Country/Date of origin:
- 14 to 19 inches
- 20 to 40 pounds
- Superior intelligence and a keen, work ethic.
- Tends to be a one-man dog.
- Wary of strangers.
- High energy, always busy.
Nomadic shepherds on the steppes of Hungary have kept two kinds of sheep dogs since the ninth century. One was a big, white, guard dog that protected the flock at night and the other was a small, active, herding dog—the Puli—that actually herded the sheep by day. They did not cross-breed the two types, and through the centuries, the unique characteristics of each became firmly fixed. The Magyars did not pay much attention to the outward appearance of the Puli in regard to size, color, ear carriage, etc. What they were interested in was the dog’s ability to work. So intelligence and a willingness to please was prized above all. The original Puli was multi-colored, in the literal sense of the word. Over the years, more and more color variations were eliminated and by the 1940′s black were believed to be the only purebred Pulis. Although today the blacks still predominate, there are white, gray, and apricot Pulis. The latter two are quite rare. Pulis were imported to the United States in the 1930′s.
- It is hard to determine the body structure of a Puli, for it resembles nothing more than a string mop.
- The tail is carried low and is not altered.
- Hanging ears are not altered.
- The highly distinctive coat is traditionally corded and reaches the ground.
- It is heavy in texture, with a fine undercoat.
- Coats can form into matted ribbons or stringy cords. Which coat the dog forms depends on the ratio of harsh outer coat and woolly undercoat. A heavy outer coat forms the low maintenance cords, and heavy undercoat will form mats in a solid mass, or in wide or narrow ribbons.
- Permissible colors are black, white, and rarely gray, or apricot.
- Requires extensive care to keep debris from the cords or ribbons.
- Puli hair is very unusual. The diameter of each hair varies along its length.
Health and Wellness:
- Generally robust.
- Subject to hip dysplasia.
- Eye inflammations caused by hair getting under eyelids.
What you should know:
- Puli in Hungarian means sheepdog.
- Pronounce it Poo-lee. The plural of Puli is Pulik.
- Unusually bouncy in its gait, the Puli moves like a bouncing ball. It will dazzle you with its invisible footwork beneath the bobbing cords.