AKC Dog Breeds: Puli

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Herding Group
Height: 14-18 inches Weight:  18-35 pounds  Color: solid black, rusty black, gray, and white

The Puli is a compact, square appearing, well balanced dog of medium size. He is vigorous, alert and active. Striking and highly characteristic is the shaggy coat which, combined with his light-footed, distinctive movement, has fitted him for the strenuous work of herding flocks on the plains of Hungary. Agility, combined with soundness of mind and body, is of prime importance for the proper fulfillment of this centuries-old task. One of the most unique looking breeds, the Puli (Pulik plural) was first bred in ancient Hungary. It is a very old breed of the Hungarian sheep dog. When healthy, it is medium-sized, and very sturdy and hardy. It has a wonderful corded coat that makes it one of the most unusual breeds in the world. The coat can grow long and a full adult coat can reach to the ground.

General Appearance

The Puli  is an ancient breed of Hungarian sheep dog, medium-sized, sturdy with a unique, corded coat. A full adult coat can reach to the ground. Some colors are not permitted in some countries but, in the U.K., black, any shade of gray, apricot (with or without a black mask) and the rarer white are all permissible. Their body shape is square and, though fine-boned, fairly muscular. The head from the side should be egg-shaped while from the front it will give a rounded appearance. The tail should curl fairly tightly over the back. Eyes are almond-shaped, dark brown in color, ears are medium-sized, pigment should be black.


Many families and single people are looking for a dog that can join in and become a part of the family. The Puli is a breed that can fit that bill perfectly. In general, the Puli is a chipper and lively breed that enjoys being with its owner and the members of the family. When treated properly and cared for properly the Puli will become a very loyal member of the family. This breed may be small in size but they are big in joyful expressions of love. Happy, cheerful, and devoted, this dog does very well in a home environment, however is not recommended for a home with small children. The Puli can do well with other animals if they are properly socialized at puppyhood, but should not be trusted around smaller and more passive animals. If children are taught how to handle a dog properly, this breed can do well providing the children do not pester or pull on the long cords of hair. The Puli are very intelligent and that is a bonus when it comes to training. However, this same intelligence can give them a sense of independence in that they often have a mind of their own. It is this same level of intelligence that allows them to do well in obedience training and gives them the agility they need for the show ring.

The Puli has a strange and unique coat making grooming for this breed a learned technique for the inexperienced. Professional grooming in the beginning should be required. It is very important to understand that this breed should not be brushed. The corded coat of the animal begins to form at around the age of 6 months when the soft woolly undercoat intermingles with the harsher outer-coat. At this point, the mats that have formed should be separated by hand. This should be done on a regular basis. Bathing the Puli is much like washing a sweater. The time consuming part of bathing is with the drying of the animal. You can use an electric dryer as long as the heat setting is monitored. Even with the dryer this can take a long time, up to two hours. However, if left to air dry the animal can remain wet for up to two days.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Puli is generally robust and healthy. They may, however, be prone to hip dysplasia. In addition they may also be prone to eye inflammations caused by hair getting under eyelids. The life expectancy for the Puli is around twelve to fourteen years.

Activity Level
The Puli should have regular exercise, as they love to play and roam free, however should always be in a fenced in yard. An average sized yard works best for this energetic breed. They love to jog with their owners, and does very well running along side a bike. The Puli enjoys hikes, however the coat should be protected. Many of these animals love to swim, but it should be noted that not all Pulik are good at swimming and they should not be allowed to go into the water unsupervised.


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