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The Hungarian Puli (Pulik in plural form) is an ancient sheepdog whose ancestors are believed to have existed 6,000 years ago. As a herding and guard dog, this breed is naturally hardworking and protective. It has an ultra-thick corded coat that is hypoallergenic and non-shedding, yet challenging to maintain.
Will a Hungarian Puli fit your lifestyle and personality? Read the brief background of this mop-like dog to know.
The Hungarian Puli, as the name suggests, hails from Hungary. It is an ancient sheepdog whose actual origins remain a mystery. Its ancestors are believed to have existed 6,000 years ago. Others claim that the Magyars introduced similar-looking dogs to Hungary in the 9th century that were prized herding and guard dogs. There is also a theory that this type of dogs originated in Asia before it reached other parts of the world.
When it arrived in Hungary, the Puli herded livestock through difficult terrains, usually working alongside the much larger livestock guardian dog called the Komondor. The two worked hand in hand to drive away wolves and other predators. The breed’s thick, corded coat provided protection from the harsh weather and predator attacks.
The Puli remained virtually true to its original features as Hungarian shepherds strived to protect their dogs from external influence. It also remains an esteemed breed in its hometown that shepherds would willingly pay a year’s worth of wages to own one. It was only recently that this breed became popular in the other parts of the world as a loyal companion and it still remains rare outside Hungary. In fact, people who want to own a puppy will have to wait for a while as the waiting list is quite long. The Hungarian Puli is registered with The Kennel Club under the Pastoral group.
The Hungarian Puli is a dog that is hard to miss thanks to its ultra-thick corded coat. Weighing 22 to 29 pounds and standing 37 to 44 centimetres at the withers, this mop-like dog is actually well-muscled and sturdy. Hair fully covers its dark brown eyes from view, which have a lively expression. It has medium pendant, v-shaped ears, large black nose, black tight lips, and a perfect scissor bite.
Obviously, the most interesting feature of Pulik is their distinctive coat, which is considered hypoallergenic and non-shedding. According to KC standards, the accepted colours are:
Grooming will be a challenging task as this type of coat is a magnet for debris, which needs to be removed straight away to lessen chances of matting. It is specifically high maintenance during the first 6 to 9 months when cords are forming. Some coats are self-cording but humans usually separate them when the coat texture changes from puppy fluff to adult coat at one year of age. The coat becomes fully mature at around four years of age. Corded coats are managed by hand and should never be brushed. The first step in cording is dampening the coat with water, followed by individually separating and twirling the cords. While KC standards require corded coats, some owners prefer the coats of their Pulik uncorded and keep them tidy by regular brushing to remove tangles and matts.
The Puli should only be bathed when needed like when it lies and plays in mud or when the coat has collected too much dirt, food, faeces, urine, etc. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have that doggy smell. Bathing is a tedious task as chords need to be soaked in water, carefully shampooed and squeezed dry. Air-drying can actually take two days and blow-drying is a big no-no as the breed overheats.
Pulik are prone to ear infections, which are difficult to clear up so it is better to prevent them altogether. Ears need to be frequently cleaned and hairs inside need to be removed for air to circulate efficiently. Also make sure your dog’s teeth are brushed regularly and its nails are trimmed. During a trip to the vet, ask for assistance in inspecting its skin to avoid bumps and parasites.
The Hungarian Puli’s interesting coat is paired with a great personality. It is affectionate, playful and loyal. Dubbed as a one-man dog, it usually forms a bond with one particular member of the family, usually the one that spends a lot of time caring for it. It can be a great pet for first-time owners as long as they are up for the challenge of keeping its coat clean and healthy. It also loves children of all ages but always keep an eye on interactions because its energetic personality might lead it to accidentally knock over a toddler. It usually gets along with other dogs especially when raised together but introducing smaller animals should be avoided altogether since it is inclined to chase them.
The Puli is intelligent, hardworking and eager to please, making it easy to train. However, it has a tendency to be stubborn so early socialisation and training from a firm but gentle owner are needed. Aside from basic dog obedience, trainings should focus on curbing its strong desires to herd so it won’t accidentally hurt any family member especially kids.
A typical serving for an adult Hungarian Puli is 1 to 2 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day, which should be divided into two equal meals. If you are unsure regarding the amount and frequency suitable for your dog, ask your veterinarian for advice.
Typical calorie needs of adult Hungarian Pulik per day:
Make sure to feed your Puli high quality food formulated for medium breeds for balanced energy that will maintain a healthy weight. Food should contain animal meat from chicken, turkey, lamb or beef. Owners need to be wary of carbohydrate fillers like soybean, wheat and corn.
The Hungarian Puli is a healthy and robust breed known to have an average lifespan of 9 to 15 years. It is prone to only suffer from a handful of illnesses such as cataracts, Hip dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy.
When it comes to its exercise needs, the Puli is a lively and energetic dog that only requires a minimum of 40 minutes of physically and mentally challenging activities. It loves going out with its owner for a walk and playing canine sports at a fenced yard.
If you are looking to own a Hungarian Puli, you will have to set aside over £700 and as previously mentioned, be on a long waiting list for a well-bred pedigree puppy. Insuring it will cost around £20 for basic coverage and £40 for lifetime. However, the price can go higher if you choose a more comprehensive premium.
Initial costs to buy basic equipment like bed, food and dish bowls, toys, and others will be around £200. When it comes to food and treat costs, you need to set aside about £50 per month. Routine veterinary check-ups and preventive care will cost you as high as £1,000 within a year especially when you decide to neuter or spay your Puli.
Are you sure the Hungarian Puli is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Is the Puli’s high-maintenance coat too overwhelming for you? Take the Pet Finder to find breeds with similar characteristics with low grooming needs.
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