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Question about herding style in Hungary

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#1 clbmine



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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:14 PM

I am not experienced with herding, which is why I am asking this as I wish to learn more, 

I have only seen herding in Hungary once when I went to meet my pups father, so I am not experienced in the style used in Hungary, only from what I observed.  

But here are vids of my pups father working for reference to what I have seen.  

Bringing the cattle in from the field

Moving the cattle close by
Keeping the pigs inside whilst farmer puts feed out for them

Anyway, as a breed Mudi are called the "driving dog" of Hungary, in reference to their herding style.  
And from what I can tell, Pumi, Puli, and Sinka are also used in a similar manner, as well as Croatian sheepdogs and Pulin which are practically the same breed as Mudi.  

What I notice is that the breed is used mostly for moving stock, but "pushing" it in the direction desired (driving).  

I like this video of this 8 month old Pumi herding to show how they seem to be used to "push".  
And I like this video of a Mudi too.  

There are "traditional style" herding competitions as well in Hungary, to give more examples to help give a more "balanced" view if I can...  
Merle Mudi

Black Mudi

And Kiss Gabor and "Nudli" herding, well known (I think)
Though it seems sometimes he doesn't even use the dog at all, its kind of hilarious!  d

Sometimes the dog can be very barky and enthusiastic, 
With a lot of "go"   (that many may not let near their stock at all)
And sometimes they are just barking at cattle with no control.  

Sometimes the dog can seem well trained 
And possibly useful for bringing in the animals

and for good measure, one last video, because I haven't posted enough!

A breeder of Pumi who lives in the US trains her Pumi in a more "american style".  
Her lines are closely linked to lines in Hungary.  
She sent me these videos as a reference to her Pumi herding.  
Pumi herding sheep
First time herding ducks with her Pumi

More herding sheep


Anyway, what I see their purpose being is as a dog which stands by the shepherds side, and is used to push the livestock with a lot of speed when needed, or bring them in.  They also seem able to work stock a lot more "calmly" too when needed.  Such as when moving ducks.  

And they dont seem to use much independent thought or stock sense?    

I was asked how this could even be useful...  And I dont really have a huge answer.  

They are not just used for herding, but also ratting and alerting to threats, and even hunting.  
So perhaps their use is not just as a herding dog, but for everything?  

But they are still used for herding in Hungary, and the croatian sheepdog in croatia, and the Pulin too.  
Unlike some other breeds, they dont seem completely replaced by border collies.  I dont know if they are in the process of being replaced, but they currently at least still see use on farms....   

This is from someone who doesn't know much about herding, so perhaps someone can make sense of what bits of information I am trying to put together...  

Perhaps I am completely wrong with my assumption and need a smack on the wrist?  



#2 denice


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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:04 PM

I think every country /region that uses herding dogs and has developed that breed has done so to suit their particular livestock and work needed.  I would think researching the original intent for the breed and reading how the dog was used will give you information on why they do the things they do.  Didn't look a whole lot differnt than other driving dogs I have seen.  Most do not have the eye for balance so they pushing stock is lots different for them than dogs with eye. most of the driving breeds do not have much of a gather and can work close to stock because they are loose eyed.  The barking and other things help them move stock again because they do not intimidate them with a predatory stalking movement. 

Upright Border Collies can work rather close to stock as well.


Most of the farm type dogs were jack of all trades, again depends on the area where they were bred and what traits have been selected for over the years.


I find the history of breeds of dogs interesting.  Sure explains many tendencies found in breeds

#3 Smalahundur


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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:52 PM

Jack off all trades, master of none...;)

"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"

#4 Maja


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Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:48 AM

It looks like you did a lot of good research on their work :)


I know a couple of mudis, and I have worked with them (not on a regular basis though) .  They are indeed  dogs that like to push, so training them on a small, flighty flock is very hard, and it is better to have a larger and a bit heavier flock. They seem to have little sense of balance, which is not surprising, and they are keen in their work in the mudi style of course.  They need to be trained to be mudis not border collies :)  , particularly in regards to balance, of course they will have to learn to be on both sides of the sheep, but their instinct is to be between the sheep and the handler and this need to be used in the beginning as the basis for training. 


Shepherds who do not leave sheep anywhere far off  but stay with them, also do not need a dog that can fetch them form miles off. But they may need a dog that provides some protection for the shepherd and the flock, and who alerts them to what's going on, and who are in contact with the shepherd.  Mudi's are really good at it.  They do better with larger flocks, and their barking covers both giving warning and helps pushing the flock.  


Now, if the original conditions of raising sheep change, the role of mudi and their usefulness may change too.


(Mudis have also this plus that are often seen herding the beautiful Hungarian racka sheep :D)

"Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds" - Prov. 27-23

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