“What could be that force, which makes particular people like maniacs, to deal with things which are worthless, ignored in the eyes of the majority of others?”
This question kicks off a 2003 essay by Dr. Péter Pongrácz (Professor of Ethology, at the Institute of Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary) regarding enthusiasts of the little-known breed of Hungarian herding dog – the Mudi – which has recently featured in research into the communicative functions of dog barks (see Barking in Budapest, Improbable Research, March12, 2010 ).
Although the Mudi breed was not formerly recognised until the 1930s it had been used as a workdog for many years, perhaps centuries, by Hungarian shepherds and cattlemen. The Mudi might be unique in this dual-use (sheep/cattle) as it behaves quite differently according to its work.
Professor Pongrácz explains – “A cattle herding Mudi has to be very tough, it has to bite fiercely the cows. In contrast, a sheepherding Mudi should be much more ‘gentle’, it is allowed only to nip the sheep, if it is needed.”
They also make good pets – “I can advise a Mudi for anybody, who wants a dog which is not affected by the weather, is quite low-maintenance, but at the same time it is easy to keep in the house, too. The Mudi does not shed too much fur, and it is almost totally odorless!” And with the added advantage – “…the Mudi is an ideal dog for everybody who is afraid that their dog would be lost during a walk! With a Mudi such a thing cannot almost happen.”
The professor’s essay can be read in full here
Also see: Mudis involved in Hungarian Dog Dancing (DD) activities.