How to Identify a Puli
The Puli is a very interesting dog with a quite unique appearance. They are most notably known for their long corded hair that greatly resembles human hair. Pulik (the plural of Puli) were originally bred as herding dogs in Hungary. They are quite agile and obedient. With a little bit of research and breed know-how, you'll be able to easily identify a Puli.
Examining Physical Characteristics
1. Look at the hair.
The Puli is the best known for its hair, which consists of wooly curls that almost look like human hair. The coat is dense and mostly weather resistant, as they were once used to herd cattle. The hair will grow all the way to the ground. The coat should be either black, silver, or white, though black is definitely the most common color for the breed.
- The coat will always be coarse, wooly, or wavy – never silky.
- Pulik typically do not shed very much.
- The hair will naturally clump together over time, creating a corded appearance in adults – similar to human dreadlocks.
2. Notice the size.
The Puli is always described as compact. They stand 15-18 inches at the shoulder for males, 13-17 inches for females. They are noticeably longer than taller, and their head gives them almost 1/3 more height in addition to their body.
- Pulik are classified as medium sized dogs. They typically weigh between 25 and 35 pounds.
3. Examine its eyes.
The Puli's eyes are almost never seen since the amount of hair will cover it. The almond-shaped eyes are deep-set in the Puli's head. The eyes themselves will always be dark colored.
- You can trim the hair on the Puli's face to make the eyes more visible.
4. Inspect the nose.
The Puli's muzzle should barely protrude past the hair, and its nose should just barely be visible. The hair grows from the bridge of the dog's muzzle, down over the sides.
- The nose is always black, without exception.
5. Notice the ears.
There may be a slight indentation of the ears, but the hair of the Puli covers almost everything. You will have to push the hair aside for there to be any visibility of the ear.
- The ears are medium-sized and V-shaped.
6. Get your dog DNA tested if you're still not sure.
Order a dog DNA test online and follow the directions that come with the kit. You'll probably need to swab your dog's cheek and send the sample to the company you ordered the kit from. They'll be able to check their database of dog breeds and send you detailed information about the breed of your dog.
Noticing Personality Traits
1. Look for loyalty.
Pulik are very loyal. Once they bond, that bond will remain intact for a long time. Their intelligence, combined with their loyalty, will give them an elevated interest in brain games – especially when engaging in these games with their owner. Because of their loyal connections to their owners, these dogs should be easily trainable.
- Pulik typically behave very well around kids, and most of the Pulik should not have a problem being left at home.
- While quite mischievous and demanding at times, the Puli's loyalty makes them a great pet.
2. Monitor the dog's agility.
Since Pulik were originally bred as herding dogs, they are naturally quite agile. Despite their seemingly cumbersome coat, these dogs are quick on their feet and can move at impressive speeds. They also have extremely quick reflexes.
- A Puli should be able to run quickly and chase after objects during games (like fetch). Pulik have a pretty high level of energy and need regular exercise.
3. Watch for a high prey drive.
Because of their breeding origins, Pulik have a high prey drive. This means that they are very likely to chase after smaller animals or objects that they have mistaken for small prey.
- Pulik usually get along well with other household pets. But sometimes, their prey drive causes them to act aggressively toward other animals, especially ones smaller than themselves.
- Pulik are traditionally very high energy dogs. This stems from their breeding as herding dogs who were used in an active outdoor role for long hours of work.
Grooming the Puli
1. Separate the cords.
For adult Pulik, you'll need to separate each cord into individual tendrils before bathing. Use your fingers to work through the cords, beginning at the bottom. Work your fingers all the way up to the top of the cord where it intersects with the skin.
- Do not use a brush on your Puli's coat. This could do serious damage to their coat and hurt their skin over time.
2. Bathe a Puli.
Puli adults should be bathed very infrequently. In fact, you may only want to bathe them regularly if you are showing them professionally in dog shows – otherwise, four or five times per year will suffice. But if you must bathe your Puli, be sure to wet it down with water first. Then apply some gentle dog shampoo to the tendrils and rinse them out.
- Make sure you use plenty of water and rinse thoroughly.
- It is also a good idea to dilute the dog shampoo before using to protect your Puli's sensitive skin.
- Pulik, in general, should not be bathed very often because their dense coat takes so often to dry and this can lead to skin irritations and dermatitis. Before 8-10 months, though, you can feel free to bathe your Puli puppy as needed – about once every three weeks or so.
3. Wring out the cords.
Use both hands to gently wring out the excess water from the cords. Take a few cords in your hands at a time and squeeze it gently, beginning at the top and working your way down to the bottom.
- Once you have finished wringing out the cords, you should repeat the process of separating the cords into tendrils with your fingers. Then let the dog air dry its coat the rest of the way.
- If you're adopting a purebred Puli puppy, ask the breeder to show you the parents' pedigree certificate to ensure that the puppy is indeed a Puli.
- Don't yank on your Puli's hair, as it is prone to knotting.
- The hair should always be the main indication of a Puli.
- If in doubt, always heed the advice of a vet.
- Ask your breeder to review the health testing results they have done on the parents.