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  • Temperament: Loyal, Smart, Home-Loving
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 159 of 192
  • Height: 17 inches (male), 16 inches (female)
  • Weight: 25-35 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Group: Herding Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Puli lying in three-quarter view facing forward
Puli face with black cords and tongue out
An adult Puli with cords running alongside a younger Puli
A Puli with black cords standing sideways facing left outdoors on a sidewalk
Puli

Find a Puppy: Puli

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Puli is a compact, square appearing, well balanced dog of medium size. He is vigorous, alert and active. Striking and highly characteristic is the shaggy coat which, combined with his light-footed, distinctive movement, has fitted him for the strenuous work of herding flocks on the plains of Hungary. Agility, combined with soundness of mind and body, is of prime importance for the proper fulfillment of this centuries-old task.

HEAD

The head is of medium size in proportion to the body. The almond shaped eyes are deep set, rather large, and dark brown with black or slate gray eye rims. The ears, set on somewhat higher than the level of the eyes, are hanging, of medium size, V-shape, and about half the head length. The nose is always black.

BODY

The neck is strong, muscular, of medium length and free of throatiness. The backis level and strong, of medium length, with croup sloping slightly. The chestis moderately broad and deep – the ribs well sprung. The loin is short, strong and moderately tucked up. The tail is carried over, and blends into the backline.

FOREQUARTERS

The shoulders are well laid back. Upper arm and scapula are approximately equal in length and form an angle of 90 degrees. The forelegs are straight, strong and medium boned with strong and flexible pasterns. Dewclaws, if any, may be removed. The round, compact feet have well arched toes and thick cushioned pads. The Puli stands well up on his pads. The pads and nails are black or slate gray.

COAT

The dense, weather resistant coat is profuse on all parts of the body. The outer coat is wavy or curly, but never silky. The undercoat is soft, wooly and dense. The coat clumps together easily, and if allowed to develop naturally, will form cords in the adult. The cords are wooly, varying in shape and thickness, either flat or round, depending on the texture of the coat and the balance of undercoat to outer coat. The Puli may be shown either corded or brushed. It is essential that the proper double coat with correct texture always be apparent. With age the coat can become quite long, even reaching to the ground; however, only enough length to properly evaluate quality and texture is considered necessary so as not to penalize the younger or working specimens.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters are well developed and muscular with well bent stifles, the rear assembly balancing that of the front. The hocks are perpendicular to the ground and well let down. Dewclaws, if any, may be removed. Feet as in front.

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About the Puli

First, there are those dreadlocks, the instantly recognizable feature of the Puli (pronounced “Poo-lee”—”Pulik” is the plural). The coat’s naturally occurring cords are wooly, dense, and weatherproof. Either corded or brushed out, Puli coats require lots of attention. Under the dreads there’s a compact but powerful dog, standing 16 to 17 inches at the shoulder. Pulik are remarkably agile and light on their feet, earning a reputation as the “acrobat of the dog world.”

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Puli

Find a Puppy: Puli

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Puli Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Puli should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Puli can be kept corded, brushed, or with a clipped coat. Until a Puli puppy is 8 to 10 months old, there is no grooming to do except for regular bathing and ears, and grinding toe nails. When the Puli’s undercoat begins to come in, the coat will begin to feel thick and matted to your fingers. You will begin to feel natural separations in the coat, where the hair seems to clump together close to the skin. This is the beginning of a cord. At this time, you can separate these soft clumps from each other by pulling them apart with your fingers. Cords are simply “organized mats” that have tightened up with time. This is a process that will be repeated many times over the course of about six to nine months. Once the coat has distinct cords, all you do is bathe the dog when needed and separate the cords—a good time to do this is while you are watching TV and need something to do with your hands. The breed’s national parent club, the Puli Club of America, provides a number of articles on grooming on the club’s website.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Specialty/Professional

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Infrequent

EXERCISE

The Puli is a high-drive dog who requires both physical and mental stimulation. In fact, mental exercise is as important as physical exercise for this breed. Reputable breeders caution people to not overdo the physical exercise when the dog is young and the growth plates have not yet fused or closed. The Puli excels at canine sports including herding, obedience, and agility, among other activities.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

This is a breed that needs to be kept mentally active. Pulik are incredibly intelligent, agile, and loyal, which makes them able to learn quickly, and they strive to please their owners. However, they do not suffer fools lightly (there is a running joke that you need to be very smart to own a Puli), and they require a firm but fair hand. This is a headstrong breed who has no problem humiliating you in public—so prepare yourself. Pulik are herding dogs, and as such, many of them do not give up control easily. They will follow commands, but they do things their own way. They do not care for repetition. With puppies especially, it is important to do proper socialization.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

Reputable breeders test their breeding stock for health problems that can occur in most any breed. Breeders who are members of the Puli Club of America agree to the club’s guidelines, which include Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) testing to determine that breeding stock is free of inheritable disease. The CHIC testing required by the breed’s parent club includes OFA or PennHIP screening for hip dysplasia, OFA test for patella, OFA test for degenerative myelopathy (DNA test), and CERF eye testing (to be updated every three years). Additional tests that can be performed, but are not required, include OFA for elbows, cardiac, and thyroid, and the BAER (hearing) test. If you are considering getting a Puli, ask the breeder if they test for these conditions, in particular the club’s required tests.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Puli
Puli
Puli
Puli
Puli
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History

​It’s thought Pulik were brought to Europe about a thousand years ago by the Magyars, the same Asian nomads who introduced the Vizsla to the West. Pulik herded large flocks of sheep on the Hungarian plains, and the corded coat protected them from the region’s brutal winters. Today the breed’s herding instinct remains strong. Pulik will try to herd anything: birds, other dogs—even toddlers, with a gentle tug at the diaper.

Did You Know?

The plural of Puli is Pulik (pronounced the same way).
The ancestors of the Puli were brought into Hungary by the Magyars and were similar to the Kuvasz and Komondor.
The Puli coat is unique to the dog world. The undercoat is soft and wooly and very dense, but the outer coat is long and profuse and eventually cords after puppyhood.
The Puli of Drover has been an integral part of the lives of Hungarian shepherds for more than 1000 years.
In the 17th century, due to interbreeding, the Puli was almost lost, but in 1912 a resuscitation was brought about by Emil Raitsits, leading to the first Puli standard in 1915.
The Puli was accepted by the AKC in 1936 and the Puli club of America was founded in 1951.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Puli is a compact, square appearing, well balanced dog of medium size. He is vigorous, alert and active. Striking and highly characteristic is the shaggy coat which, combined with his light-footed, distinctive movement, has fitted him for the strenuous work of herding flocks on the plains of Hungary. Agility, combined with soundness of mind and body, is of prime importance for the proper fulfillment of this centuries-old task.

HEAD

The head is of medium size in proportion to the body. The almond shaped eyes are deep set, rather large, and dark brown with black or slate gray eye rims. The ears, set on somewhat higher than the level of the eyes, are hanging, of medium size, V-shape, and about half the head length. The nose is always black.

BODY

The neck is strong, muscular, of medium length and free of throatiness. The backis level and strong, of medium length, with croup sloping slightly. The chestis moderately broad and deep – the ribs well sprung. The loin is short, strong and moderately tucked up. The tail is carried over, and blends into the backline.

FOREQUARTERS

The shoulders are well laid back. Upper arm and scapula are approximately equal in length and form an angle of 90 degrees. The forelegs are straight, strong and medium boned with strong and flexible pasterns. Dewclaws, if any, may be removed. The round, compact feet have well arched toes and thick cushioned pads. The Puli stands well up on his pads. The pads and nails are black or slate gray.

COAT

The dense, weather resistant coat is profuse on all parts of the body. The outer coat is wavy or curly, but never silky. The undercoat is soft, wooly and dense. The coat clumps together easily, and if allowed to develop naturally, will form cords in the adult. The cords are wooly, varying in shape and thickness, either flat or round, depending on the texture of the coat and the balance of undercoat to outer coat. The Puli may be shown either corded or brushed. It is essential that the proper double coat with correct texture always be apparent. With age the coat can become quite long, even reaching to the ground; however, only enough length to properly evaluate quality and texture is considered necessary so as not to penalize the younger or working specimens.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters are well developed and muscular with well bent stifles, the rear assembly balancing that of the front. The hocks are perpendicular to the ground and well let down. Dewclaws, if any, may be removed. Feet as in front.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Silver Check Mark For Standard Color 176
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199
Brown 061
Cream 076
Rust 161

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Black Markings 002
Black Mask 004
White Markings 014

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