The pumi – as unique as the name sounds – is the American Kennel Club’s newest breed.
This Hungarian herding dog is a high energy pooch that will be joining the American Kennel Club’s roster of the country’s oldest purebred dog records. The Kennel Club will be making the announcement Wednesday, as the pumi becomes the 190th dog on the registry. This means the pumi can officially head on to the Westminster Kennel Club and other US dog shows, and can compete for the first time, says The News Tribune.
The pumi has a friendly, whimsical expression, a coat of curls and ears that flop at the tips. Dog enthusiasts say its genial air belies a strong work ethic.
The pumi goes back centuries in Hungarian history, where its 20 to 30-pound bulk was able to herd cattle, sheep, and hogs. The breed is related to the puli dogs, which is already recognized by the American Kennel Club and is known for its coat of long dreadlocks and somehow reggae-looking air.
Like other herding dogs, pumik – the correct plural term for pumi – are very active and alert. Chris Levy, president of the Hungarian Pumi Club of America, says, “They’re not for somebody who’s going to sit and watch TV all day long.” He does add that if the dogs have enough exercise and stimulation, they are capable of “chilling out” after.
Pumik are considered to be fast learners and have proven themselves good at canine sports. These agile dogs are known to herd rabbits, chickens, goats and even cats in the US. Levy, who breeds pumik in Salem, Oregon, has been working with other pumi enthusiasts to grow the breed’s population in the US for the past 20 years, but it has remained rare.
The American Kennel Club requires a breed to have a least 300 dogs nationwide, among other things. Two other new breeds, the ancient North African hound named the sloughi and the American hairless terrier, have also been recognized in January and like the pumi, will be joining Westminster for the first time next year.
The sloughi is a member of the sightjound family, primarily found in Morocco. They are short-haired, middle-sized dogs with droopy ears and lean bodies. Sloughi dogs appear to have melancholy expressions, but are actually a sensitive, alert and intelligent breed. They are active hounds that require constant exercise, particularly running, and are very faithful to their owners.
The American hairless terrier is an incredibly rare breed, from a variant of the Rat Terrier. Social and energetic, these terriers are working dogs and are a good choice for people with allergies. Small and smooth, American hairless terriers have upright ears and long tails. They are intelligent, curious and enjoy agility games. They also like to dig, chase smaller animals and bark when alarmed, making them good watchdogs.