Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Unusual Breed: Mudi

A blue merle mudi, one of the many colors the breed comes in.

A yellow mudi
The mudi is a herding breed that originated in Hungary, and as such the pluralization of mudi in the language of their country of origin is mudik. The breed comes in quite a few colors: white, yellow, black, brown, gray, and graybrown (fawn) as well as merle in combination with any of the last four colors. The most common color is black. There are also more than a few non-standard colors that are sometimes seen. The actual names of the colors varies by registry. While the AMA gives the names above, the FCI uses quite different designations. Mudis can be born with a partial or complete bobtails, which, though rare, are not considered faults.

The origin of the breed is believed to come from the mixing of native Hungarian dogs and German herding breeds with pricked ears. The breed was found as a shepherd's dog living in Hungary rather than being specifically created from these stocks. There is some dispute as to the age of this breed and the other Hungarians: the puli and the pumi. The breeds appear to be more closely related than many want to believe, with dogs that look more like the mudi being born every once in a while into litters of the other two breeds. As with so many breeds, the mudi nearly died out during World War II. During the 1960s, the remaining dogs were bred from to create the breed as it is known today.

Health issues seen in the breed are rather varied and include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia, skin problems, albinism, wheat allergies, cataracts, and epilepsy. It seems that epilepsy is of greatest concern.

Sources are the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, American Kennel Club, and American Mudi Association. Images are from Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licenses: one, two.

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