Never Blow Dry!

There is only one line in the Pumi AKC breed standard written in bold italics when it is seen in the original format:

The coat must never appear fluffed and blown dry, obscuring the characteristic curls.

Blow drying a Mudi coat is a big “no no” in a conformation ring because this active and versatile breed is covered with curls or corkscrews all over its glorious body. Unlike the Puli or Mudi with whom the breed shares a common ancestry, the Pumi is neither corded nor straight and smooth coated. Rather, a Pumi coat consists of 50% soft hair and 50% harsher hair, the combination of wavy and curly hair forming curls that go all the way down to the skin. Not all Pumik have curls that are “uber” tight, and sometimes they don’t appear until a dog is two or three years old, but the coat must be curled and form locks. Leg hair may have different types of curls, but they are curls, nonetheless.

If a judge cannot tell if the dog on which they have their hands has a correct coat or not, chances are good that it has been blown dry because the only way to get these curls is to let the coat dry naturally.

This isn’t just a “show” thing. The Pumi’s coat serves a functional purpose; the curls provide insulation through various weather conditions and are virtually weather-resistant, a very important quality in a working dog that has herded sheep, cattle, pigs and geese for a very long time.

An insightful explanation of the Pumi coat can be found in an article written by Chris Levy who also provides illustrations; That article can be read here. 

 Image: Pumi by LA Shepherd


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