There's a new dog breed in town, and it looks a whole lot like a floppy-eared bunny
Your dog may be cute, but is he fuzzy-little-floppy-eared-bunny cute? Probably not.
There is, however, an official new dog breed that is all the cuteness of a bunny wrapped up into one irresistible pooch. It's called the Pumi, and it is taking the internet by storm.
The AKC announced last week that this new breed, originating from Hungary, would be the 190th dog breed to be added to its official list, and people can't stop sharing pictures of this bunny-teddy bear dog look-alike.
Where did the Pumi come from?
Shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains spent hundreds of years designing a herding dog to meet the unique needs of working with livestock in the harsh environment along the Hungarian border. Shepherds needed this breed to be fast, able to make decisions quickly and work independently. The Puli was the first dog breed to come from the shepherds in this region, but they needed a more agile breed that could navigate the hilly terrain in western Hungary. Through selective breeding, they eventually created the nimble-footed Pumi.
What is their temperament like?
This dog was bred to work long, hard hours, so you had better be prepared for some serious exercise if you want to own a Pumi. They are curious, eager to learn and prefer to have a job or task to keep them occupied and entertained. When a Pumi is outside, they enter their natural guard dog mode, which means they can be quite standoffish to strangers. A Pumi is fiercely loyal and protective of his herd (they consider their family their herd) and is always ready for action. But take this fluffy breed inside, and you will watch him transform into an affectionate, kid-loving pile of love.
Are they easy to train?
Some experts actually say that these dogs are one of the easiest breeds to train because of their high intelligence and eagerness to learn. Training is mandatory for this breed — without it, their strength and need for physical activity can become dangerous. But if you begin training at an early age and ensure your pup gets all the exercise he needs, a Pumi can actually make an excellent family pet. You should consider enrolling a Pumi in agility classes or competitions so he can get the mental and physical stimulation he craves in a productive way — not in the chewing-your-couch-cushions-to-bits way.
Is it tough to groom all that fur?
It may look like a whole lot of work to tame those Pumi curls, but it's actually pretty easy. They actually have two coats — a rough coat on top with a finer and smoother coat underneath. As long as you give your Pumi a thorough brush-through every couple of weeks and a soapy bath every three to four months, you are good to go. Because of the curly nature of the Pumi coat, they are prone to matting, so don't skip any brushing sessions.
Are they a generally healthy breed?
Yes. They generally live between 12 and 15 years and are prone to only some of the most common conditions, like hip dysplasia and primary lens luxation. Routine vet checkups will prevent any conditions from going undetected.
Is the Pumi right for you?
A Pumi will not do well in an apartment because of their need for tons (and I mean tons) of physical activity. If you have a home with plenty of space for your dog to run, a Pumi could be a good fit for you. They are great with kids and other dogs and make loyal family pets as long as training is implemented at a young age. Make sure your Pumi has enough mental and physical stimulation, and you may have just found your new best friend.
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