Is it a mop-head or a dog?
Behavior common to the Puli
Pulis are hardworking dogs that were bred for herding sheep, working on ranches and working on farms. Part of their job was also to work as a guard dog for the flock, so they make excellent watchdogs for you. They have become great family dogs that enjoy the love and attention that every member provides for them. They get along particularly well with families that are very active since this dog needs to exercise quite a bit. They need a lot of physical activity in order to maintain their physical and mental health and stay happy. They thrive in a country setting such as a farm or home with a lot of property where they run and exercise all day long.
Pulis are independent thinkers and therefore can be difficult for the typical owner to train. Since they are used to being on their own as a herding dog watching the flock, they are accustomed to doing their own thing and making their own decisions. Training with some basic obedience skills should be done early on and used with great praise and rewards to get some good results in training a Puli.
Pulis love to run and are likely to chase other animals, as is their instinct. For this reason if you have a Puli and do not live on a farm then it is important that you have a fenced yard and keep your dog on a leash or lead when they are outside. High fences are needed as this breed has jumping and climbing skills. Since they are a herder, they tend to try and herd children and will nip at heels.
Appearance of the Puli
The Puli has a very unique appearance that makes it stands out from other breeds. They have a very shaggy coat that is common among many sheepdogs but their coat seems like it is almost cords and layers of hair. Their coat is almost always a solid black but can occasionally be gray or white. They are normally about seventeen inches in height and can weigh between twenty-five and forty pounds when fully grown.
The coat is made of thick, long hair that can take up to four years to grow to its full length. Some of the breed has hair that will cord on its own while others must have their hair braided by hand for proper showing when the dog is about a year old so that proper cords will form.
Grooming your Puli
When a Puli is young and does not yet have cords in their hair, their hair needs to be brushed regularly to remove any tangles, mats or dirt and the natural oils of the dog’s skin will get distributed. The dog also needs to be bathed regularly so the hair grows correctly. Once cords have grown, they do not get brushed. Handle the cords with your hands and the dog must be bathed carefully and the shampoo squeezed out of each cord by hand. The process can take hours and the dog needs a few days to air dry as heat drying can be unsafe.
History of the Puli
The Puli has existed in Hungary as a sheepdog for well over a thousand years. Where the breed started and came from is not really known but there is evidence of the breed existing and possibly coming to Hungary from Siberia along with invaders. They were long used by herders and farmers to tend to flocks of sheep. In the sixteenth century the breed was nearly wiped out by the Turks. The breed was crossbred with other breeds and re-populated throughout Europe. It came to the United States in 1935 during a study of herding dogs and stayed in the country after that as a work dog.