Puli Dog | Information & Dog Breed Facts


The Puli dog, commonly known as puli, is a dog easy to recognize for its exclusive fur : long loops that can reach the ground.

On the street, every person will pay 100% attention to a dog like the Puli. It cannot be otherwise, because not every dog can be compared with Rostoman. Puli dogs are similar to them with their hair cords, which resemble dreadlocks.

This breed is also called the Hungarian Shepherd Dog or the Hungarian Water Dog. The Puli dogs were originally used as livestock herders. Now representatives of the breed have established themselves in the police service, in the army.

They actively participate in various sports competitions. Also, the Hungarian Shepherd can become a faithful friend and companion.

Puli dog

Breed history

The Puli dogs belong to one of the oldest dog breeds. Hungary is considered their homeland, however, according to researchers, the animals were brought to this country by the Romans or Turks. There is no complete information about the origin of the breed, since no records were kept in herd books for a long time.

Some sources claim that Puli dogs are the ancestors of the commander, others adhere to the parallel development of two different breeds. Since dogs are very similar in appearance, they are often called the same – Hungarian Shepherd Dogs.

Thanks to endurance and the ability to drive a flock of sheep in the right direction, Hungarian shepherds began to use a Puli dog as helpers. They could quickly run from one part of the flock to another, not running around the livestock, but moving along the backs of the animals.

In the 18th century, dogs were highly prized. One animal was given a price equal to the annual earnings of the average citizen. However, after farming in Hungary lost its popularity, Puli dogs began to be used as a companion dog or watchdog. People noticed that dogs jump fearlessly into the water when chasing small animals, so they also came to be called water dogs.

In 1915, the breed standard was created. During this period, animals are brought to America, where they are recognized as the most capable herding dogs. In Europe, the number of Puli dogs is small. They are most often found in Hungary and America.

Puli dog

Breed description

In 1915, the first Hungarian Puli dog standard was officially adopted at the international level. First, the representatives of the breed were divided into 4 types, which were distinguished by the height at the withers:

  1. Dwarf – about 24 cm.
  2. Small – up to 38 cm.
  3. Workers – up to 42 cm.
  4. Large – not less than 47 cm.

Due to the fact that not all varieties could cope with shepherd’s work, and because of this they were less in demand, in 1924 the standard was changed. Now only medium-sized the Puli dog was recognized.

According to the existing standard, the weight of an adult Puli dog is 10-15 kg., Height is about 37-45 cm.

A distinctive feature of the Puli dog is its long wool cords, like those of the rasta. Eyes are almost completely hidden under the fur, and the lush tail, wrapped over the back, merges so tightly with the general coat that the rise of the back line (from withers to rump) is visually seen.

In general, the physique is square. The musculature is well developed, although the long coat hides both the muscles and the curves of the body.

On a muscular, not too long neck, a small head is kept round. Hanging ears are V-shaped.

Dark eyes are not too large, set obliquely. The eyelids are not droopy. A lively look, indicates the intelligence and developed intelligence of the Puli dog.

Puli dog

The muzzle is not sharp. The nose is small, black. The lips are not pendulous. Jaws strong, scissor bite.

The line of the back is straight, the loin is short. The chest is deep. The croup is slightly sloping.

The limbs are straight with well-developed muscles. The structure of the front and hind legs is the same. The pads are elastic. The stride is wide, the trot is replaced by jumping. The movements are energetic.

The tail is set high, curled in a ring.

The skin is without folds, strongly pigmented.

The coat of sexually mature Hungarian Shepherd Dogs is flowing, thick. The guard hair is coarse and coarse. There is a thin undercoat. The wool hangs down to the ground and spontaneously curls into thick cords 20-30 cm long.

In the early twentieth century, black Puli dogs were considered the most popular. Then the championship was led by the Hungarian Shepherd Dogs with a white coat. Now, according to the standard, the following colors of the specified breed are allowed:

  1. Black.
  2. White.
  3. Gray.
  4. Deer (there is a black mask on the face).
  5. Black with a gray or rusty red tint.

During show shows, white water dogs are judged separately from breeds with other coat colors.

Puli dog

Personality traits and temperament

The Puli dog is very attached to the owner and to all family members. The breed’s energy reserves never seem to run out. Therefore, the owner in the form of a couch potato will not suit him. Puli dogs are ready to accompany any of the household members, just to be around, run, jump and, of course, guard.

The Hungarian Shepherd guarding skills turns out to be excellent. At the slightest noise or when strangers arrive, this dog barks loudly. If the owner, family members or pets are in danger, the Puli from an affectionate, intelligent dog turns into a fearless, formidable guard.

This shepherd treats domestic children tenderly, patronizingly. But he does not show much friendliness to children from other families. Unfamiliar adults, their children, animals kept in other houses are strangers.

So, the Puli dog instinctively seeks not to let them into their territory, protecting and protecting their family. So that there are no problems when guests come, the shepherd needs to be properly educated and trained.

Puli dog


On average, the Hungarian Shepherd Dog can live 12-13 years. His health is strong, the body’s immune defenses are strong. These dogs are hardy and mentally resilient. This characteristic of the breed, with regard to health, has remained unchanged for several centuries.

It is worth noting the Puli dog’s predisposition to the following diseases:

  • Hypothyroidism – occurs due to an insufficient amount of hormones in the thyroid gland.
  • Onychodystrophy is a claw pathology.
  • Portosystemic shunt is an anastomosis between the veins of the gastrointestinal tract and the caudal vena cava.
  • Pemphigus erythematosus – usually occurs on the front of the head (bridge of the nose and around the eyes), as well as on the ears.
  • Tail shortening.
  • Partial teeth.
  • Dysplasia – causes severe pain, the dog is limping and has little movement.
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system.
  • Dermatitis is a skin disease that requires long-term treatment.
  • Diabetes.
Puli dog

Basic care

The Puli dog is able to perfectly adapt to life outdoors and indoors. So, such a pet can be kept in an aviary, in a private house or in an apartment. If the dog lives in the yard, take care of a high fence. Puli dogs can jump very high, so that a low fence can be overcome with ease. Install the aviary in a place protected from direct sunlight and not in a draft.

When keeping in an apartment, be sure to allocate a place for a pet. Make sure your Hungarian Shepherd does not suffer from the heat. In the summer, the apartment should have a cool climate, it is also important that the dog has clean, fresh water around the clock.

Daily long walks are vital for the Puli dog. Ten minutes of walking a day is not enough, because of such a boring lifestyle, the dog may even get sick or his character will deteriorate.

You need to walk with a Hungarian shepherd dog twice a day. This takes at least 2-3 hours. When doing this, provide your pet with physical activity. Favorite entertainment – obstacle course, pursuit game. Daily training helps the animal’s mental and physical development.

If you take a Puli dog walk in crowded places, near highways, be sure to keep your dog on a leash and in a muzzle. The fact is that the Hungarian Shepherd Dog has a highly developed hunting instinct. Seeing the intended target, he is able, contrary to the commands of the owner, to rush after the “victim”. An ideal place for training a shepherd dog is a deserted park or yard.

Your pet must be properly cared for. If you carry out the timely treatments listed below, the Puli dog will be healthy and beautiful:

  • Taking care of long and unusual bullet coats is not difficult. Brushing consists of unraveling the dreadlocks with your hands rather than brushing the hair out with a brush. The cords of the Hungarian Shepherd Dog can become tangled without such procedures. The fur on the muzzle and along the bottom line requires a little decoration as it grows. The absence of molting simplifies the care of the dog.
  • We bathe only as needed. Scheduled bathing is recommended once a year. Puli dogs dries for a very long time, using a hair dryer in this case can harm both the wool and the skin of the shepherd. “Human” detergents cannot be used, buy only special bullets for bathing, intended for dogs with the specified type of wool. The skin of these animals is very sensitive, consider this fact when choosing a shampoo.
  • Every 6-8 days we examine and clean our dog’s ears. If you find excessive accumulation of ear discharge or inflammation, urgently show your pet to your veterinarian.
  • The eyes are examined regularly for inflammation and injury. Wipe it as needed if discharge accumulates.
  • Claws rarely have to be cut, as active water dogs themselves grind them on the road surface during walks.
  • For brushing teeth, it is recommended that to use special bones that are sold at a pet store or in a zoo pharmacy. Although you can use a brush and paste made for dogs.
Puli dog


Puli dogs are unpretentious in food. They accept specialized feed and natural food well. However, you cannot feed the pet from the master’s table. The following foods should also not be included in the dog’s diet:

  • Fatty meats;
  • Tubular bones;
  • Whole milk;
  • Sweets (especially chocolate);
  • Flour products;
  • Spicy and smoked foods;
  • Legumes.

An adult dog is offered food once a day at the same time. Puli puppies up to 3 months old are fed 5 times a day, from 3 to 5-4 times a day, from 6 to 9 months – 2 times.

The diet should be dominated by:

Lean meat. However, you cannot feed the dog exclusively with meat dishes. Excess protein negatively affects your pet’s health. Meat for an adult dog is given raw, for puppies – boiled.

Porridge. All types of cereals are suitable for feeding the bullet, except for wheat and barley.

Vegetables and fruits. Pets prefer carrots, pumpkins, zucchini. Fruit is given as a treat during training.

Boiled eggs. Quails are included in the daily diet for 1-2 pieces, chicken is offered once a week.

Boneless sea fish. Adult dogs should be given slightly frozen seafood, puppies should boil the fish. The frequency of feeding is 1 time per 7 days.

Dairy products.

Vitamin supplements. Vitamins are added to food if the dog eats only natural food. As a rule, prepared feed contains all the necessary elements.


Energetic by nature, the Hungarian Puli needs a reasonable amount of exercise (at least an hour per day for an adult dog, preferably more) and it will be even happier if its owner gives it more time to run and to play.

Puli dog

Puli dog fun facts

  • The Hungarian Water Dog leads the flock in a very peculiar way. He guides the sheep by jumping on their backs and jumping over them.
  • The Puli dog is very fond of water (from this name) and is an excellent swimmer. Only one problem – after water procedures, long wool lashes dry for about 4 days.
  • Rough handling of the Hungarian Shepherd Dog by the owner can lead it to deep depression and even cardiac arrest due to the stress received.
  • In ancient times, a Hungarian Shepherd puppy was comparable in price to a cow. It was impossible to get such a pet cheaper.
  • In most cases, Puli dogs were looked after very badly; the food for herding dogs often consisted of several pieces of black bread.
  • In ancient times, for any error, the owner could hang a Puli dog over a well. But even such cruel treatment did not “kill” love for people in shepherds.