Puli Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

The puli is active, intelligent, self-confident, self-possessed and manipulative, yet fiercely dedicated to its family. It will remain happy and playful to an advanced age.

Puli At a glance
The Puli Dog Breed

As a herding dog, the puli tends to circle and often tries to "herd" people by nipping at heels.


Weight Range:

Male: 25-35 lbs.
Female: 25-35 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 17in.

Female: 16in.


Floppy ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 12-16 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:



Length: Long
Characteristics: Curly, corded
Colors: Solid black. rusty black, gray, white
Overall Grooming Needs: High

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Herding
UKC Classification: Herding Dog
Prevalence: Rare

The puli is a medium-sized, active dog with a unique appearance.

He carries his tail curled tightly over the back of his corded coat. Sometimes it is hard to tell if he is coming or going, earning himself the nickname, push-me, pull-me.

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, woolly and dense. The coat clumps together easily and, if allowed to develop naturally, will form cords in the adult. The cords are woolly, varying in shape and thickness, either flat or round, depending on the texture of the coat and the balance of undercoat to outer coat. With age (4 to 5 years old), the coat can become quite long, even reaching to the ground. The cords do not shed, making the dog hypoallergenic.

Coat color in the puli includes the solid colors of rusty black, black, white, and all shades of gray. The fully pigmented skin has a bluish or gray cast whatever the coat color.

The weight of a puli depends on the height (15 to 17 inches for females and 16 to 18 inches for males) and the amount of coat. A fully corded, mature coat can weigh five to seven pounds (two to three kilograms).


This active, intelligent, self-confident, self-possessed and manipulative dog is fiercely dedicated to his family and friends. The puli is an extremely intelligent dog with a sense of humor and will remain happy and playful to an advanced age. Bred to be the sole companion of a shepherd working in isolation in the hills, the dog is above all an incomparable companion. The puli can be either outgoing or discriminating in his dealings with those outside the family.

Although a herding dog, above all the puli is a family companion and a guardian of family and flock. This dog feels that his place in life is with his family and will always put them first and come back to check on them, whether off investigating something, working with his flock, or barking an alarm. The puli is a good watchdog but does not usually bark inappropriately.

Living With:

As a herding dog, the puli tends to circle and be quite active. Pulik will often try to "herd" their people by nipping at their owners' heels. If properly trained and exercised daily, the puli makes an excellent family companion.

Because of the denseness of the corded coat, special care should be taken to avoid letting pulik overheat. If a puli is swimming, either in a pool or pond, pay close attention and help him out of the water if he becomes tired. Washing and drying a fully corded coat can be an ordeal.


The puli (plural pulik) is an ancient Hungarian breed with an Asiatic origin. Pulik are thought to be descendants of the Tibetan terrier. The Tibetan was brought to Hungary before A.D. 900 by nomadic tribes. The name "puli" means both "drover" and "destroyer."

Color and size played an enormous role in the development of the puli as a sheepdog. The lighter colored puli guarded the herds and flocks from robbers and wild animals at night, blending in with their charges. The darker-colored puli was used to drive and herd during the day. The breed has always been known for its herding instincts.

All dog breeding in Hungary was almost destroyed during World War II, but by that time the puli had already earned its place as a companion. The dogs were taken into other countries and breeding was continued to preserve the breed, most notably in North America. In 1935, a few specimens of the breed were imported to the United States to be used in a herd guarding dog experiment. Even though World War II interrupted these experiments, the dogs had made an impact in America.

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