stocks of up to 500 sheep. They’re highly intelligent dogs and love to be active, particularly with their families by their side.

They do well when they have a task or a job to do, as they’re herding dogs. Thus, you’ll be able to teach them tricks on top of getting them to herd animals.

Because they are herders, they can be barkers, and they use their bark to alert their owners of unusual movements. Some dogs bark more than others. However, this can be trained as they have the intelligence to listen and understand.

They make great dogs for families as they’re very loyal and get along with children and other pets well, so long as they’re raised with them. They don’t appreciate being teased. Thus, your children will need to learn how to interact with them respectfully.

They’re highly affectionate with their family which makes them also quite cautious and reserved around strangers. They’re not aggressive; however, they do take their time to get to know a stranger before trusting them. Once they deem that the stranger is trustworthy, they’re open and friendly.

They’re low-maintenance dogs as their coat needs minimal brushing and bathing. They make great dogs for those that aren’t fans of grooming.

Main Highlights

three Mudi Dogs

  • The Mudi dog is the only breed in the Herding Group that has merle color.

  • Dr. Dezso Fenyes, the founder of the breed, was born in Hungary in 1888 and died in Los Angeles California in 1973.

  • They’re a cut above the rest when it comes to talents and personality.

  • There were two Mudi dogs in Canada which had a lifespan of 17.5 years.

  • The Mudi is on the Hungarian post stamp which started in 2004 to honor the Hungarian breed.

  • They do suffer from stranger anxiety. However, this can be trained out of them when they’re young.

  • The Mudi dog is the national breed of Hungary.

  • They’re known for having very mild temperaments.

  • The Mudi has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2004.

  • The Mudi is used for herding in Hungary and can contain flocks with up to 500 sheep.

Breed History

Mudi Dog in the forest

Hungarians started to keep sheepdogs at the end of the ninth century. Hungarian sheepdogs of the old were either small or large. The large dogs (Kuvasz and Komondor) were separate from the small dogs, and the small dogs were interbred. The history of the Mudi dog starts around the same time as the Pumi and Puli breeds.

Around 1930, Dr. Deszo Fenyesi, a director of the museum of Balassagyarmat, was one of the first breeders who decided to start to breed small sheepdogs. He also named the breed. By 1936, the Mudi dog was legally recognized as a breed. However, during World War II, many of the Hungarian breeds were lost in great numbers, including the Mudi.

In 1960, they started to reproduce the breed, creating a standard from the survivors which was written by Dr. Zoltan Balassy and sent to the FCI for recognition. The standard created allowed all sizes and colors to be accepted as the Mudi breed.

In 1966, the breed was recognized and approved by the FCI. It took decades to bring the breed back to normal numbers; however, the breed is now healthy and happy.


Mudi Dogs standing together

The Mudi dog is a medium-sized herding dog. They stand around 15 — 18.5 inches tall and weigh around 18 — 29 pounds.

They have a wedge-shaped head and a pointed nose. Their jaws are quite muscular and are paired with sharp teeth.

Their ears are standing up in an upside down “V” shape, and they have long elegant backs. Their back hind legs are wide-set considering their size. It’s normal for the puppies to be born without tails.

Personality and Character

Mudi Dog running

Though the Mudi dog’s name is pronounced as “moody,” it certainly doesn’t reflect their personalities. They’re extremely lively and active dogs who love to work.

They’re known to be a dog of many talents; their abilities and even temper make them one of the most capable dogs among all breeds. They’re highly intelligent and can learn extremely fast—possibly even faster than a Border Collie.

The Mudi dog is not only loyal but also courageous as very little will scare them. Even though they have a soft temperament, if they’re faced with a challenge, they work to overcome it, and they usually succeed.

With that being said, they make excellent guard dogs as they’re highly protective and loving towards their family. Their need for affection from their family makes them ideal companion dogs, and they have no problem defending their family until the end.

They usually have a tendency to connect specifically with one person in the family, although they love affection from all family members. They can be suspicious of strangers who enter their home and do take a while to warm up to them.

With Mudi dogs, it’s best if you socialize them from a young age. They’re not aggressive dogs, but they do not trust strangers quickly and will wait for a sign in order to see if the person is good or not. However, once they deem the person as a friend, they will show them affection.

Health and Potential Problems

Mudi Dog lying on grass

Like humans, all animals are subjected to potential health problems. Some breeds are more prone to developing health issues than others. However, the Mudi dog is a relatively healthy breed with limited issues. Regardless, some of the health issues they may develop include.

  • Epilepsy: causes recurrent seizures. These seizures are caused when a sudden electrical charge occurs in the brain.

  • Elbow dysplasia: abnormalities in the elbow joint. This is typically the growth of cartilage around the joint.

  • Cataracts: a clouding of the lens in the eye which causes a decrease in vision. They typically develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes.

When purchasing your Mudi dog from a breeder, make sure they have proper certification, stating the pup’s parents are in good health. Your breeder should have health certifications for elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and the eyes.

Care Features

Mudi Dog's head

The Mudi dog is a relatively easy dog to take care of if you enjoy being active. Of course, since this is a herding breed, they’re going to need an adequate amount of exercise. You’ll need to take your dog out for daily walks or jogs.

If you have them properly trained, they love to go off-leash. Just make sure the area is safe.

If your Mudi has the typical characteristics of their breed, then they’ll love swimming in any form of water, whether it’s a lake, the ocean, or a pool.

If you’re going to allow them to swim in a pool, make sure that afterward you give them a good wash down with fresh water to remove any of the chlorine or salt on them. This will help prevent a build up and will keep their coat healthy.

See Also: How to Teach Your Dog to Swim

Feeding Schedule

Mudi Dog eating

The Mudi dog is no different from other active breeds when it comes to food. Like all breeds, it’s essential that you feed your Mudi dog with a high-quality diet. Remember, they’re going to be eating this food for their entire lives, which means you need to make sure what they’re eating is providing them with the proper amount of nutrition.

Since they’re an active breed, you want to make sure their diet has enough protein and complex carbs to sustain their energy.

Of course, it’s best that you consult your vet when it comes to the brand of food as it will greatly depend on their age, activity level, and health conditions. In addition, you want to make sure that your Mudi dog always has a fresh bowl of water available for them.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Mudi Dog with white and black spots

The Mudi dog’s coats are dense and are usually either wavy or curly with hair growing up to two inches in length. Their coat colors are typically black, red, brown, grey, bread-pale, white, and fallow. Some Mudi dogs may have a rare color called “cifra” which is a dark or lighter grey, mixed with black spots, stripes, or marbled color.

The Mudi dog is a somewhat self-sustaining dog when it comes to grooming. Their coat actually sheds dirt and hair, meaning they don’t need frequent baths. Of course, if they start to smell, then we suggest giving them a good scrub. However, other than that, a weekly brushing will help to keep their coat healthy and shiny as you remove any dead cells.

You don’t need to trim their coat either. They shed normally throughout the year, but of course, they shed more in the spring, which is when you’ll need to brush them more often.

See Also: Dog Shedding Tool

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

The Mudi dogs do well around children, as long as they’re treated with respect. They also need to be taught the pack order and that the children are above them. Once they recognize the pack order, they work well within the home.

Mudi dogs are typically friendly with other dogs and also do well with other pets such as cats, as long as they’re raised with them. If you have other animals at home, it’s crucial that you introduce them and socialize them from a young age. That way, they become accustomed to having other animals in the home.

Wrap Up

Mudi Dog puppy with a ball

If you’re looking for an intelligent, affectionate, and loyal breed, then why not consider the Mudi dog? They’re medium-sized, so they’re not too big and not too small—a perfect size to have running around your home.

Of course, it’s ideal if you have some outdoor space for them to explore, as they love running around and guarding their homes. Naturally, you’ll need to walk them as well; however, by having a backyard, they’ll be able to stretch their limbs during the day.

The Mudi dog loves their family and will do anything to make sure that their family members are well protected. This does make them wary around strangers, but that doesn’t make them aggressive unless they feel a situation is life-threatening.

Around strangers, it’ll take some time for them to relax as they need some time to decide whether or not they can trust this person. However, once they do, they’re very social and friendly.

The Mudi dog will be a great addition to any active family. Will you adopt a Mudi dog? Which part of them made the decision for you? Or perhaps you’re already living with a Mudi dog? Please share your experience with us in the section below! Need a name for your newly-adopted Mudi? Check out our list of exotic dog names!

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.