(aka: Hungarian Puli, Hungarian Water Dog)
The Puli is a distinctive looking dog with a square, sturdy build, and is medium in size. He always has an eager expression, and often looks as though he is about to do something that he oughtn't. His coat is profuse and forms into cords, which do require extensive grooming. The color of the coat can vary, and includes charcoal, rust black, black, and white. The weight of the Puli is around 28-35 pounds, and the height of these dogs is around 16-17 inches.
Very intelligent and quick to learn, the Puli is a lively and spirited animal. These dogs have bags of energy and enthusiasm, and are fun loving, sociable, and sweet natured. He is agile, and has plenty of stamina. However, he can be very stubborn, overly confident, and very demanding, which can make training something of a challenge. This breed is best suited to a confident and assertive owner with experience of dog training and ownership. He is also very quick on his feet, and has an inquisitive nature, which means that his play or exercise area should be safe and secure. This shaggy and lovable creature has a cheerful disposition, and enjoys spending time with his owners - he is not for the inactive, however, as he does need regular exercise.
The Puli gets along well with older, gentle children, as well as with other animals. However, beware his herding instincts, as he will try and herd people and pets into groups. He should also not be trusted around smaller creatures that run around, as his instincts will result in him chasing them. When it comes to strangers the Puli can be a wary dog. Early socialization is recommended with this breed in order to promote a stable temperament. His suspicion does make him an effective watchdog. Although these dogs can be a little naughty and mischievous, as well as extremely lively and demanding, they can make wonderful family pets for those with the time and attention to devote to them - as well as the confidence to handle them!
The good news is that the Puli is a low shedder, so the house proud and those with allergies do not have to worry. However, those with little time for grooming may find that they have bitten off more than they can chew. The corded coat of the Puli requires a lot of attention, although there are a number of options available when it comes to grooming. In order to keep the coat looking good, you will need to separate the cords by hand every few weeks. You will need to bathe him too, and drying can take a whole day. His cords will need to be clipped before they reach the floor. On the other hand, you can keep the cords clipped short to reduce the grooming time for this breed, and some people decide to brush out the cords as soon as they start to form.
The history of the Puli is fascinating. Since the ninth century, nomadic shepherds on the Steppes of Hungary have utilized two kinds of sheep dogs. One is the familiar large, white guard dog (Komondor) that was used to protect the flock at night. The other was a small active herding dog, the Puli, and it was this little bundle of energy that actually herded the sheep by day.
The shepherds did not cross breed the two types and through the centuries the unique characteristics of each became firmly fixed and it has remained that way to present day.
For these ancient shepherds, the size of the Puli did not matter to them. They were impressed with the animal's intelligence and willingness to work. For these reasons, the Puli were highly regarded and respected by these ancient nomads. It may also be reasoned that their responsibilities as a herding dog may have added to their sense of independence.
Many people do not know that the original the breed was a multi-colored breed. It has only been through years of specialized breeding that the color variations were eliminated. By the 1940's black was believed to be the only purebred Pulis.
Pulis were imported to the United States in the 1930's.
There are many breeds that take well to training and of these the Puli is one of the best. This breed has long been used as a working herd animal and that long history of working has made the animal very receptive to training.
It is truly up the owner to decide the level of training that is needed. For most owners, simple obedience training can be performed at home and by the owner. This includes many of the routine issues such as housebreaking and breaking bad behavior patterns.
Other owners may wish a more advanced level of training for the animal. One reason for this is that the Puli is a good show breed. With more advanced training the Puli can become very impressive and is often regarded as one of the most "trainable" breeds around.
Then there are the owners who wish to have something in-between. For many owners this is the best of both worlds. This type of training is best conducted by a professional trainer who can get the training started with the animal and then hand over the training to the owner.
Because of the high level of intelligence that this breed has most owners will find training easy and fun. It is advisable, however, to not "push" the animal too hard or too fast. As mentioned above, the Puli can be stubborn and independent at times, but this makes the animal even more enjoyable. If you decide to train your Puli yourself, you get valuable information online concerning what works best and what does not work very well.
The Puli is a relatively healthy breed with a life expectancy of around 14-16 years. Some of the health problems to look out for with this breed include cataracts, vWD, HD, and PRA. The parents of the Puli puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.