Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rare Dog Breed of the Month - The Mudi

Time for August's Rare Dog Breed of the Month! This month is another sheepherding breed from Hungary called the Mudi. It's a super cute little bugger too...

Excerpt from the Desmond Morris book Dogs describes the Mudi as...

The Mudi, sometimes referred to as the Hungarian Mudi or the Hungarian sheepdog. The breed's primary function is to herd sheep. It also has several secondary roles - controlling herds of cattle, destroying vermin on farms, acting as a watchdog and, on special occasions, hunting wild boar.

It's a rare breed, with probably no more than a few hundred in existence, the Mudi is hardly ever encountered outside its homeland of Hungary. Its rough, curly coat is usually solid black but may also be white or pied.

Although a valuable defence against the elements, its coarse hair gives this dog a strangely unkempt, untidy appearance. Traditionally its tail is docked to protect it when working. Interestingly, recent photographs of the breed in Hungary show specimens without docked tails.

This is the least-known of the indigenous Hungarian dogs and was not considered a separate breed until the 1930's when a careful study was made of the different types of sheepdog working in country districts. It was then given its modern name of Mudi by Dezso Fenyesi, the director of a local musum in the town of Balassagyarmat. He was the first person to take a special interst in the dog and to organize selective breeding in an attempt to stabilize it. Previously its breeding had been left entirely to shepherds and herdsmen and even today there are still some local variations in the appearance of the breed.

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