Puli Breed description: Character & Co


"It's not a dog, it's a Puli!" is a Hungarian saying. The 'mop dog' Puli belongs to the Hungarian culture.

About the breed: the Puli as a sheepdog

The Puli belongs to the FCI Group 1, Section 1, the German Shepherds. It is a herding dog and accordingly a working dog.

In Hungary it is a kind of national dog, which still herds animals or is used there as a watchdog.

The Puli: (still) rare in Germany

Since the Puli is still quite rare in Germany, you will not necessarily find one in animal shelters and you will have to accept a longer way to the breeder if you want to get a Puli puppy.

A dog with history

  • 4000 years ago: in Mesopotamia dogs of the appearance of Puliks, proven by excavations which brought to light amulets with dog pictures
  • in the 9th century A.D.: settlement of the Carpathian basin by Magyars, who bring their herding dogs
  • During the rule by the Ottomans and later by the Habsburgs the Hungarians were forbidden to breed dogs. Result: Break-in in the Puli population.
  • 1954: Puli finally gets recognised as a breed by the FCI
  • 1989: German Puli Club founded
Banner: Shutterstock / Seregraff
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Alternate Name -
Origin Hungary
Life expectancy 12 - 14 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average to high
FCI group Sheepdogs
AKC group Herding Group
KC group Pastoral Group

The character: independent, courageous, strong-willed

The Puli is independent, alert, courageous and strong-willed, as befits a good herding dog. It is agile, very eager to learn and persevering.

Its herding instincts, which has been developed over generations, can become a problem when kept purely as a family dog.

Training of the mop dog: not very difficult

Since the Puli is very eager to learn and always wants to please its owner, it is quite easy to train. However, it does not think much of unconditional subordination. Like many herding dogs it first thinks about whether what you ask of them is reasonable from their point of view. But if you train them in a loving and consistent manner and praise them again and again, you will grow into a great team.

The difficult thing is to get the most out of them. It's just a working dog by origin.

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Health of the Puli

In this robust breed, no particularly common diseases are known. The average life expectancy is 13 to 15 years.

Attitude of a Puli: preferably outdoors

The Puli Dog prefers to be outside and busy. It loves to go for long walks; but it also likes to have a large garden that it can guard. It is suitable for various dog sports. Since they like to please you, you can do obedience training with them quite well - they are predestined for agility. But they are also perfect as a companion for horse riding.

You should stimulate your Puli both physically and mentally, otherwise they will get stupid ideas, get protective over the car or the children. It can be dangerous if your children have visitors and scream while playing. Your Puli could easily think that they have to defend them.

What else you should know

The plural of 'Puli' is 'Pulik', by the way. So you have a Puli or several Puliks.

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The most striking external feature of the Puli is certainly its laced coat, which makes it look like a mop.

The coat may be white or in the other variety black, grey, black with grey or rust-red traces or fawn with mask.

The Puli reaches a withers height of 41 to 43 cm for males, for females this is 38 to 40 cm, 2 cm variance is allowed. Males reach a weight of 13 to 15 kg, bitches from 10 to 13 kg.

It has a rather slender build, even if you can hardly notice it through the coat. It has medium high set hanging ears. The eyes are almond-shaped, dark and stand somewhat angled.

The build is square-like. The tail is carried curled up.

Care: about the laced coat of the Puli

The string hair is caused by a very specific type of coat care. The Puli has a very specific mixture of undercoat and top coat when grown up. The coat is traditionally neither shorn, combed nor brushed, but shagged - the tips are regularly plucked apart. The result is the well-known hairstyle. The dead undercoat remains on the dog, which gives it a very dense coat, but also has the consequence that the coat stinks quite a lot when it is wet.

Since the dog hardly loses any hair, it is quite suitable for allergy sufferers. However, it brings a lot of dirt into the house with its shaggy hair, so you have to be a little less sensitive.

When herding the coat gives them protection from the weather condotions but also from the bites of wild animals.

To avoid too much dirt and to give the dog some visibility, you can trim the coat in the anal area and above the eyes a little.

Behind the ears the coat is slightly matted, you should pay special attention to this area.

Otherwise you should regularly check the ears, eyes, claws and paws.

Bathing is not necessarily a good idea, the Puli takes a long time to dry out and then easily catches a cold.

Fur length long
Fur curly
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail short
Anatomy rugged
Size ♀ 38 - 41 cm
Weight ♀ 10 - 13 kg
Size ♂ 41 - 43 cm
Weight ♂ 13 - 15 kg
Suitable For -


Dog,Canidae,Bergamasco shepherd,Carnivore,Terrier,Sporting Group,Dog breed,Glen of imaal terrier,Spanish water dog,
Mammal,Dog,Vertebrate,Dog breed,Canidae,Bergamasco shepherd,Komondor,Carnivore,Terrier,Sapsali,
Dog,Canidae,Bergamasco shepherd,Dog breed,Puli,Komondor,Tibetan terrier,Carnivore,Sky,Snow,

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 05.04.2023

American Kennel Club (2007). The Complete Dog Book. Random House Publishing Group.

Puliclub Österreich

Accessed on 05.04.2023

Deutscher Puli Club

Accessed on 05.04.2023

Joy Renkings (2017). Dog Owners Bible A-Z: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dogs. Lulu.com.

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