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Herding Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Mudi has probably been in existence since the 18th Century, but the exact time is difficult to pinpoint due to the confusion in the different names of the herding dogs that were used in Hungary. While it is commonly believed that the Puli is the oldest of the Hungarian sheep herding breeds, and that the Pumi and the Mudi were derived from that breed, that may not be the case. It is possible that the Mudi, with its many ancient features, is the result of crosses between spitz-type dogs and other naturally occurring herding dogs of the time and region.

The breed’s history is not precisely known. The Mudi was only officially recognized as a breed in 1936.

The Mudi was recognized by the United Kennel Club July 1, 2006.

General Appearance

The Mudi is a medium-sized herding dog with spitz-like qualities. It has a wedge-shaped head, prick ears, moderate bone and a compact body with a sloping topline. The face and front of the legs are covered with short, smooth hair, while the rest of the coat is somewhat longer and very wavy to curly. The Mudi comes in a variety of different colors.


The Mudi is lively, tractable, intelligent and keen. Very courageous, the Mudi is extremely popular with shepherds and is often used on large and difficult livestock. He makes an exceptional guard, watch and alarm dog, and is an excellent agility dog and all around companion.


The wedge-shaped head tapers towards the nose.


The skull and forehead are slightly domed. The occiput is inconspicuous and the eyebrows are only moderately developed. There is a barely perceptible stop.


The muzzle is tapering, yet strong. The nasal bone is straight. The length of the muzzle is slightly less than half the length of the head. The lips are clean and tight fitting. The lip pigment corresponds to the color of the nose pigment.


The Mudi has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Very Serious Fault: Missing teeth.
Disqualifications: Undershot, overshot more than 1/8 inch, or wry mouth.


The nose is narrow, rounded at the front, and has moderately well-opened nostrils. In the black, white, fawn and blue merle dogs, the nose is always black. In the other colors, it harmonizes with the color of the coat.

Disqualification: Dudley or butterfly nose.


Narrow, slightly pointed at the corners and set slightly obliquely, giving the breed a ‘dare-devil’ expression. The eyes should be as dark as possible and have close fitting, pigmented rims. In the dilute coat colors, the eyes may be somewhat lighter. Wall or china eyes are allowable only in the merle dogs.

Disqualification: Yellow eyes in black or blue merle dogs.


Prick, V-shaped and well covered with hair that should protrude beyond the edges of the ear. The ears are 10-15 % longer than their width at the base. The ears are capable of independent movement, turning like a radar screen.

Disqualification: Hanging ears.


The medium length neck is set fairly high and is well muscled. It forms an angle with the horizontal of approximately 55 degrees. The neck is barely arched and is free from throatiness. There should not be a neck ruff, though males may have a slightly perceptible mane.


The shoulder blade is moderately sloping and well muscles. The upper arm is medium long and set at a 45-degree angle to the horizontal.


The elbows are held close to the body. The carpal joint is firm and the pasterns are upright. Bone is moderate.


The withers are pronounced, and the back is short and straight. The topline slopes towards the croup, which is short and slightly sloping. There is moderate forechest, with the sternum protruding slightly beyond the plane of the point of shoulder. The chest is deep to the level of the elbow and the ribs are somewhat flat. There is moderate tuck-up. In proportion, the Mudi is square. The distance from the top of the withers to the elbow is slightly less than the distance from the elbow to the ground.


The hind legs are long and well-muscled. The rear pastern is short and vertical.


The feet are tight and round, with springy pads and hard, slate colored nails.


The tail is set on somewhat low. At rest, the tail hangs, but with the lower third raised almost to the horizontal. When the dog is alert or on the move, the tail is carried in a sickle shape, above the topline. Docking is undesirable but not faulted. Natural bob tails are rare but do occur and are not faulted. The tail is well covered with hair.


The hair on the face and the front of the legs is short, straight and smooth. On the rest of the body, the coat is dense and shiny, very wavy or slightly curled, and approximately 1.5 to 3 inches in length. There is pronounced feathering on the back of the front legs and the upper thighs. The coat may form cow-licks or ridges.

Disqualifications: Short, smooth, flat coat on the entire body. Long coat on the face or front of legs where it should be short and smooth.


Solid and self-merle colors: Black, white, fawn (ranging from pale yellow to fox red), brown, gray, gray-brown, blue merle and red merle.

Minor white markings on chest and toes are acceptable but not desirable.
Disqualifications: Any color or combination of colors or pattern not specifically listed as acceptable.

Height And Weight

Ideal height for males is 17-18 inches, with a tolerance of one inch above or below. Ideal height for females is 16-17 inches, with a tolerance of one inch above or below. Weight for males is approximately 24-33 pounds, for females 18-26 pounds.


At a trot, the Mudi takes short, quick lively steps. The Mudi should appear to be smooth, firm and agile in action and any clumsiness or rigidity in motion should be faulted.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Dudley or butterfly nose.
Undershot, overshot more than 1/8 inch, wry mouth.
Yellow eyes in black or blue merle dogs.
Hanging ears.
Short, smooth, flat coat on the entire body.
Long coat on the face or front of legs where it should be short and smooth.
Any color or combination of colors or pattern not specifically listed as acceptable.

UKC Breed Standards: Mudi

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©Copyright 2006, United Kennel Club