By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th November 2022

Puli Dog


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th November 2022

The Puli (plural Pulik, but pronounced the same) is an ancient Hungarian dog that developed more than 1000 years back mainly as a livestock guardian and herding breed. This adorable dog is famous for its bundles of curly hair tufts, resembling dreadlocks, covering its entire body, giving them their characteristic square profile.
The Puli has roundish features including eyes, nose and face, a short muzzle, and long, floppy ears, though none are visible since their entire face, too, is mantled by hair tufts. Their tail and feet are short, while the body is somewhat elongated, close to the ground level. Despite having a disheveled load of body hair, the Pulik are characterized by speed and agility.

Puli Dog Pictures

Quick Description

Other NamesHungarian Puli, Hungarian Water Dog
CoatLong, dense, soft, wooly, thick, weatherproof, corded
ColorsBlack, White, Silver, Brown, Cream, Gray
Group (of Breed)Herding Dog
Lifespan12-16 years
WeightMale: 25-35 pounds;
Female: 20-30 pounds (full grown/adults)
Height (Size)Medium;
Male: 16-17.5 inches;
Female: 14.5-16 inches
Life Expectancy12-16 years
Personality TraitsBrave, aggressive, protective, alert, intelligent, loyal, playful, whimsical, obstinate, friendly
Good with ChildrenYes
Good with PetsYes (including smaller dogs and cats)
Good for New/First-time OwnersNo
SheddingOnce a year
Litter Size5 puppies at a time
Country of OriginHungary
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationAKC, FCI, FCI, ANKC, CKC, KC (UK), NZKC, UKC
Breed Standards

Video: How to Groom the Puli Dog

History & Development

The ancient Puli breed has an Asiatic origin and is thought to have descended from the Tibetan Terrier when they were an everyday companion of Hungarian shepherds around 1000 years back.

When the first sheep-dogs began to develop, the color and size were instrumental in determining their job. The ones with a brighter shade and big sizes like the Komondor and Kuvasz were assigned the task of guarding flocks at night. On the other hand, smaller ones of a darker hue like Puli were given the daytime job of herding sheep and stallions.

They were not just herding animals, but also proved to be active house dogs after shepherding was extensively replaced by farming, until it lost its immense popularity post the Second World War. The Puli was introduced to the US in 1935 by the government, and in 1936, it was officially recognized by the AKC.

Temperament and Behavior

Pulik are intelligent dogs that are incredibly active, curious and agile. They would move around in rapid strides, changing directions at ease. By nature, they are affectionate with all members of the family and can adapt themselves well to apartment living. However, they take time to mingle with or accept unknown faces.

Though Pulik have a high hunting drive, they also possess an inherent herding instinct as well, for which they would consistently protect the smaller or non-canine pets in its family.



Pulik need the right kind of exercise this breed was created for, without which they might get mischievous and create trouble. Not just jogging and walking, you can also go for hiking, biking, field work, etc. The best home for a Puli is the one with a garden where they can spend time running and playing, off leash.


Grooming the Pulik is a bit tough and time-consuming since the locks are not easy to brush like other normal dogs. Each of its locks needs to be separated individually, from time to time, or else, there is a high chance of its coat getting matted and bedraggled (check the Puli dog grooming video). For any coat related issues (including body smell that is not uncommon in Pulik, or shaving/trimming their hair), you should always seek professional help, especially if you are a novice about the maintenance of this breed. Some owners, however, choose to clip their coat to keep them cool in the hot weather.

Health Problems

Hip dysplasia and certain eye diseases are the common problems reported by Puli owners.


It is not unnatural if your Puli shows up its herding instinct at times, ending up chasing other animals or displaying over-protective behavior for the other pets in your family. Such behavior might make you believe that your dog is acting disobedient or obstinate.

However, this is not true. All you need to do is begin obedience and crate training at the earliest since it might be tough for you to train once it starts to grow adult.

Needless to mention, a thorough preparation for the primary commands including stop, come back, sit, halt, all play a significant role in the mental development of this herding dog.

Leash training is also essential to gain sufficient control over your Puli. Teach it to wear its leash happily as and when you want it to do so. Do not forget to praise of pat your dog for being obedient.


Like other medium breeds, 1½ to 2 cups of kibbles daily is enough to keep your Puli in good health.

Interesting Facts

  • Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has a pet white Puli named Beast.
  • American novelist T.C. Boyle commemorated one of his many Pulik, Kutya (means ‘dog’ in Hungarian) in his novel The Harder They Come.
  • As of 2016, the world ranking of the Puli breed by popularity is #159.

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