Life in the vastness of the Hungarian Puszta. With a large herd of cattle – sheep, cattle as far as the dog’s eye can see. The large nomadic family and many children are always close by. And the occasional predator to show what a Puli is capable of. A task that demands everything from the herding dog to wind and weather. A life in and with nature – Pulik (this is the plural form of Puli) also has a right to dreams.
Currently, the majority of Puli keepers are not nomads or shepherds, they usually own few animals and the size of the shared habitat remains manageable. Nevertheless, the small to medium-sized herding and cattle dogs are by no means dissatisfied with this. The Puli belongs to a trainable and intelligent dog breed that has a lively nature and is adaptable. However, life in the city is rarely an alternative for them.
They need exercise and space, can be active all day, and guard everything that moves – comparable to a Border Collie. Images and figurative representations from the Near East that are several thousand years old show a dog that looks very similar to the Puli. His homeland is now given as Hungary – here it says proverbially: “EZ nem kutya, have puli”. He is not a dog, rather a Puli. The smallest of the Hungarian Shepherd Dogs, a Puli makes an exceptional first impression.
Like a cloak, it wears the shaggy corded fur similar to that of the larger Komondore, which also originated in Hungary. Dense, wavy, or curly and equipped with a lot of undercoats. The cords, which are 20 to 30 centimeters long in some places, almost reach the ground when the animal is 39 to 45 centimeters at the withers (bitches are 3 centimeters smaller).
The fur, which lies in several layers on top of one another, offers almost impenetrable protection against adverse weather conditions and even the bite attacks of attacking predators. The facial area is also covered by the fur curtain, made of a fine undercoat matted with long, coarse outer hair. There is undeniable perspiration from the lush natural material, especially when it is wet. In addition, such a coat dries very hesitantly.
The villi and cords are, contrary to appearances, easy to care for – no combing or brushing required. After shedding the puppy hair, it is sufficient to pull apart the strings that are forming in the longitudinal direction, the so-called villi.
The fur does not change and it grows comparatively slowly. From time to time the villi have to be repeated. Foreign objects such as dirt and branches easily get caught in the fur and have to be removed by hand. (The Puli breeders will certainly give you one or two tips for the species-appropriate care of the unusual shaggy or corded coat.)
According to the FCI standard no. 55, the colors white, black with red and gray gradations, and fawn are permitted with and without a black mask.
Puli’s Nature & Character
The Puli’s drive to move must be taken into account. The dog, which weighs between 13 and 15 kilograms, has mobility and speed that should not be underestimated and corresponds to its driving behavior. He really likes to play and likes to fetch.
The enduring runner with the long cords is quite suitable for dog sports. If the weather is right and the coat has been trimmed to give the dog room to move. In summer, the heat slows down the activity of the dog, so the morning and evening hours are reserved for movement.
Alert and courageous, the Puli barks loudly and sometimes a lot to defend its territory and the pack. This is where consistent and loving upbringing begins, and the advanced dog owner is required to offer the Puli orientation and direction. Willing to learn and intelligent, the dog accepts what is expected of it.
The strong-willed caretaker’s defensive drive includes the children of the family – they are welcome playmates. Children, for their part, quickly fall in love with the affectionate and playful Puli.