The Pumi is a medium-small sheepdog that originates from Hungary. They are the result of crossbreeding a Puli and a German or a French terrier, which has given the Pumi their quintessential square shape and noble, long head. Along with these features they possess semi-erect ears and a circular tail that lifts up over their backs. But what about their coat and more specifically shedding? Can owners expect this dog to shed a lot of hair and what are they like for allergy sufferers? Here is what you should know.
So, do Pumi dogs shed? Pumi dogs rarely shed and they are considered to be a Hypoallergenic breed. This is because they possess a wavy and curly coat that does not experience much fallout. It is never smooth or corded, but instead has a corkscrew appearance. While the Pumi coat is considered easy to care for, it does require combing every few weeks to prevent matting, and wetting to restore the tufts that are characteristic to the breed.
One of the primary benefits of owning a Pumi is that their coat does not require as much work or maintencence as you can expect with other breeds.
They make a fantastic companion and are suitable for families with children, active seniors, and those looking for a playful and energetic dog.
Let us now take a closer look at the unique coat of the Pumi and explore the amount they typically shed in further detail.
We will also be taking a look at some of those closely related and often asked questions; such as whether or not this breed is hypoallergenic and what allergy sufferers will need to know.
Lastly we will cover some expert tips and suggestions that owners can use to keep their dogs curly coat healthy and in tip top condition.
So be sure to keep on reading until the end to get all the information that you will need if you ever look to own this breed!
The Pumi Coat
Pumi’s are renown for their distinctive coat. It is double layered; comprising of 50% soft hair (undercoat) and 50% harsher hair (topcoat), with all hairs being the same length.
Visibly, it appears corkscrew-curled. It can also come in a range of colors, from varying shades of grey, white, fawn or even black.
Interestingly, Pumi puppies will start greying at the age of around 6-8 weeks, and over time the coat slowly lightens until it reaches a shade similar to the parental dogs.
While it is considered easy to care for, the coat must be properly maintained in order for this dog to possess their characteristic appearance and that of the breed standard.
In this way, a Pumi should never appear to be fluffed or even blown dry.
As such, a properly cared for and groomed Pumi, should have medium long, curled hair that forms tufts all over the body.
In order to achieve this, owners must look to comb the coat every three to six weeks. This is in order to prevent matting.
Beyond this, the coat does need regular and thorough wetting down, which should then be let to dry naturally, to ensure it is able to effectively and properly curl.
Pumi’s do need their coat trimmed and stripped every couple of months to give it a tidy, keep it hygienic and ensure that it is comfortable for the dog.
Whether or not you do this yourself as the owner, or hire a professional is going to come down to your circumstances and preference, but more owners seek the advice and assistance of a professional – especially at first.
While this breed’s coat does not become corded naturally, it does require human intervention to not only keep it under control, but to ensure it does not tangle or matt excessively.
How Bad Do Pumis Shed?
Pumi dogs do shed, just like all dog breeds will to some extent. However, they are considered to be a low shedding breed.
The only time owners often experience noticeable hair fallout, is when the coat is brushed. Even then, the hair is likely to collect in the brush.
Nevertheless, to help avoid Pumi hairs being deposited on clothes, carpets, furniture, and other furnishings, it is generally recommended that you comb your Pumi outdoors.
To keep a Pumi in optimal condition, it’s generally advised that you comb the coat every 2-3 weeks. This will help to minimize matting and to also remove any debris that may have collected in the curls.
After which, you will want to wet down the entire coat with water and leave it it to naturally air dry. This will enable the tufts to curl.
Are Pumis Hypoallergenic?
Pumi dogs are considered hypoallergenic, and they are tend to be better for people who suffer with dog allergies.
However, I must emphasize here that no dog is truly, 100% hypoallergenic. Instead, the term is used loosely to describe any low-shedding dog. This is why:
All dogs do shed to some degree, along with releasing dander (allergens and proteins that are contained in skin cells, saliva and urine) and are what people with allergies react to.
It is is in low shedding dogs that dander is released minimally, and thus those with allergies do not seem to react so badly, if at all.
When it comes to the Pumi, they are actually as close to hypoallergenic as you can get with a dog. Their hair sheds little, if at all.
To help reduce and minimize allergens further, it is recommended that a Pumi is groomed and combed more frequently. Consider that when doing so hair and dander will be released – so save this for a time when an allergy suffer is not going to be around!
Tips For Maintaining And Grooming The Pumi Coat
The quintessential Pumi coat is elegant, thick, curly, and neither too long nor too short. Its a coat that possesses attractive “locks of hair.”
The coat can be well kept by regular grooming which involves gentle combing, wetting and air drying. Its advised never to blow-dry the coat as this will take away their signature curly locks of hair.
By all means, if you did want to use a hairdryer, you can but you will need to do so on a low setting. Never brush at the same time.
To better understand how your Pumi’s coat should look, consider taking your dog swimming for several days in a row. Every time, let them dry naturally. This will give their coat the characteristic Pumi look.
Your dog must have their coat stripped or trimmed every few months to keep it looking at it’s best.
The coat of a strong-bodied Pumi should always be kept shorter than a light-bodied Pumi; they can have longer hair and it will benefit them in turn.
The coat should be rounded with no visible sharp edges. The forechest and the buttocks should be trimmed short to maintain the square-appearance.
When trimming, pay attention to the skull, and the cheeks should not be more prominent than the muzzle – the cheeks should be short.
The profile of the head must be kept straight; the hair on the ears should be rounded.
Hairs should be pulled out of the ear canal, these dogs hate the sensation, but it is better for ear health.
Trim the hair on the legs; when the tail curls, you should be able to see through the curl.
The legs don’t require frequent trimming but make sure that the legs look straight and that the hairs on the feet are rounded. Don’t forget to cut the nails.
The order of grooming for this dog entails:
- Plucking ( if you comb vigorously, you can skip this step)
- Wetting down or bathing and patting them dry with a towel, do this gently
- Allowing your dog to air dry
- Trimming with scissors
Begin by combing out your Pumi’s fur until they are fluffy. Shorten their hair by plucking out the longer hairs; you can pull out the long hairs with just your fingers.
The hairs will come out easily, and you won’t hurt your dog.
Use the stripping comb to pull out much of your Pumi’s hair.
After plucking the hairs, bathe your Pumi, you can also wet him down using a spray bottle.
When you are finished, you can gently pat them down with a towel and allow them to finish off drying on their own – this lets the curly hair curl back up again.
If you use shampoo, this softens the coat for up to two weeks. However, the firmness does come back.
Once your Pumi is dry, take the scissors to trim the body, neck, head, buttocks, legs, and forecast.
Find a diagram to work from online, like on the AKC site.
Consider the grooming tools required for your Pumi:
Look for a slicker style, pin brush that glides through your dog’s coat with minimum wrist movement involved. It removes the dead undercoat, which is ideal for your Pumi.
This would not be any comb; you require a long-tooth undercoat rake, this clears away all kinds of tangles and mats, and it would work very well for your Pumi’s curly coat.
It removes loose hair, along with dirt and dander. The round teeth ends of the comb equally will not scratch or irritate your Pumi’s skin.
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You must ensure you use a shampoo intended and designed for dogs, never use humans as dogs have a different PH to us and human products can cause irritation, inflammation and itching.
Do not bathe your Pumi more than once every four to six weeks unless they get very dirty or muddy. The good thing about the Pumi coat is that when it does get dirty, the dirt doesn’t stick to the coat!
Before trimming the hairs from your Pumi’s ears, always pull out any loose hairs from the ear canal first.
Hemostats do this job much easier than ordinary tweezers; it pulls hairs from the ear canals safely, reducing the risk of infection and ear irritation. It would help if you also got an 8″ long scissors to do the touch-up work.
The Pumi makes an excellent companion for many households; they are great with children and have a loving, playful personality!
Thankfully, pumik (plural for Pumi) is as close to being hypoallergenic as a dog can be and they have an easy to care for coat.
Grooming can be tedious and time-consuming with a lot of breeds – but this will not be a problem if you decide for a Pumi.
Nevertheless, some brushing and bathing will be involved, just as it would with any dog. Many owners look at grooming as a great bonding opportunity so try and see the positives that this activity can bring.
While Pumis are not high-maintenance in regards to grooming, they are when it comes to activity. This breed is not for people who like the sedentary life, they are very energetic and clever, and you must provide outlets for their physical and mental well-being.
An owner who is athletic and outgoing will get along famously with their Pumi. Your days will be filled, walking, playing fetch, or letting your dog out to play.
Pumi’s also thrive when they get to play puzzles while indoors, as this will challenge their intellect and put their brains to the test.
If you do decide to get a Pumi, you should strongly consider enrolling them in sports such as agility and obedience; it will greatly benefit them and they simply love the activity!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.