The Puli: Your complete guide!

The Puli, a unique and captivating breed known for its distinctive corded coat, unwavering loyalty, and intelligence, has become a beloved choice among dog enthusiasts and those seeking a one-of-a-kind companion. With Hungarian origins, its striking physical features, and a unique set of temperament traits, this breed is celebrated as an agile and endearing companion.

puli close up portrait
Dreadlocked | Agile | Herding
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Everything you need to know about the Puli!

    Category (Explanation)Breed Information
    Year of Breed ConceptionAncient breed
    Country of OriginHungary
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Male)25-35 lbs (11-16 kg)
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Female)20-30 lbs (9-14 kg)
    Coat TypeCorded, long, and curly double coat
    Color VariationsVarious colors, often black, gray, or cream
    Shedding Level (Low, Moderate, High)Low to Moderate
    Height (cm & in)16-17 inches (41-43 cm)
    Breed SizeSmall to medium
    Trainability (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Mental Needs (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Intelligence Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Energy Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Agility (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Loyalty (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Playfulness (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Exercise NeedsRegular exercise and mental stimulation
    Guarding Proficiency (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Sociability with Children (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Barking Level (Low, Moderate, High)Low to Moderate
    Digging Tendency (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Destructive Behavior (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Drooling Level (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Obedience Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Apartment Friendly (Yes/No)Can adapt to apartment living with sufficient exercise
    Inherent Prey DriveModerate
    Physical Risk to Others (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Travel Fatality Risk (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Allergen PotentialLow
    Health Concerns (List of Common Health Concerns)Hip Dysplasia, Eye Issues
    Average Life Expectancy (Life Expectancy in Years)12-16 years
    Make sure to take care of your Puli and

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    History of the Puli

    The Puli’s history is one of distinct corded coats and herding in Hungary. These dogs were developed as herders and livestock guardians, known for their unique and corded coat.

    The cords in their coat protected them from harsh weather and predators. Pulis were highly intelligent and alert herders, excelling in managing livestock.

    Today, Pulis are celebrated for their distinctive appearance and herding abilities. They are known for their loyalty and their capability as working dogs.

    What makes the Puli so special?

    Puli walking in the sun

    What makes the Puli special is its unique corded coat and agile herding skills. These dogs excel in herding tasks and have an iconic appearance. Their intelligence and loyalty make them stand out as both working dogs and cherished companions.

    Pulis have a long tradition as herding and working dogs in Hungary. Their unique corded coat served as protection against the elements while herding livestock. Their agility and herding instincts made them skilled at guiding and protecting animals. Today, they continue to work as herders and are cherished family pets, preserving their heritage as capable working dogs.

    Pulis are known for their spirited and agile personalities. They are celebrated for their herding skills, particularly herding sheep.

    Their intelligence and work ethic make them dependable herders, and they have a loving and loyal nature. Pulis are characterized by their agility, devotion, and a playful disposition, epitomizing the perfect blend of energy and affection.

    Pulis are loyal and independent. They are typically good with children and other pets but may be reserved with strangers. Early socialization is important for a well-adjusted temperament.

    They require mental and physical stimulation to stay content.

    Pulis are small to medium-sized dogs with a unique and distinctive corded coat. They have a square-shaped head with dark, expressive eyes and floppy, v-shaped ears.

    Their most notable feature is their dense, corded coat, which can come in various colors, including black, white, or gray. Their tail is often carried high and has a plume-like appearance.

    Males typically stand between 16 to 17 inches (41-43 cm) at the shoulder and weigh between 25 to 35 pounds (11-16 kg), while females are slightly smaller and lighter.

    Pulis have a distinctive and whimsical appearance, reflecting their role as herding and working dogs.

    Pulis have a distinctive corded coat, which can come in various colors. They may not have distinct coat colors.

    Pulis have a unique corded coat pattern, giving them a distinct and rugged appearance.

    Pulis have a low to moderate shedding level. They shed year-round, but their unique corded coat can help trap shedding hair. Regular grooming is essential to manage their coat.

    Pulis have a distinctive corded coat that requires specific grooming to maintain its appearance. Grooming habits for this breed include:

    1. Mat Care: The coat naturally forms cords, which should be separated gently by hand to maintain their characteristic appearance.

    2. Bathing: Bathe Pulis when necessary using a dog-specific shampoo, ensuring proper rinsing.

    3. Ears: Check and clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup or infections with a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaning solution.

    4. Nails: Keep their nails trimmed to a comfortable length to maintain proper gait and prevent discomfort.

    5. Teeth: Brush their teeth regularly to ensure dental health and prevent bad breath. Dental chews or toys can be beneficial.

    6. Tail and Paw Care: Maintain cleanliness in the tail and paw areas, inspecting for any signs of irritation or injury.

    Pulis have a high activity level and thrive on physical and mental stimulation. Key points about their activity level include:

    1. Exercise Needs: Pulis require daily exercise to maintain their well-being. Activities can include walks, playtime, and interactive tasks.

    2. Energy Level: They have a high energy level, especially when young. Regular exercise helps prevent restlessness.

    3. Herding Heritage: Historically, Pulis were bred for herding and guarding tasks. They excel in activities like obedience training, agility, and herding trials.

    4. Mental Stimulation: In addition to physical activity, mental challenges through training and interactive games are important to keep them mentally sharp.

    5. Family Companions: They make good family pets and enjoy spending time with their human companions.

    Pulis are highly intelligent dogs. They are known for their problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and quick learning. Here are some key points about their intelligence:

    1. Trainability: Pulis are generally easy to train and respond well to positive reinforcement-based training. They are eager to please their owners.
    2. Problem-Solving: Pulis excel in problem-solving, making them effective in herding and other tasks that require quick thinking.
    3. Adaptability: They adapt well to different environments and routines, making them versatile working dogs.
    4. Work and Utility: Pulis were historically herding dogs, and their intelligence was crucial for managing livestock.
    5. Social Intelligence: They are social dogs, forming strong bonds with their families and being perceptive about their owners’ emotions and needs.

    Pulis’ intelligence makes them excellent working dogs and companions, as long as they receive proper training, socialization, and mental stimulation.

    Pulis are intelligent and need mental stimulation. Engage them in obedience training and activities that challenge their minds to keep them sharp.

    Social Interaction: They are social dogs and require regular interaction with their human family. Loneliness can lead to anxiety or destructive behavior, so provide companionship and attention.

    Exercise: Mental exercise is equally important. Offer them tasks that challenge their problem-solving skills.

    Training and Obedience: Pulis benefit from obedience training and activities that engage their minds. Consistent, positive-reinforcement training is effective in shaping their behavior.

    Enter The Woof Mastery

    Monthly Give Away!
    Enter The Woof Mastery Give Away!
    And win your share of HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS worth of Pet Accessories and Vouchers!

    What to look out for, before you get a Puli!

    puli, on the sand

    Before welcoming a Puli into your home, consider the following:

    1. Activity Level: Pulis are active dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation.

    2. Coat Care: Their unique corded coat requires special grooming to prevent matting.

    3. Space: Pulis need space to move around comfortably, making them better suited for homes with yards.

    4. Herding Instinct: They may exhibit herding behaviors, so consider socialization and training.

    5. Work or Activities: Pulis enjoy tasks or dog sports that engage their minds and bodies.

    Pulis, known for their distinctive corded coat, may pose a physical risk to others if not properly socialized, trained, or managed. The risk assessment factors include:

    1. Herding Instinct: Pulis have a strong herding instinct, which may lead to chasing or nipping at people or other animals. Proper training is essential to manage this behavior.

    2. Socialization: Early and thorough socialization is crucial to ensure Pulis are comfortable around people and other animals. Poor socialization can lead to fear or aggression.

    3. Training: Obedience training is essential to teach Pulis appropriate behavior and ensure they respond to commands. Well-trained dogs are less likely to engage in aggressive behavior.

    4. Owner Responsibility: Responsible ownership involves being aware of the dog’s behavior and taking necessary precautions in public settings.

    5. Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL): Pulis are generally not subject to BSL, but owners should be aware of local regulations.

    6. Individual Variability: Each dog is unique, and behavior can vary. Responsible ownership, proper training, and socialization are key to minimizing the potential physical risk to others.

    Pulis are usually good with children. They are affectionate, intelligent, and may form strong bonds with kids. Their unique corded coat can make them intriguing playmates for children.

    Pulis are capable swimmers despite their unique corded coat. Their coat pattern can add buoyancy in the water. While their appearance may be distinctive in the water, their swimming ability is not hindered. Always supervise your Puli when they are near water.

    1. Early Training: Initiate training your Puli puppy early to take advantage of their intelligence and learning potential.
    2. Socialization: Expose your puppy to various people, animals, and environments to ensure they become well-adjusted adults.
    3. Positive Reinforcement: Use treats, praise, and toys to reward good behavior and strengthen your bond with your puppy.
    4. Consistency: Maintain consistency in your training methods and cues to prevent confusion.
    5. Basic Commands: Teach essential commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “leave it” for obedience and safety.
    6. House Training: Establish a regular routine for potty breaks and offer praise for outdoor elimination to housetrain your puppy.
    7. Crate Training: Use crate training to create a secure and comfortable space for your puppy, building positive associations with the crate.
    8. Social Skills: Encourage positive interactions with other dogs and people to develop good social skills.
    9. Exercise and Play: Ensure your Puli puppy receives ample exercise and playtime to prevent restlessness.
    10. Chewing: Provide suitable chew toys to satisfy their need to chew and protect your belongings.
    11. Patience and Persistence: Training may take time; be patient and avoid punitive methods.
    12. Professional Training: Consider professional training classes if you encounter challenges or need additional guidance.

    Early and positive training will help your Puli puppy become a well-behaved and devoted companion.

    Pulis are generally moderate in terms of noisiness. They may bark or use vocalizations when alerting their owners to potential dangers or unfamiliar situations, but they are not excessively loud.

    Pulis thrive in homes that provide:

    • 1. Active Lifestyle: They do well in households with active individuals or families who can provide regular exercise and playtime.
    • 2. Space: A house with a yard where they can exercise and explore is ideal.
    • 3. Socialization: Early and consistent socialization is crucial to their well-adjusted behavior.
    • 4. Routine: Establishing a routine helps them feel secure and reduces anxiety. Predictable daily schedules are beneficial.
    • 5. Training: They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and thrive in environments where training and mental stimulation are prioritized.


    • 1. Lack of Exercise: Without sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, Pulis can become bored and may develop behavioral problems.
    • 2. Isolation: They are social dogs and may struggle in homes where they are frequently left alone for extended periods.
    • 3. Lack of Socialization: Poorly socialized Pulis may exhibit fear or aggression towards strangers or other animals, which can lead to challenges in public settings.
    • 4. Owner Experience: Inexperienced owners who are not prepared for the breed’s specific needs and characteristics may face challenges in raising a well-behaved Puli.

    Traveling with Pulis involves these considerations:

    1. Exercise Needs: Pulis need regular exercise. Plan for breaks and opportunities to move around during travel.
    2. Size: They are a small to medium-sized breed. Ensure their comfort and safety with suitable travel crates or seat belt harnesses.
    3. Anxiety: Some Pulis may experience travel anxiety. Gradual introduction to travel and familiar items can help alleviate stress.
    4. Air Travel: Choose airlines with pet-friendly policies and suitable crate requirements for air travel.
    5. Identification: Ensure proper identification for your Puli during travel.

    Pulis are generally healthy, but they may be prone to certain health concerns, including:

    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A group of inherited diseases that can lead to blindness.
    • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition that affects the hip joints and can lead to arthritis and lameness.
    • Cataracts: A clouding of the eye’s lens, which can lead to impaired vision.
    • Dental Issues: Pulis can be prone to dental problems, including misaligned teeth.

    Proper nutrition is essential for Pulis. Follow these nutritional habits:

    1. High-Quality Dog Food: Choose dog food with high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient.
    2. Age-Appropriate Food: Feed the appropriate life stage formula.
    3. Protein: Opt for a diet with moderate to high protein content.
    4. Balanced Diet: Ensure a balance of protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.
    5. Portion Control: Prevent overfeeding with proper portion sizes.
    6. Fresh Water: Always provide clean, fresh water.
    7. Avoid Table Scraps: Refrain from feeding human food.
    8. Treats: Use treats in moderation for training and rewards.
    9. Consult Your Veterinarian: Seek guidance from your vet for the best diet.
    10. Special Dietary Needs: Address dietary restrictions or allergies with your vet.
    11. Weight Management: Maintain a healthy weight through exercise and portion control.
    12. Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups for monitoring.

    Proper nutrition is essential for the health and well-being of Pulis.

    Breed-specific laws (BSL) can affect Pulis in particular areas, with regulations varying depending on local jurisdictions. Common BSL restrictions that Pulis may face include:

    1. Mandatory Spaying/Neutering: Some areas may require owners of Pulis to spay or neuter their dogs under BSL.
    2. Special Licensing: BSL may necessitate special licenses for Puli owners, often involving additional fees and regulations.
    3. Liability Insurance: Owners of Pulis may be mandated to carry liability insurance as part of BSL.
    4. Muzzling in Public: In specific regions, BSL may dictate that Pulis be muzzled when in public spaces.
    5. Ownership Bans: In extreme cases, BSL may ban the ownership of Pulis altogether in certain areas.

    BSL is typically motivated by concerns about public safety and perceived risks associated with specific breeds, including Pulis. However, it’s important to note that Pulis are not inherently aggressive, and BSL may affect them due to their physical resemblance to breeds that are sometimes included in these laws.

    BSL is a contentious subject, and many advocates argue that it unfairly targets breeds rather than addressing individual dog behavior. They emphasize that responsible ownership, training, and education should be emphasized instead of breed-specific restrictions.

    To determine if there are breed-specific laws or restrictions regarding Pulis in your area, you should check with your local animal control or government authorities. Be aware of and comply with any local regulations to ensure that you are in compliance with the law while owning a Puli.

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    Fun Facts About The Puli

    Myth 1: Pulis are Always Shaggy and Dirty

    Truth: While Pulis have a unique corded coat, it requires regular grooming and maintenance to keep it clean and tidy. With proper care, they can have an attractive appearance.

    Myth 2: They Don’t Need Exercise

    Truth: Pulis are active dogs and require exercise and mental stimulation. Regular playtime and walks are important to keep them happy and healthy.

    Pulis are known for their distinctive corded coat and herding abilities. While specific famous individuals may not be widely documented, they have made notable contributions in herding roles, especially in their native regions.

    • Herding: Pulis have a rich history as herding dogs, excelling in herding and driving livestock.
    • Working Dogs: They are employed as working dogs in various herding and livestock-related tasks.
    • Companionship: Pulis are appreciated as loyal and affectionate family pets.
    • Hungarian Heritage: Pulis are considered a part of Hungarian cultural heritage, symbolizing their herding traditions.

    Pulis, with their corded coat, have been cherished by individuals who appreciate their herding abilities. Specific historical owners may not be widely recognized, but these dogs are known for their distinctive appearance and herding skills.

    Pulis, like all breeds, face certain challenges and dangers. Some of the greatest dangers and concerns for the breed include:

    1. Misunderstanding: Misconceptions about the breed’s exercise needs and coat care can lead to misunderstandings and potential challenges for owners who are not prepared for the breed’s requirements.
    2. Health Concerns: Pulis are susceptible to specific health issues, including hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Responsible breeding and regular veterinary care are essential to address these concerns.
    3. Coat Care: Their distinctive corded coat requires extensive grooming to prevent matting and maintain skin health. Neglecting coat care can lead to discomfort and skin issues.
    4. Exercise Needs: These dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent restlessness and destructive behavior due to their high energy levels.
    5. Climate Sensitivity: Their coat can make them sensitive to heat. Owners in warm climates must take precautions to prevent heat-related issues.
    6. Breed-Specific Legislation: Pulis may be affected by breed-specific legislation (BSL) in certain areas, leading to restrictions or bans on ownership.
    7. Irresponsible Breeding: Irresponsible breeding practices can result in health and temperament issues. Ethical breeding is crucial for the breed’s well-being.
    8. Training Needs: Proper training is important to manage their herding instincts and to provide mental stimulation for the breed.
    9. Socialization: Early and consistent socialization is necessary to ensure Pulis are well-adjusted around strangers and other dogs.

    By understanding these challenges and providing responsible ownership and care, many of these dangers can be mitigated to ensure the well-being of Pulis.

    The Puli is a Hungarian herding breed with a distinctive corded coat. Its development aimed to create a dog capable of herding and protecting livestock in Hungary’s challenging terrain. Selective breeding focused on the Puli’s coat texture and working abilities.

    Check out Woofwear, where you will find our custom designed and stylish Puli merch!

    Why you're going to love the Puli

    The Puli is a breed celebrated for its distinctive corded coat and herding skills. Their agile and intelligent disposition has made them cherished working dogs and companions. Their unique appearance and affectionate nature have captured the hearts of many.

    Being a Puli owner involves providing mental and physical stimulation, grooming to maintain their corded coat, and regular veterinary care. Responsible ownership includes addressing potential health concerns and nurturing their herding instincts through training.

    With their corded coat and lively personality, Pulis continue to be valued for their uniqueness and dedication in both work and companionship.

    Be sure to check out the other Paw-some pups we have reviewed!

    Abruzzese Mastiff headshot portrait
    Abruzzese Mastiff (Mastino Abruzzese)
    Affenpinscher portrait headshot
    Afghan Hound Portrait
    Afghan Hound
    Agouti Husky Portrait
    Agouti Husky
    Airedale Terrier portrait headshot
    Airedale Terrier
    A Portrait of an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alaskan Husky Portrait
    Alaskan Husky
    Alaskan Klee Kai Portrait
    Alaskan Klee Kai
    Alaskan Malamute featured image
    Alaskan Malamute
    Albanian Hound Portrait
    Albanian Hound
    Alpine Spaniel Portrait (2)
    Alpine Spaniel (Switzerland)
    American Akita Portrait
    American Akita
    Portrait of a American Bulldog
    American Bulldog