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Originally from the Hungarian plains, the Puli is a rather unique sheepdog. It has a striking, shaggy coat that is mixture of black, gray and white cords. Of sound mind and body, the Puli is considered both agile and alert.

Physical Characteristics

The square proportioned, medium-boned, and compact Puli has a quick-stepping but not far reaching trot. It can alter directions instantly, and is acrobatic, quick, and agile. Its weatherproof coat comprises a dense, soft, wooly undercoat and a curly or wavy outer coat, which forms flattened or round cords that can be brushed out if desired.

Personality and Temperament

The Puli brims with energy and is always ready for action. It is a curious and busy dog that requires daily exercise. Even though it is a smart dog, it is tough and headstrong as well. In fact, some Pulis may become aggressive towards other dogs. The Puli is also protective of its human family, often barking at anything it deems a threat.


The Puli can live outside in cool or temperate climates, but is also excellent as a house dog. As it is an energetic breed, it is always on the lookout for a task, like herding livestock. A good jog or walk, or a training and lively game session, can satisfy its exercise needs.

Its non-shedding coat holds debris and should be brushed on alternate days. If it is corded, the cords should be separated regularly because the coat tends to accumulate dirt. Bathing takes a lot of time and it takes an entire day for drying. Pulis kept as pets may be clipped, but the breed's distinctive appeal is lost.


The Puli, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, is susceptible to major health issues such as canine hip dysplasia (CHD). Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and deafness are also occasionally seen in Pulis. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend hip, eye, and hearing exams for this breed of dog.

History and Background

The Magyar tribes of the eastern Urals arrived in the 9th century to occupy the central area of the Danube and mixed with the Turkish people on the way. They carried various sheepdogs along with them, as well as the ancestor of the modern Puli. As the Tibetan Spaniel and the Puli have similar body structures, it is said that the former may have been instrumental in the latter’s development.

In the 16th century, after Hungary was decimated by invaders, the country was repopulated by people, sheep, and dogs from Western Europe. These new dogs were interbred with the native Pulik dogs to form the Pumi. Then the Pumi and Puli were crossed in such a manner that the original Puli breed was almost lost.

Regardless of the breed's origin, these small dogs were praised for their nimbleness -- able to herd and divert a sheep's path by hopping on its back. Their black coat was also essential so that the shepherds could easily spot them among the sheep. The larger, lighter-colored Hungarian sheepdogs, meanwhile, were used as nighttime sentries.

There was an effort in the early 20th century to revive the Puli, and in 1924 the first standard was penned. At about the same time, the Pulik in Hungary differed very much in height, ranging from the small dwarf to the large police, and the medium working sizes. The desired size was that of the medium-sized dog as it represented the conventional herding Puli.

The United States Department of Agriculture brought in several Pulik in 1935 to improve the quality of herding dogs in the U.S. The war spoiled this effort but as people learned about the breed's working ability in America, the American Kennel Club registered the Puli by 1936. The fame and name of this breed spread throughout Europe, and the Hungarians who fled the war brought their dogs with them.

The modern Puli is modestly popular as a show dog or pet, but continues to be a skillful herder.

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  • Having a Puli...
    08/02/2015 12:34am

    So you are thinking about getting a PULI???!!!
    Have you been searching and reading online, most website say the same thing over and over and they are not very much info in details. Here is what I can tell about my new partner in crime, Chewie. I have Chewie for about a month now. He is 6 months at the moment. Follow us on instagram @chewie.themop And these are our experience... It is a little hard to meet one on street these day...

    I have met a few Pulik over the years. Each Puli I have met has a different personality. You can tell even in a short encounter. But they all have these in common: claim, attached to owner(s), Smart (as hell)...

    [b] For Chewie:[/b] He was already house broken when I got him. (at 5 months old) I would say that he has a balance temperament from the very starts. He isn't a big fan of people petting him on street, but he will let you pet him anyways. Sometimes people thinks "he isn't friendly"... but I think he could tell the different between people who stops us on street (we get stop daily). He knows the "AHHH -OMG cute dog, can I pet him??!!" people... VS... dog lover who are actually loves dogs, dog owner, or people who are just more serious. Chewie is a serious dog... he likes serious people.

    He does not show much interests for other dogs either. Chewie has such a great focus on being in adventure with YOU. His world is you and that's the end of it. If I drop him off at vet or daycare or trainer, no matter if it's 10 min to days... when he sees you, he gives this victory dance. And he doesn't do that for just anyone. A staff at the daycare told me that when they try to play with him, he just give them a dirty look. It's not that he isn't friendly, but he just not interested. Same with treats... even if I give him treats most of the time he doesn't take it. Most dog rushed over to grab some big piece of Beef or cookie... Chewie won't really move his legs... Even with cheese and bacon sometimes he just not interested... I even have hard time playing with him. Unlike other dog, he does't really play with toy... His ideal fun time is sitting in his spot (which happen to be next to sofa and in front of TV) with his bully stick... and he usually pass out on top of the stick...

    Training: He does pretty well with commands... altho he has the mind of his own... he is very smart. But it is in the matter of choice for him... he know but he can choose not to follow. Altho he has great manner, in and out door. With people and kids... he never jump on anyone beside me.

    Barking: We had some issue with barking the first week but after that the only time I ever hear him BARK is when I'm making his dinner... and he is happy... (sitting from a far, I don't let him get close to the food until I'm ready to give it to him.)

    So Because he is still young... he doesn't have a craving for being out and do extreme running/playing, yet... I don't know if that will be this thing ever. But I do take him on a jog or a long walk once a day. Usually twice.. Most of the time he just want to go to potty and run back into the building. He would keep looking at out apartment building until we turn around the corner... Just can't wait to get more sleep. Altho He does enjoin running and walking in the park once we get there... I would say any puli needs about an hour each day for walking/running... but thats the same with any dog really. Even when I had smaller dogs...they likes to walk... Unless you have Husky or JackRussel... those run all day and they are happy to...

    [b]Food and Care: [/b]
    So He seems to be an easy eater when he is hungry... hahha but thats with any dog. I could tell you that he is acting a bit like Husky. Sometimes he goes on with out food for 2-3 days. Until of cause I switch to RAW/freezed dry food... and even those didn't work...SO after I add water on those... it finally work... Basically supper picky. Altho he won't eat in the morning... only dinner. And if you give him boiled egg or chicken from your food... He just give me this look and look the other way....

    He isn't a big fan of toy either... He doesn't go crazy over them. He will pick it up and play with it when he is ready... I happened to have a perfect dog. I don't know if your future Puli is the same... but Chewie just made me feel like Han Solo... and he is my buddy.

    [b]Finding your puppy:[/b]
    When I looked online, there aren't many breeder in USA and Canada... and most of the time their price is CRAZY! ... Chewie came from Hungary and he is cheaper than any US or Canadian breeder... I would say the price should be about $1,000-$1,800 and not some 2G plus shipping... thats sounds more like a toy dog price...
    Importing a dog isn't as hard as most people thinks. You won't get them as young as 2months but that is better. The other reason that Chewie turned out so well I think its because he stays at the breeder and with his parents for over 4 months. Both parents are champions over many titles in Europe. The Immigration at JFK are very nice altho the driving direction was very confusing...

    Anyways Good luck! I hope if you choose to have a Puli as your next puppy. You will love them too.

  • The Crazy Hair Note
    08/27/2015 06:07am

    As Chewie is getting older
    7 months at 29lbs.
    His hair started to become a knots. It is pretty easy to separate them. Just watch Youtube. I think I read some where that you should brush them and I think that is best for the hair to from the dreadlocks... We went to a groomer once and they forgot and ended up brushed him out a few weeks back. Now his hair comes back to wave/curly self after a bath.... but it doesn't curl the same. not much different tho but there is more un-wanted knots... that I have to separate and those are about harder to do than the natural ones...

    The wool like hair is as good as Dayson machine! So as an owner I look like one of those monkey-line up cleaning after one another, Im the monkey and Chewie is the king. The fur sucks up all the dust, sand, dry leaves... Its a bit of an upkeep when you take him to the park so often... but from Street walks it is abit easier to clean... I do spot wash him every week... bath is depend... usually 7-10 days. Altho for best result of his hair you can bath him every month. But Chewie sleeps next to my bed and I have allergies ... so cleanness is a big deal.

    Please note that those who wants to CUT puli's fur.... Don't do it. It takes ages for the fur to grown to the ground... and the fur is a protection for heat and cold... This breed has been in this condition for ages... if you want a shortter hair maybe other breed will suit you better... and he sees just fine... He is a dog not human, they really dont see the same as we do. The vision of dog is very very different than human.

    Worse part is explain to people, which is every other person who stop us what a Puli Hair is...



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