Puli: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The Puli, also known as the Hungarian Puli or the Hungarian Water Dog, has roots that go back over a thousand years. Bred by the Magyars in the 9th century, this sheepdog was essential for keeping flocks of sheep safe from predators. In its homeland of Hungary, the Puli has a proud and noble history. The dog was an indispensable partner to shepherds, valued for its intelligence, agility, and diligence. Today, the Puli is celebrated not just in Hungary but around the world for its unique appearance, lively personality, and remarkable history.

Attribute Description
Rasse Puli (Hungarian Puli or Hungarian Water Dog)
Größe Small to Medium
Gewicht 25-35 pounds
Höhe Males: 16-18 inches, Females: slightly shorter
Mantel Dense and corded, resembling dreadlocks
Farbe Black, dark gray, silver, cream
Temperament Energetic, Intelligent, Loyal
Lebenserwartung 12-16 years
Diät High-quality dog food suitable for the dog’s age, size, and activity level

Physical Characteristics of the Puli Dog

Size and Weight

Pulis are small to medium-sized dogs, with males standing around 16-18 inches tall at the shoulder and females a little shorter. They typically weigh between 25 and 35 pounds.

Fur and Color

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Puli is its thick, corded coat, which resembles dreadlocks. These dogs come in a range of colors, from black and dark gray to lighter shades of silver and cream.

Distinctive Traits

With their round eyes, agile bodies, and fluffy tails that curl over their backs, Pulis are instantly recognizable. Their cording starts to develop when they’re puppies and matures as they age.

Puli Dog Temperament and Personality

General Temperament

Pulis are energetic, intelligent, and loyal dogs. They’re often described as having a clownish sense of humor and are known to be friendly and affectionate with their families.

Interaction with Humans

Although Pulis can be reserved with strangers, they form strong bonds with their human families. They are protective and can be excellent watchdogs.

Interaction with Other Animals

Pulis usually get along well with other animals, especially if they’re socialized from a young age.

Health and Lifespan of a Puli Dog

Average Lifespan

Pulis are generally healthy dogs and have a relatively long lifespan for their size. On average, a Puli can live between 12 and 16 years.

Common Health Problems

Despite their general good health, Pulis is susceptible to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), a degenerative eye disorder.

Tips for Healthy Living

Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and plenty of exercises are key to keeping a Puli healthy.

Grooming Needs of a Puli Dog

Care for Puli’s Unique Coat

The Puli’s corded coat requires a unique grooming routine. The cords need to be separated regularly to prevent matting, and bathing requires thorough drying to prevent mildew.

Regular Maintenance

Regular ear cleaning and tooth brushing are also important aspects of Puli care. Their ears can be prone to infection, and like all dogs, they can suffer from dental diseases.

Professional Grooming Tips

Professional grooming can be helpful, especially when it comes to bathing and drying a Puli’s dense, corded coat.

Training a Puli Dog

Basics of Puli Training

Training a Puli requires patience and consistency. They’re intelligent and quick to learn but can also be stubborn.

Overcoming Training Challenges

Using positive reinforcement methods works best with this breed. They respond well to rewards and praise.

Successful Training Tips and Techniques

Training should start from an early age and include both socialization and obedience training.

Living with a Puli Dog

Home Environment

Pulis are adaptable dogs that can live in a variety of settings, from farms to apartments, as long as they get enough exercise.

Exercise Requirements

Pulis are active dogs that require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Compatibility with Children and Other Pets

Pulis can make great family pets. They’re usually good with children and can get along well with other pets if properly socialized.

Diet and Nutrition for a Puli Dog

Recommended Diet

A high-quality dog food suitable for the dog’s age, size, and activity level is ideal for a Puli.


Like all dogs, Pulis needs a balanced diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Common Dietary Issues and Solutions

Some Pulis may have food allergies or sensitivities, so it’s important to monitor your dog’s reaction to different foods and consult with a vet if you notice any problems.

Adopting a Puli Dog

Where to Find a Puli to Adopt

There are several breed-specific rescues that focus on rehoming Pulis, as well as general animal shelters and rescue organizations.

Costs and Considerations

Adopting a Puli can have various costs, from adoption fees to the costs of feeding, grooming, and healthcare.

Preparing for a New Puli

Before bringing a Puli home, it’s important to prepare your home and family for the new addition and to understand the responsibilities involved in dog ownership.

Puli Dog and Competitions

Participation in Dog Shows

The Puli’s unique look and lively personality make them standouts in the show ring. They can compete in many dog shows, including those organized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Achievements and Recognitions

Over the years, many Pulis have achieved high recognition in various dog shows and competitions.

Training for Competitions

Training a Puli for competition requires dedication and hard work, but it can also be a rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner.

Famous Puli Dogs and Owners

Celebrities Owning Puli Dogs

Several celebrities have owned Pulis, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose Puli, Beast, became a social media sensation.

Puli in Popular Culture

The Puli has made several appearances in films and television, further increasing the breed’s popularity.

Historical or Noteworthy Puli

There are many stories of heroic and notable Pulis from history, demonstrating the breed’s intelligence and courage.

Puli Dog and Weather Conditions

Adaptability to Various Climates

The Puli is a highly adaptable breed and can adjust to various weather conditions. However, due to its dense coat, the Puli may struggle in extremely hot climates. Care should be taken to ensure the dog is not overheating, and indoor living environments should be adequately air-conditioned.

How Weather Affects the Puli’s Coat

The Puli’s distinctive corded coat is not just for show; it also serves a functional purpose. The thick, woolly fur provides excellent insulation, keeping the Puli warm in cold weather and relatively cool in moderate heat. However, in rainy or snowy conditions, the coat can become saturated, and care must be taken to dry the coat thoroughly to prevent discomfort and skin issues.

The Puli Dog and Travel

Traveling with a Puli

Thanks to their adaptable and social nature, Pulis often make excellent travel companions. They generally travel well, but their unique grooming needs should be taken into consideration when planning a trip. Regular grooming is essential, and you’ll need to pack any necessary supplies or make arrangements for professional grooming services at your destination.

Preparing a Puli for Travel

Before traveling with a Puli, it’s a good idea to familiarize the dog with the mode of transportation. If traveling by car, take your Puli on short drives first to get them accustomed to the experience. For air travel, consult with your vet and the airline to understand regulations and requirements for traveling with pets. Your Puli’s health and comfort should be your top priority, no matter what the destination.


Pulis are remarkable dogs, renowned for their unique appearance, intelligent and loyal nature, and rich history. Owning a Puli is a rewarding experience that brings with it unique joys and challenges. Whether you’re considering adopting a Puli or simply interested in learning more about the breed, this guide has hopefully provided valuable insight into the world of these fascinating dogs.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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