Mudi Dog Overview – Appearance, Temperament, Needs & More

A merle mudi dog walking along a yellow beam on an agility course.

Mudi dogs are one of the lesser-known breeds of working dogs. They are medium sized, intelligent, hardworking, and fiercely loyal.

Although they were originally bred to be working dogs, they also make great pets. There are only a few thousand Mudi dogs in the world, and the majority of them live in Hungary.

What is a Mudi dog? A Mudi dog is a breed of sheepdog that originated in Hungary as a working dog. Mudi dogs were first intentionally bred in the 1930s, and they became an official breed in 1936. The AKC did not officially recognize the breed until 2022. Mudi dogs are rare but becoming increasingly popular.

If you are thinking about adding a Mudi dog to your family, in the following you’ll learn more about the origins of this breed as well as their personalities so you can decide if this adorable pup is right for you.

Mudi Dog Overview

Mudi dogs have an interesting history and personalities to match. While they are primarily bred as working dogs in Hungary, these adorable pups are becoming popular pets. 

Mudi Origins & History

Mudi dogs originated in Hungary from sheepdogs. Until 1936, these sheepdogs were only classified by size.

In the early 1930s, Dr. Deszö Fényesi began separately breeding smaller sheepdogs and gave the Mudi dog its name.

Like many of Hungary’s breeds, the Mudi dog was almost eliminated during WWII.

In the 1960s, breeders began to reestablish the breed, and by 1966, Dr. Zoltan Balassy created the breed standard to apply for FCI recognition.

The FCI approved the breed standard in 1966, but even today, very few people choose to breed Mudi dogs.

In 2000 a new breed standard was created to allow for new color variations that occur naturally within the breed, and in 2022 the AKC announced the breed’s full recognition.

Mudi Appearance

Mud dogs are small and muscular. They have wedge-shaped heads with pointed ears and long muzzles. They have almond-shaped eyes that are usually dark.

Their faces and the fronts of their legs are covered in short hair, but the rest of the coat is long, wavy, and dense.

Mudi Size

The breed standard for Mudi dogs requires males to be between 16 inches and 18½ inches tall and females to be between 15 inches and 17½ inches tall.

Males should weigh between 24 and 29 pounds, and females should weigh between 18 and 24 pounds.

Mudi Colors

Acceptable colors for Mudi dogs include black, brown, white, yellow, and gray. Mixed colors include gray and brown, yellow and white, and merle.

White markings are allowed on all colors but are not preferred. 

Mudi Temperament & Trainability

Mudi dogs are friendly and intelligent. They are easy to train and energetic. They love to train and please their owners and are known for being hard workers.

They are brave and protective over their families and livestock but are not overly aggressive.

Mudi Energy Level & Exercise Needs

Since Mudi dogs were bred to be working dogs, they need a lot of stimulation and prefer purpose-driven tasks. They love to run and need plenty of space to do so.

They have high energy levels, but they are content resting when they feel their job is done.

They have herding instincts and may sometimes herd children and other animals out of instinct.

Mudi Grooming Requirements

Mudi dogs have dense coats that are short around the face but longer around the rest of the body. They can be curly or wavy. The coat has just enough texture to keep it from matting easily.

Mudi dogs, while not considered to be hypoallergenic, are low maintenance and only need to be brushed and bathed once a week.

Mudi Health

Mudi dogs are an overall healthy breed, but they can be susceptible to certain health problems. Some of those health problems include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Congenital cataracts
  • Color dilution alopecia

Health testing and regular veterinary checkups can help keep Mudi dogs healthy and allow veterinarians to diagnose and treat health problems in the early stages.

An adult Mudi dog with a merle coat and blue eyes running across a grassy lawn.

Is Mudi Recognized by AKC?

The AKC officially recognized the Mudi in 2022, but the breed has been participating in AKC companion events since 2008 and was recorded in the Foundation Stock Service in 2004.

Are Mudi Dogs Rare?

Mudi dogs are considered rare. There’s estimated to be only a few thousand in existence and only about 450 in the United States. There is also a limited number of breeders.

How Much Does a Mudi Dog Cost?

Mudi dogs cost between $2,000 and $3,000. There are very few breeders, and the price reflects their availability. 

Related Questions: 

Are Mudi Dogs Good Off Leash?

Yes, Mudi dogs do well off leash when properly trained and in a safe setting. They tend to stay close to their owners and are very smart and capable of following commands.

Do Mudi Dogs Shed?

Mud dogs are considered moderate shedders. Regular brushing can help reduce shedding and improve the look of the coat.

Particular attention should be given to areas of high friction, such as behind the front legs and where the collar sits on the neck.

Conclusion 

Mudi dogs are new to the AKC, but they have been around since at least the 1800s. They are great working dogs and do well in competitions and shows. They also make great pets.

They are friendly, smart, healthy, and low-maintenance companions.

If you are thinking about bringing a Mudi into your family, be sure to research the breed thoroughly to ensure this is the right dog for you as they are quite energetic and may be too much for some people.