Late Sable and Kandie.
Photo with thanks to Sue, www.puli-information.com
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Group Pastoral Dogs (KC)
History The Hungarian Puli a small breed of the sheepdog family dating back to the early Middle Ages. The first Pulis were brought to Hungary by the Magyars, who employed them as droving and herding dogs alongside larger guardian dogs called the Komondor. For several years the Puli was very valuable; a shepherd would happily pay his entire year’s earnings for one. The Puli is strikingly similar in appearance to the Tibetan Terrier, and many believe the two breeds share the same ancestry.
The Second World War almost wiped out the Puli; at one point its population had dwindled to two figures. It was revived a few years later by a group of breeders, who launched a controlled breeding program to rebuild the population. Today, although still relatively unknown, the Puli enjoys a steady reputation not only as an able working dog but a loyal family companion.
Appearance The Puli is best known for its long, corded coat, which covers the entire body. In adult Pulis the coat often touches the floor and falls over the eyes. It has a square and rather muscular body. The head looks rounded from up front but egg-shaped when viewed from the side. The eyes are dark and almond-shaped, and the ears slightly high-set and hanging down the side.
Colours The Puli is always solid-colored; acceptable colors are black, white, rusty black, and all shades of gray. Black and gray dogs can have a few white strands as long as they still appear solid-colored.
Temperament Pulis make excellent family dogs, as they are very lively and get along well with almost anyone. They may be a bit reserved around strangers, but they are rarely aggressive. Their protective instincts are very strong, thanks to their long years of guarding Hungarian flocks. In fact, owners often leave them to watch children while they are away. They bark a lot and will duly warn their owners when they sense danger.
Weight They stand 16 to 17 inches at the withers. Ideal weights are 25 to 27 pounds for males and 23 to 25 pounds for females.
Problems The Puli is one of the healthiest breeds around; there are no known genetic problems and breeders work hard to make sure it stays that way. The only thing owners have to worry about is keeping the coat clean, as it can be inviting to fleas and other parasites. Health certificates are usually issued upon purchase to ensure the dog’s health.
Living Conditions Pulis can adapt to almost any environment, whether it’s a small city apartment or a large country farm. Being shepherding dogs, however, they like the outdoors and should be taken out at least once in a while. They are moderately active indoors, but their energy level spikes up the minute they step out of the house. They prefer cool climates, but will do just as well in hot weather.
Requirements Pulis are a very active breed and need lots of exercise to stay in a good mood. Besides the daily walk or run, they should be given lots of play time either in or out of the house. They love playing with children or other dogs. Swimming can also be an option, but not all Pulis are good swimmers, so owners should never let them swim unsupervised.
Training Requirements Pulis are very smart and trainable, but some tend to be strong-willed and a little stubborn. Owners should start training them early to avoid behavioral problems later on. These dogs can handle any kind of training, whether it’s simple housebreaking or learning tricks for the show ring. They should be socialized as pups to prevent excessive shyness or aggression towards other dogs.
Life Expectancy A healthy Puli can live up to 12 years or more.
Grooming The Puli’s coat needs a lot of care, especially when the cords start to form at around 6 months. The cords should be carefully separated regularly to prevent matting and tangling. Cords differ from one dog to another, but the general rule is to keep each strand pencil-thick. Once the cords have formed, very little maintenance is required besides coat separation and occasional baths.
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More Hungarian Puli Information: Check out our Hungarian Puli Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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