Type: Herding Dog
Height: 14 - 19 inches.
Weight: 18 - 40 lbs.
Life Span: 15 + years.
Litter Size: 4 - 7 puppies.
Country of Origin: Hungary
Watch-dog: Very High.
Guard-dog: Very High.
Description: The Puli (plural Pulik) is a compact, squarely appearing, well balanced dog of medium size. Their most prominent feature is their corded fur, making them the perfect mascot for the mop. White Pulik look just like a corded mop, with their cords spilling out and over their head and body. They can come in colors of apricot, white, black or rusted black. As puppies, the fur is simply very curly or wavy, and when they get older their fur begins to cord. Pulik are smaller than the Komondor, but have worked alongside them for years. The Hungarian Puli is vigorous, alert, loving, fun and funny. Despite its appearance, the Puli is no pushover and if given the chance will put any self-respecting human to shame. Used successfully as police dogs in Hungary, they make great companions. They are affectionate, loving and playful with their owners and with friends. They are wary of strangers however, and do make excellent watch and guard dogs. Pulik enjoy being vocal, and a new owner will soon learn this shortly after their adoption of this breed. Puppies are highly intelligent and quick to learn. Pulik have been known to be very intelligent, excellent problem solvers, and very good at what they were bred for, herding. They can be rather independent and are not the most obedient dogs, as they get bored if repetition is used in the training. The Puli is a great dog for an intelligent, active owner seeking an intelligent, active friend.
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Other Names: Pulik, Hungarian Puli, Hungarian Water Dog, Drover
Colors: Black, rusty black, white or various shades of gray and apricot, with an overall appearance of solid color.
Coat: Dense and weatherproof, the outer coat is wavy or curly, while the undercoat is soft and woolly. Correct proportion of each creates the desired cords. They start forming cords when they are becoming adults, as puppies do not have cords. There is extensive care taken with the coat to make the cords presentable, or the coat can be brushed out into an afro.
Temperament: Pulik are responsive, obedient, and agile. They are very intelligent, unconvinced of doing what you say, but are great problem solvers. They like to herd and have a strong instinct for it. Pulik are active, loving and devoted to family. They are playful and affectionate with family and friends, and like to be very vocal. They are wary with strangers, making them excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. Pulik are quick learners, and have been known to pick up concepts quickly as a puppy. They are also very adaptable, making them able to live in versatile environments.
With Children: Yes, will try to herd them.
With Pets: Yes, good with other pets, as they are slow to anger. They will try to herd them.
Care and Training: The Puli coat does not shed but requires special grooming. From time to time the cords should be separated by your fingers. The fluffy Puli coat needs to be brushed and combed to prevent mats from forming. Always dampen the coat before working with it. Bathing the Puli can take up to a couple of hours, they should be dried afterwards. Extremely energetic, the Puli needs daily vigorous exercise. Take it easy on hot days, however.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - High. They are very intelligent but may be bored by training sessions. Time should be taken to make sure training is not redundant.
Special Needs: Attention, grooming, protection from the heat, supervision when swimming, and training.
Living Environment: A house with a yard is preferable or a rural area. Puli are not suited for hot climates. The owner of a Puli should be a strong, competent leader who has time to train, socialize, exercise and groom the Puli. The best owner for this breed would be an active individual or family living in a rural or suburban home with a yard.
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, cataracts, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and deafness.
History: A national treasure to the Hungarians, the Puli was brought across by the Magyars when they invaded Eastern Europe in the 9th century. Similar to the Tibetan Terrier except in color, it is said that the Tibetan Terrier may have been foundation stock of this breed. The Puli's name is derived from Puli Hou, which actually means "Destroyer Huns". Another translation of the word Puli means "leader" in Hungarian. Used as sheepdogs in Hungary along side the larger Komondor, the Puli was the smaller dog and would round up the strays while the Komondor stood guard. They were used as a herder of sheep and cattle. Their corded coat gave protection from injury-inflicting hooves. Pulik were bred for their workability, and dogs of this breed who did not have much workability were not even considered Pulik, nor kept as pets. The breed survived some time and eventually developed another breed called the Pumi. Both coexisted together and were bred together for years until after World War II. Due to the Wars, the Puli diminished into smaller numbers and was on the edge of extinction. A breeder named Emil Raitsits brought the breed back into business, and the Puli flourished again, this time not breeding with the Pumi any longer, as they had been distinguished as separate breeds. The breed was prized for its high intelligence, eagerness to work and ability to work. Even today, a puppy Puli will pick things up quickly. In some parts of the world today this breed is used as a successful police dog, while in Hungary today they are still seen herding flocks.
First Registered by the AKC: 1936
AKC Group: Herding Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 1), KC(GB), UKC