Puli (Herding Group)
The Puli has been a member of the Herding Group since 1936. It’s appearance cannot be mistaken – almost “mop like” due to its long, super curly coat, which is also weatherproof. These dogs are very quick and agile, especially when herding. With a height of between 16 and 17 inches, the weight of the Puli dog ranges from 25 to 35 lbs.
The Temperament of the breed can best be described as curious, defensive, and energetic. They are somewhat headstrong in terms of attitude, and tend to be aggressive towards other dogs and strange people. This is what makes the Puli dependable watchdogs and fearless protectors. These dogs also tend to bark often.
A Brief History Of The Puli
The history of the Puli dates back to the Middle Ages, in the lands of Hungary. The original bloodline was a sheepdog which came from the the people of the Magyar tribes during the 9th century. These tribes occupied the central Danube area and had various types of sheepdog.
It is said that the Tibetan Spaniel was thrown into the mix due to the resemblance of the Puli’s body structure with that of the Tibetan. Whatever the true origin that went into the making, these canines were natural-born sheep herders, devoted to doing the job and would even help sheep turn in a specific direction by jumping on their backs. They were then known as Pulik dogs.
During the 16th century Hungary was invaded and the people were decimated. Once the land started repopulating again, sheep and dogs were brought from western Europe. By interbreeding these dogs with the native Pulik (Puli) breed, the Pumi was created. Both the Puli and the Pumi were interbreed further to the point that the original breed (the Puli) was practically lost.
When the 1900s arrived, dog fanciers set out to bring back the Puli. The first breed standard was created in 1925 and as its numbers grew the Puli became more popular around the world, especially in the United States. The breed received official AKC recognition in 1936.
Upkeep Requirements For The Puli
This is one breed that loves to stay busy and will do anything to expend its high energy levels. With a preference to herd, the Puli needs daily walks on the leash plus lively training sessions for mental stimulation. They are easy to train and will enjoy any vigorous activity you throw at it, especially herding work.
Puli dogs can withstand cold temperatures and may live outdoors if necessary. They also make well-mannered house dogs and prefer to sleep inside at night. Grooming requirements for the breed consists of a daily brushing. Those with the non-shedding coat can be corded. The coat tends to hold small pieced of dirt and debris. You can also completely clip the Puli but of course its unique appearance will be lost.
The average lifespan for the Puli is between ten and fifteen years. The only major health concern in the breed is CHD. There are no minor health issues to report. Occasionally, PRA and deafness show up. Veterinarians suggest that the Puli get specifically tested for eye, hip, and hearing problems.