The Pumi is exceptionally cute to look at, but it certainly is no lapdog. These are curious, smart, intense dogs that are extremely possessive, protective and watchful. They have a natural instinct to act as guard dogs and will use their voices liberally in the process. Pumis are reserved around strangers and unfamiliar animals, to the point of being suspicious. They are always on the go and ready to take action at a moment’s notice, especially when they are outside. Inside their own home, Pumis are affectionate, playful and devoted to their family members. They generally play well with children and other family pets, as long as they are properly socialized from an early age. These dogs are not well-suited for apartment life, as they need more open space to stretch their legs and burn off excess energy. The Pumi is not a dog for every family, especially those that are homebodies or who regularly work long hours away from the house. On the other hand, active people who are committed to doing lots of things with their dog every day, such as playing catch or fetch, taking long walks, jogging, biking, playing Frisbee or visiting the dog park, may find the Pumi to be a good choice.
Pumis are extremely active, spunky, high strung little dogs with a tremendous amount of endurance for their moderate size. Since they were bred for herding and hunting, these dogs are extremely athletic and love to run. The ideal living environment for a Pumi includes a loving home, with a medium-to-large securely-fenced yard, and regular daily outings with its owner for exercise, socialization and fresh air. This breed also thrives living on a farm or ranch, although it does not need that much space to stay happy and fit. Pumis enjoy obedience, herding, agility, flyball, freestyle, jogging and chasing tennis balls. They also love taking long, leisurely walks with their owners and having play-dates with canine friends.
This is an extremely bright, willing breed that is easy to train and fun to work with. Pumis respond best to motivational, reward-based training techniques, with lots of positive reinforcement and repetition. Many experts consider the Pumi to be one of the easier dogs to train since they are quick-learners and have a strong desire to please. It is important to start socializing Pumis at a young age, because they can become defensive and dominant around unfamiliar dogs and people.
The Pumi has an excellent sense of smell and has been used quite successfully as a bomb-and-drug-sniffing dog, as well as in search-and-rescue operations. Pumis do tend to be noisy and usually bark when they hear any sudden sound. Because of this, they aren’t the best choice for households that live close to their neighbors. Pumis are extremely inquisitive and will investigate nearly every sound, sight or scent that they hear, see or smell. This trait makes them excellent watch and guard dogs. Due to its extremely protective and forward nature, a Pumi would probably spring to attack an unknown intruder that threatened its family or challenged it directly. While Pumis are generally good with children, very young children can pester, poke and annoy them to the point where they may bark, snap or even nip. Pumis are better suited for families with older children, adolescents or no kids at all. Toys are a huge hit with most Pumis, as they love to run and chase things, as well as play fetch and other games. They are nimble and are used in various agility competitions world-wide.