Puli – Hungarian Shepherd Dog with a Rasta Hairstyle

Pulik are closely related to the other large Hungarian herding dog breeds, the Pumi and Mudi, but at first glance they hardly resemble them. According to the FCI, the typical cord hair is mandatory for breeding dogs, although this does not occur naturally. In a brief overview of the breed, we will show you how to get your Puli’s dreadlock mane under control.

What is Hidden Under the Felt Cords?

Under their thick dreadlock mat, Pulik hide a very sporty and compact body. If the coat is combed and trimmed regularly, contrary to the recommendations of the FCI standard, Pulis look very similar to their slightly larger Hungarian relatives, the Pumis. The ideal height at the withers for males is 41 to 43 cm, with a deviation of 2 cm being tolerated. With an ideal height at the withers of between 38 and 40 cm and a maximum weight of 13 kg, bitches are slightly smaller and significantly narrower than males. The minimum weight for males is 13 kilograms.

Standards for external characteristics of the pulis

  • The physical characteristics of the dogs are also difficult for show judges to assess, as they are mainly felt through the thick corded fur.
  • The relatively small head is rounded when viewed from the front and slightly elongated when viewed from the side. The stop is hardly developed, and the eyebrow arches are all the stronger.
  • The nose is small and always black. The muzzle is not pointed and the lips are tight. Strings also form on the muzzle, but these are significantly smaller and shorter than on the rest of the head.
  • The coat of hair completely covers the eyes of many dogs. They are used at an angle and are well pigmented. If they can be seen, the expression is very friendly and attentive.
  • The hanging ears are also covered by corded hangings. They start wide and end in a rounded V-tip.
  • The neck and body form an angle of about 45 degrees. Because the tail is carried over the back, it is difficult to tell that the upper profile line is straight. The chest is deep and long, with well-sprung ribs. Overall, the Puli is built very leanly and compact.
  • The tail optically increases the loin section, since the same cords are found here as on the body. It is carried curled flat over the croup.
  • Front and hind feet are short and rounded, toes not as close together behind as in front. The knee is bent, the angle is 100-110 degrees.

The exceptional coat of the Pulis

The skin of the Puli lies tight and is very darkly pigmented. The dense coat is very dense and wavy in puppies. Growing dogs develop tufts of hair that tend to form villi and cords. The ratio of hard topcoat and soft undercoat must be right so that the hair remains easy to care for and the desired strings form.

  • The dreadlocks grow 10 to 12 cm long on the head and legs.
  • The back half of the body has long hairs, there the cords are 20 to 30 cm long.
  • Combing out is undesirable inbreeding. Likewise, the hair should not be natural and shaggy.

Permissible colors for purebred Pulis

  • Black (also with rusty brown or gray nuances)
  • Fawn with mask
  • Solid gray (from light gray to dark gray)
  • White (pearl white with no hint of shading)
  • A small white patch on the chest is allowed in all colors (maximum size 3 cm)

The History of the Hungarian Shepherd Dogs – The Cattle Dogs from the Carpathian Basin

The ancestors of all three Hungarian Shepherd Dogs were most likely brought to Europe in the 9th century by Asian nomads who drove cattle over long distances. Hungarians are very proud of their Pulis, which they were not legally allowed to breed after the Habsburg conquest of Hungary until the mid-19th century. “Ez nem kutya, have puli” – “It’s not a dog, it’s a Puli”, is a Hungarian saying of appreciation for the dogs with the many pigtails.

Puli, Mudi, and Pumi – who came first?

Of the three known Hungarian shepherd dog breeds, the Puli is in all likelihood the oldest breed. Similar dogs were immortalized on Mesopotan vases around 3000 years ago. Until the 19th century, the breeds were not considered separately but primarily selected based on their suitability for herding work.

  • Mudis were created by crossing German Spitz and Croatian shepherd dogs
  • Pumis originated in the 17th century when German and French shepherds introduced terrier-like herding dogs to Hungary and crossed them with local herding dogs.

The Nature of the Pulis – Anything but a Hippie

Pulik are hardworking working dogs with only one thing keeping them from work: they are very susceptible to hot temperatures, as the corded coat acts like a warm blanket and not insulating like straight or curly-coated dogs. If your rasta head seeks shade in the summer and doesn’t feel like exercising, you shouldn’t push him to do it. If he is not restricted by excessively high temperatures, the Puli is spirited and willing to work.

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