The Puli is the ancient sheepdog of Hungary, introduced by the migration of the Magyars from Central Asia over 1000 years ago. Records show Pulis working the plains of Puszta as early as the 9th century. Some believe the Puli existed as a working sheepdog for thousands of years prior to this, perhaps as early as 4500 B.C.
Nomadic shepherds of the Hungarian plains valued their herding dogs, paying as much as a year’s salary for a Puli. They were ruthless in maintaining working qualities and would eliminate any dogs that didn’t show these qualities immediately. To survive, the Puli had to be physically sound and mentally capable, agile and willing to work. The Puli’s coat protected the dog while living outdoors without amenities.
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.
By nature an affectionate, intelligent and home-loving companion, the Puli is sensibly suspicious and therefore an excellent watchdog.
Ideally, males are 17 inches measured from the withers to the ground; bitches, 16 inches. An inch over or under these measurements is acceptable.
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.
Only the solid colors of rusty black, black, all shades of gray, and white are acceptable; however, on the chest a white spot of not more than 2 inches is permissible. In the black and the gray dogs an intermixture of some gray, black or white hairs is acceptable as long as the overall appearance of a solid color is maintained. The fully pigmented skin has a bluish or gray cast whatever the coat color.
Learn more at the The Puli Club of America.