Breeds 101

Hungarian Puli


Today the Puli is more a trusted watchdog and companion than sheepherder.

The responsive, obedient and virtually waterproof Puli is almost certainly the ancestor of the poodle. Some believe that Tibetan Terriers and sheepdogs of France and Germany played a role in this breed’s development in Hungary in the Middle Ages.

The Puli’s small size, speed, and agility made it an excellent sheepherder; the unusual corded coat is the breed’s natural protector.

Well into the 1900s, Hungarian shepherds continued to breed carefully for working ability. World War II virtually destroyed dog breeding in Hungary, but by then the Hungarian Puli had been adopted as a companion. Hungarian immigrants established the Puli abroad, particularly in North America.

Hungarian Puli is adaptable dog: enjoys working sheep and can easily be trained to retrieve from water.

Size: Medium, 30 to 35 pounds; females 16 inches; males 17 inches.

Color: Rusty black, black, gray, and white.

Temperament: Energetic, curious, and smart. Protective of family, suspicious, and watchful; barks and can be aggressive toward other dogs. Home loving and affectionate.

High energy level.

Best Owner: Active owner who can handle firm and fair training.

Needs: Daily exercise, a job to do (herding children or sheep), serious coat care (cording and cleaning), training.

Life expectancy: 12 to 16 years.