The Puli dog breed – somewhere amid the hair

Narrated from: Dog Breeds

What are these dogs?

Well, a Puli is a dog very similar in appearance to cousin “It” from the infamous Adams Family. They are Hungarian and they are hairy – and the signature coat makes the Puli one of the most unique breeds in the world!


All dogs are beautiful – you just need to find the right one for you!

The Puli is a medium-sized dog, reaching 10-15 kg in weight. They are strong and robust, with a rather unique square-ish look. Of course, their fine-boned, well-muscled bodies are seldom seen beneath their glorious coat.

The coat is the most prominent feature of the Puli. A full adult coat usually reaches the ground, and consists of tight curls, similar to dreadlocks. The color is usually black, though white and grey are also permitted. The coat is double-layered and very thick, which makes it extremely waterproof, and allows Pulis to weather any weather – though heat, naturally, can prove to be a problem!


If one thinks dogs are dumb animals, then one has never tried to negotiate with a dog.

The Puli has been developed as a herding and livestock-guarding dog. This means that these dogs are quite intelligent, and if trained well they become obedient companions, who perform their tasks determinedly. Some Pulis even make it into Police Academy!

However, a major problem is their willfulness, as you need to assert your alpha-status. Pulis also aren’t very good to have around children, since they do not respond well to teasing – you need to be sure your child knows how to communicate with a canine before introducing an untrained Puli to the household!


Your dog you train well, young Padawan, or otherwise the dog it will be who does the training.

Pulis are very hard to train in adulthood, so you need to start them young. Obedience training is very important, but outside of that, their intelligence makes them easy to handle.

The Puli is very good material, since these dogs are naturals at herding livestock animals, and grow very loyal to their handler. They also excel in dog sports such as agility.


The Puli are hardy dogs, and rarely exhibit any abnormal health issues. The breed seems more prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems, but most breeders check their dogs for such problems.
Pulis generally live 12 or more years.


Hair… there was hair everywhere…

Well… that’s a problem. The Puli takes a lot of grooming. The coat is really hard to manage, especially since each Puli usually has a unique coat with its own features. Generally, at about six months of age the soft woolly undercoat of the Puli begins to intermingle with the harsher outer coat, and thus the famous corded coat is formed. Mats and clumps need to be removed regularly in order to keep them looking good, but if you like using worry-beads, then you will find great comfort in the experience. You also need to bathe the Puli regularly – and drying sure takes a lo-o-ot of time!

However, the Puli has a major advantage – these dogs do not shed! The unique nature of the coat makes them perfectly easy to manage.


One needs to know where one is coming from in order to know where one is going… or where one should find the bouncy ball!

The Puli is a rather ancient breed. The Pulis became famous as sheepdogs in Hungary, but before that they lived further east, perhaps even in Asia, and moved to Europe with the Magyars more than 1 000 years ago.

It is hard to determine how far back the ancestry of the Puli stretches; it is believed that their relatives lived in Asia 2 000 years ago, and anecdotal evidence even claims that Puli-like dogs existed as long as 6 000 years ago.

Nation of the dog

For are dogs not a nation of their own? Are they fewer than humans? Is there a place where humans live without dogs?

Today the Puli is considered to be one of the national symbols of Hungary. They are very popular there, and the unique outlook and hypoallergenic coats make them popular among people who love canines. The breed was saved from extinction at least twice in its long history, first in the 16th century due to cross-breeding, and then during World War II.

And they are the perfect match for…

A dog! A dog! My apartment for a dog!

Pulis make excellent work dogs and pleasant companions. Their unique outlook makes them desirable as pets, and their hypoallergenic coats means that these dogs are an alternative for many allergic people deprived of canine company.

Pulis have three main problems – their coats take a lot of brushing; they have a high-energy level, which demands vigorous exercise; and you have to manage children around them carefully.

Generally, a Puli is as good a pet as its training – a well-trained, properly socialized Puli is an excellent family companion, and becomes a guardian for your children and a loving companion for the adults; however, a mismanaged Puli can turn out willful and tough to live with.

Professional CV

Soldiers, firefighters, guards, hunters… and you think all they are good for is lazing on the couch?

Pulis can make good guard dogs, since they are very loyal animals and become devoted to their owners. However, keep it in mind that Pulis act mostly as warning systems – in old times, a Puli would stand watch over livestock and signal vocally if the animals were attacked; then a large Komondor (Hungary’s other prominent breed) would rush to the rescue and attack the assailants.

Pulis are also very good at herding – their coats allow them to withstand rough weather, though they are not known to work in water.

However, in modern times their intelligence makes a well-trained Puli quite suitable for different dog sports as agility, herding, showmanship, etc. The Pulis are also favored as companions, especially because of their hypoallergenic coats, and they also make excellent therapy dogs.

to top of the page
Previous Next

Other articles that might interest you::