Puliks (the plural of Puli) have square, medium-sized frames covered in shaggy coats of long cords that are usually found in shades of black, gray and white. Their rounded heads—covered in cords—have almond-shaped eyes, hanging ears, straight muzzles and black noses. Puliks have strong necks and backs with a tail that curls over.
The Puli is an excellent home companion—affectionate, helpful and family-oriented. It is also smart, obedient and easy to train. The Puli’s intelligence can sometimes get the better of it, making it seem stubborn or independent-minded. With proper training and socialization, it will truly shine. Overall, Puliks are dependable workers and companions.
The Puli is an adaptable breed, adjusting to new situations and people. However, it is naturally suspicious of strangers, making for a superb but restrained watchdog. Because it needs lots of exercise and elbowroom, the Puli is not recommended for apartment or city life. This canine is intelligent, athletic and a good jumper. The Puli has been known to chase critters and cars on occasion. So, hold on to that leash!
The cords on a Puli’s coat grow naturally at about nine months. But, they need to be separated as they grow to prevent matting—an unsightly effect that can also suffocate the dog’s skin. Once the cords are grown—usually down to the ground—they need regular checking to prevent matting. Bathing is simple, but drying can take as long as 24 hours. A combination of towel drying and electric hair dryers may be needed.
The Puli can live up to 14 years or longer. Common health issues include eye problems, hearing problems and hip dysplasia, but this is a relatively healthy breed. The Puli is at its best when playing and exploring outdoors. Make sure it gets good daily walks, games of fetch and other outdoor excursions.
The Puli first appeared more than 1,000 years ago when the Magyars relocated to Hungary. Among their sheepdogs were the Komondor, the Kuvasz and the smaller Puli. Possibly derived from the Tibetan Terrier, the Puli’s job was to tend and herd the flock while the Komondor guarded the perimeter.