If you’re a fan of dog breed competitions, such as the American Kennel Club’s Westminster show, be prepared to see a new breed trotting across the stage for its chance to be judged. Although its name (Pumi), sounds more like a fashion accessory, this fluffy dog will surely steal your heart now that it’s an officially recognized AKC breed.
The Pumi is the AKC’s 190th dog in its roster of accepted breeds. From Hungary, this dog will be in the herding group. The herding group is the AKC’s newest group, created in 1983. As the name suggests, all dogs in this group have the ability to control where other animals move to. These dogs don’t have to be big to herd animals like cows, who are much bigger than them, because they just leap and nip at their heels to get them to move. If you own a dog from the herding group, you may notice they try to control where you or your kids go. This is just a natural instinct for them. Dogs like the Pumi tend to be intelligent and trainable.
If a dog in the herding group sounds like your kind of pet, be prepared to stay active or get active. Pumik, which is the plural of Pumi, should be in households who can take them on a lot of walks and keep them busy. They are very energetic dogs who need space to run around and let loose. If you live in the city, make sure to plan plenty of visits to a local park so they can stretch their legs.
The Pumi’s coat is wavy and curly, so you will need to brush them and give them baths occasionally, but this isn’t really any different than owning any other dog. AKC Vice President, Gina DiNardo, said, “We’re thrilled to have the Pumi receive full AKC recognition. This lively, adorable dog makes a wonderful companion for a family willing to provide lots of exercise and mental activity.”
You may wonder why all of a sudden the AKC is admitting the Pumi into their club. Turns out a dog has to be more than cute to make it in. The AKC doesn’t even have to look for new breeds, new breeds come to them. Fans of a new or rare breed submit their idea to the AKC for consideration This group of people must submit paperwork to complete their application, such as a breed history and photographs of the dog as a puppy and full grown. Maintaining all of this information takes a lot of work, so the representing group for the new breed can enroll into the AKC Foundation Stock Service, which will begin keeping track of all of this paperwork for them.
Before joining the herding group, the Pumi (and all dogs that went through the same process), were members of the Miscellaneous class. To be a part of this class, there must be interest by at least 100 households and a club must be formed for the breed. The dog breed must also be present in at least 20 states. Dogs typically stay in the Miscellaneous class for 1-3 years, after which the board of directors of the AKC vote to allow the breed in or not. I’m exhausted just reading this!
The next time you see a Pumi prancing across the stage, clap extra loud, both for the dog and its breed club, who made it possible for him to compete.