Puli

The Puli (pluralized as Pulik) is a compact, squarely proportioned dog notable for its distinctive corded coat. The head is of medium size, with hanging v-shaped ears that are largely obscured by the coat. Eyes are almond shaped, large, deepset and dark brown in color. The stop is well defined, and the muzzle is straight and strong, ending in a black nose and filled with powerful teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The body is strong and athletic, enabling the Puli to change directions quickly and move with an effortless stride. The tail is carried over the back, blending into the topline. A soft, dense and woolly undercoat is covered by a wavy or curly outer coat, also woolly, that forms into cords in adults; the coat is very long and will reach to the ground if left untrimmed. Coloring is solid black, gray, rusty black or white.

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Fast Facts

Herding
11 - 15 years
Hungary
9th century
27 - 35 lb
25 - 33 lb
17"
16"
Pully, Puly, Pulle, Pule, or Pulik.
Hungarian Puli, Hungarian Water Dog

Puli Temperament

The Puli is an opinionated little ball of energy, and longtime owners of the breed insist that it has the most unique personality in dogdom....

The dog is smart and mischievous, with a great sense of humor and an uncanny ability to get what it wants. The Puli is also very busy and curious, and seems to be able to easily pick up on the moods of his family and the goings on of the house. Pulik do not get along with strangers and, oftentimes, with other dogs; aggression toward these two groups is common. Though occasionally overly boisterous, the Puli is good with children and tolerates other pets admirably. The dog’s protective instincts and great love for barking make it an excellent watch dog and a passable guard dog.

Caring For a Puli

Owning a Puli is a big responsibility....

The Puli is energetic and busy, and is always on the lookout for a job to be done. To ensure that your dog does not become hyperactive or pestering, daily vigorous exercise is a must. Ideally, an activity or game should allow your Puli to express his herding instinct. This dog can live outside in temperate climates, but is happiest when allowed to sleep inside. You have two choices with coat care: if you choose to brush, expect to brush the coat every day or two; if the coat is left corded, the cords need to be separated regularly to prevent matting and dirt build up. The ground-touching coat will pick up dirt and other debris. Bathing a Puli takes quite a long time, and drying may require up to a day. Pulik live for a long time, and do not carry any hereditary illnesses other than canine hip dysplasia.

Puli History

A Brief History of the Puli

The Puli’s ancient origins are somewhat obscure....

Shepherding dogs resembling the Puli, Kuvasz and Komondor were brought with the Magyar tribes to the Danube area of Hungary during the 9th century, though it is widely believed that these dogs had served the Magyar long before the Common Era, and may have existed as far back as 2000 BC. The Puli’s diminutive size, square proportion and carriage have led some to hypothesize that the Tibetan Spaniel may have influenced the development of the breed. The energetic Puli was employed as the Magyars’ primary shepherding dog, and was renowned for its great skill in this job; Pulik have even been known to jump on a sheep’s back in order to make it submit. After Ottoman invasions leveled Hungary during the 16th century, the country was repopulated with dogs from Western Europe. Interbreeding of these dogs with the Puli produced a dog known as the Pumi, and subsequent pairings between Pumi and Puli led to the original Puli’s near extinction by the early 20th century. Efforts to resurrect the Puli in its native Hungary led to the first breed standard in 1925. Before then, the Puli had been divided into large “police,” medium “working,” and small “dwarf” variations but the standard established that the medium size was closest to the classic Puli. The US Department of Agriculture began importing Pulik in 1935 in an effort to improve American herding dogs, and the Puli was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936. The Puli is rarely seen as a pet outside of its native Hungary, and is often viewed as an exotic oddity by those unfamiliar with the breed.