The Puli

Size: Medium
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Grooming Requirements: Medium
Weight: 10-15 Kg (approx.)
Life Span: 15 Years (approx.)

Appearance: The Puli is a medium-sized and square-proportioned working dog, height approximately 37-44cm measured at the withers. The most striking and distinctive feature of this shaggy dog is its corded coat, which covers a rather lithe and athletic little body. The non shedding (non-allergenic to some) coat can reach the ground in 4 to 6 years. Pulis are found in a range of colours: black, rusty black, white, all shades of grey and apricot with or without a black mask. The overall appearance of all variants must be that of a solid colour. Coloured legs or patches of colour on the body are a fault. In Australia the most common colour is black. The correct Puli coat consists of a coarse outer coat and a fine, dense, woolly undercoat. The correct balance of outer and undercoat develops naturally into cords. Careful grooming during the cording process can make for a neater appearance. Coat types can vary considerably among pedigree lines and between individuals, and there are many acceptable types of cords, from thick to thin and round to flat. Puppies from the same litter can have different coat types too.

History: Not only is the Puli a fascinating breed visually, but it also has an interesting history. Known in Hungary since the Magyar invasion of the 10th century, the Puli has been part of the lives of the Hungarian shepherds for more than a thousand years. They were bred to be their sole companion and workmate during the long days and months of isolation on the grazing lands of the vast Hungarian Plain. It was not until early last century that dog fanciers and zoologists began to study and document the Breed. The first Hungarian Standard (blue print) for the Breed was written in 1915 by Emil Raitsits. The Puli first appeared in the show ring in Budapest in 1923. World War 2 almost brought about the complete decimation of the breed when dogs in Hungary were slaughtered by invading armies. It was only through a controlled breeding programme, assisted by dedicated breeders around the world that ensured the survival of these unique little Hungarians. Today the Puli is well established and popular in many countries, as well as in Hungary where he is now regarded as a national symbol and very much a national treasure. Hence the saying, it is a joy to be “owned by a Puli.”

Temperament: Their intelligence, trainability and overwhelming desire to please allow these hardy little workers to learn new tasks rapidly. This makes them “par excellence” for any dog sports, including obedience and agility training, as well as herding livestock. They are sensibly energetic and today’s Puli love walks and stimulating games, as well as sitting on the couch with their modern day shepherd. They are a “smarty” and make great companion and activities dog. The Puli is an affectionate, intelligent and home loving companion. He is sensibly suspicious and extremely loyal to their owners and therefore make an excellent watchdog. Some Pulis have a “dominant” nature and like to be “top dog”! They must learn early to be accepting of other dogs and pets. As with all dogs, positive socialisation with people and other dogs is vital from a young age to ensure you Puli grows up to have a well-rounded character. Pulis, because of their natural intelligence, can be stubborn if left to 'rule the roost' - they respond well training and will benefit from some basic obedience work.
The Puli seldom barks without cause and will always appear to be going somewhere in a hurry. These dogs are happiest when romping and playing, especially if their owner or a companion dog joins in the fun. Pulis will adapt to a variety of living conditions whether in an apartment, suburbia or on a farm. Without a sizable yard, they can achieve a good workout with a jog, a game or obedience classes. They are suited to most climates and are content to be outside in temperate or cool climates. The Puli’s unusually thick, corded coat helps it withstand extremes of weather, however they generally do not like being out in the rain or left in hot sun without shade. They should not be left outside without shelter or overworked in hot or incliment weather. Some of them are fond of water and can swim very well. But not all have this tendency and should be always supervised around water. The importance of sound temperament cannot be over emphasized. Well developed inner qualities, such as courage, intelligence, independence and determination, animate this little dynamo!

Care / Grooming: Puli puppies are born with a short wavy coat which is soft. As the puppy develops, the coat becomes progressively thicker. At 8 weeks pups look like a ball of fluff. From 6 months to 2 years, the soft cords become more pronounced, dense and harsher, and the mats of undercoat may require some splitting. The most intensive mat-splitting period for most Pulis is between 9 to 18 months. Some Puli coats just drop into cords, others will require more work. Each coat is as unique as their character. After this, the coat settles down and requires a regular maintenance routine including bathing and drying, the main grooming aides are your fingers. A fully corded adult coat reaches the ground at about 5 years, which may take quite some time to dry naturally. The use of a blow dryer helps to dry the coat faster. A Puli not destined for a show career can have the cords kept shorter at any length for easier maintenance. Lots of the grooming can be done at home, however if taking your Puli to a professional groomer make sure they are familiar with how to care for the coat.

Health: Pulis are a hardy herding breed and have very few major health problems. Nevertheless, reputable breeders will screen for hip dysplasia and eye abnormalities. It is best to talk to a reputable breeder, Dogs NSW or an experienced vet to know the right kinds of questions you should ask when it comes to health and/or hereditary diseases when purchasing any puppy.

 


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