The Puli is a cheerful and exceedingly active medium-sized breed. If you see the Puli once, you will never forget it, such greatly it differs from other breeds. It is a unique dog that attracts attention due to its uncommon appearance. These dogs resemble to a mop because of their coat that is very long and corded like dreadlocks. The Puli adjusts to any life conditions, it can live both in a flat and on a farm. Also the breed adapts to various temperature, be it cold or hot climate. As Pulik (plural form) are very lively, they are excellent companions for energetic, leading an active life people. But these dogs also can become a useful and good friend for an elderly or sick person.
The Puli’s history started more than 1 000 years ago. There is a version that the predecessor of this breed was the Tibetan Terrier. It looks very alike to the Tibetan Terrier so their kinship is highly probable. Nevertheless the homeland of the Puli is believed to be Hungary. When Hungary was populated by the Magyars, this tribe brought the dog in the country. The Puli was an inherent companion and invaluable helper for the Hungarian herdsmen. These dogs were excellent drovers. Local herdsmen also used their pets as guard and watchdogs.
In the XVII century Pulik almost became extinct. This occurred because in the course of all the XVI century Hungary had been invaded by different people, who came with their own herding dogs. People began to mix the Puli with those breeds and as a result it turned out under threat of disappearance. Fortunately Emil Raitsits, a professor of the Hungarian University of Veterinary Medicine saved this situation. In 1912 he started to carry out his project of the Puli’s revival. The result of his activity was the first Puli standard written in 1915 that was confirmed by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1924.
Initially there were three groups of the Puli distinguishing by the size of dogs. Unfortunately the breed didn’t attain enough popularity to justify such size differentiations and eventually only medium-sized Puli was preserved. The Puli appeared in the United States in 1935. In 1936 the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In 1951 the Puli Club of America was created. The World War II caused damage to the breeding of the Puli. Luckily by the 1960s, people managed to restore the number of the breed that was before the war.
Generally, people keep the Puli as a guard dog or just as a companion or a pet. Thanks to its numerous talents it also often serves as therapy and police dog and successfully competes in various dog sports including agility and obedience contests. But in Hungary the breed is still appreciated as a perfect sheepdog.
The Puli is an active and joyful breed that maintains its cheerfulness till the old age. The dog is very faithful to its family. Mainly Pulik get along with children who they know well. However due to their strong herding and protective instincts they tend to nip kids by their heels in attempt to drive them. This undesirable type of behavior can be trained out to some extent although it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely. Also these dogs don’t do for little children who may treat them roughly.
Pulik are wary and suspicious of strangers. So they will defend their masters of any danger. This means that these dogs can be turned into a very decent property and personal guardians. They are also very alert to the surroundings and will vehemently bark every time when someone is trying to break in into their territory without permission of their masters. This makes the breed member a highly reliable watcher as well.
Normally the Puli gets on well with other dogs or pets too. It will surely live peacefully with those cats with which it has had opportunity to interact since an early age. But it should be well socialized and trained otherwise it may be aggressive towards other animals due to its guarding instincts.
The Puli is healthy breed in general. But you must know some common health problems:
• canine hip dysplasia;
• eye problems;
• ear infections.
The Puli requires thorough grooming. The breeds’ cords does not appear from its birth, but they form gradually since six month. You must not brush it if you want to have a corded dog. It is necessary to separated cords by hands. It is a rather laborious task. Bathing is essential as dust and dirt will be collected in long cords. But you should bathe your pet rarely. It is important to dry the Puli’s coat completely to prevent mold formation. And this process can take some hours.
You should to brush your pet’s teeth two or three times a week to stave off any illness and unpleasant-smelling breath. It is also necessary to trim the dog’s nails regularly. You need to check the Pulis’ ears weekly and clean them carefully with a cotton pad wiped with a special cleaner in order to prevent different infections.
The Puli is a very intelligent breed. That is why it is easy to train the dog, and Pulik are quick learners. But this breed can’t bear repetitive tasks, so it is essential to make its training various.
Pulik have independent character with their own mind. So it is important to begin the training since their puppyhood. You need to show firmness and intelligence. Otherwise if the dog feels that it is cleverer than you, it can become stubborn and disobedient. But you shouldn’t cry and punish the dog. It is necessary to treat it with respect.
The Puli is a very energetic, agile and playful dog. So it needs a lot of exercises every day. It fits best to rural environment where it will have a spacious yard to roam and play and probably a herd of sheep to drive and protect. In any event it will be an excellent thought to let this dog pass through some advanced agility course.
This breed isn’t only buoyant and hardy but also intelligent and curious. Make sure to challenge its active brain with some interesting and difficult tasks if you don’t plan to use your dog as a herder. If the Puli does not get enough exercises it become nervous, aggressive, can bite, bark and display destructiveness.