Breed of the Month–Puli

12January 2016

Color:  Black, white, shades of gray
Height:  Males:  15.5-18 inches/  Females:  14-16.5 inches
Weight:  Males:  28-33 lbs/  Females:  22-28.5 lbs
Life Span:  12-14 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Hip and elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand disease, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation.

Coat:  Double coat, weather resistant.  Dense, soft undercoat.  Dense, fine, soft, coarse, long curly outercoat.  Adult outercoat naturally forms cords.
Country of Origin:  Hungary

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

Western European sheepherding dogs eventually found their way into Hungary and began breeding with native dogs.  Many wars ravaged the country of Hungary and nearly extinct the Puli.  Emil Raitsits recognized the breed’s herding value and began reconstructing the breed in the early 1900s.  Care was taken to preserve the breed’s coat, size, and color.  Originally four sized of Puli existed; the most versatile middle size Puli is the true breed of today.

The coat of the Puli helps protect him from the outside elements, predators, and livestock.  The Puli still watches over livestock today, as well as excelling at agility and therapy work.  The Puli makes an exceptional watchdog as he is always focused and interested in getting the job done.  Once the Puli trusts you, you will have a friend for life.  If properly socialized from puppyhood, the Puli will get along with all kinds of other dogs, animals, and people.

The Puli will most likely engage in destructive behavior if not given a daily job to do.  The Puli needs plenty of regular exercise to stay happy.  Puli owners are encouraged to participate in trials and herding tests to give the dog an activity, or “job,” to do.

Pulis shed very little.  After 6 months of age the hair will become long enough to form into cords.  Once a Puli has fully corded, coat maintenance is fairly easy.  One must only take a little time to occasionally separate and trim the cords.  Pulis do need regular bathes but can sometimes take a long time to dry, even a day or two.  The coat must only be brushed often if cording is not desired.

Using positive reinforcement training is a quick easy way to train a Puli.  This breed is eager to please and very responsive.  Early socialization is important to help the breed stay self-confident as an adult.