The Hungarian puli is a dog that is hard to miss, thanks to its ultra-thick, corded coat. Weighing 22–29 pounds and standing 37–44 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 puli is its distinctive coat, which is considered hypoallergenic and non-shedding. According to KC standards, the accepted colours are:
- Black, with or without intermingling of white hairs
- Black with rusty or grey shading
- Grey in various shades
- Fawn, preferably with a distinct black mask; all shades of fawn; grey or fawn, which may have an intermingling of black or white hairs with black or grey tips on tail and ears
- White without any yellow markings
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 six to nine 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. Whilst KC standards require corded coats, some owners prefer the coats of their pulik uncorded and kept them tidy by regular brushing to remove tangles and mats.
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, and more. 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.
The puli is 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 that 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.