Breed Profile: Puli

Puli (Canis lupus familiaris) against red
Catherine Ledner/Iconica/Getty Images

Group:

Herding

History:

The Puli is an ancient dog breed that was brought to Hungary by the Magyars over 1000 years ago. It's ancestors were similar to the Komondor and Kuvasz, but smaller. Pulik (plural for Puli) were skilled sheep-herding dogs that were valued by Hungarian shepherds. The breed nearly became extinct in the 16th century due to cross-breeding, but was fortunately saved and continued to develop into the unique dog breed known today.

The Puli was once seen in four different sizes, but the medium size became the most popular and is the size that is reflected in the current breed profile. Pulik were admitted to the AKC in 1936.

Size:

25-35 pounds

Colors:

Black, charcoal or white

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Puli, sometimes called the Hungarian Water Dog, is one of the most unique of all dog breeds. Especially known for hair that resembles dreadlocks, Pulik are robust athletes with great confidence and intelligence. These friendly dogs excel both as herding dogs and companions.

The Puli's signature "mop-like" coat is the first thing most people notice about this breed. Its full, thick coat slowly grows as the dog ages, forming cords. The Puli's coat will not grow to the ground and become fully corded until 4-5 years of age. The grooming needs of the Puli are very specific.

Great care must be taken to dry the dog completely after bathing and separate the cords as needed to prevent matting. However, the Puli does not shed and is therefore considered a hypoallergenic dog breed.

Pulik have relatively high energy levels and require a fair amount of daily exercise. The high intelligence level of the Puli makes it quite easy to train. This breed is happiest when kept busy and challenged, both mentally and physically. The Puli is well-suited to herding, obedience, agility, and tracking. Pulik also make excellent therapy dogs.

If you are looking for a highly unique dog breed that is full of life, and you don't mind the extra coat attention, the Puli might be right for you. Pulik can make excellent family dogs with proper training and socialization, and are known to be incredibly loyal, affectionate and fearless.


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