Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health, Pets and Family

7 Top Facts About Puli Dogs (the dreadlocked dog)

Recently at a dog show I stopped by to discuss the Puli dog with a dog breeder, this fascinating dog is known for its corded coat has many other attributes, and has a long history as a working dog. We most often associated the Puli for its distinguishable corded coat that looked to me like a dreadlocked dog Rastafarian but the corded coat actually served a purpose in the Puli’s long history.

Grey and black Puli dog running on grass with its tongue hanging out.

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1) The Puli Corded Coat

The corded distinctive coat actually provided the Puli with protection. The Hungarian Puli a herder and protector dog of sheep in Hungary benefited from the corded coat to protect it.

However, as the Puli is now domesticated, the corded coat should be considered when determining if the Puli is the best fit for your family.

As I was speaking to the breeder she was constantly caring for her Puli’s coat by twilling the cords. She washes her Puli monthly and when wet cords all of the hair into dog dreadlocks. In addition, to the regular dog maintenance of nails, eyes, and ears with Puli’s there is an additional need for extra coat maintenance. Puli owners are drawn to the distinctive Puli coat even describing the cording and maintenance of the coat as somewhat therapeutic.

2) Puli Has a Working Dog Heritage

Puli’s were initially a working herding dog in Hungary, their numbers decreased, like other dog breeds including the Livestock Guardian Dogs in Europe after World War II but they regained popularity as a family pet. The Puli still has working dog tendencies and is very energetic, has herding instincts, and like Livestock Guardian Dogs, like the Great Pyrenees, are known to be independent, hardy dogs and strong-willed.

Since the Puli dog was a true working dog it needs regular exercise and a daily walk or run or even better to participate in dog sports, like Flyball and Treiball and other sports games that herding dogs take to.

3) The Puli Size

The Puli is a medium-sized dog with black coats and distinctive unique looks but did you know that its size is often considered larger than it is due to its full coat? A Puli’s coat itself weighs 5-7 pounds, that is 5-7 pounds of combing!

4) The Puli As Family Dog

If your family is considering a Puli puppy know that the Puli is often considered a great family dog. They are considered to be an intelligent dog, loving with young children, and a faithful family companion.

They are a smart dog and have even been reported to be great with small children but at the same time due to their intelligence requiring mental stimulation like talking with buttons and are high-energy dog that is also very active dog.

Grey Puli dog standing on grass on a leash beside its owners.
Puli’s are high energy dogs due to their working dog history

Not only should families consider the extra care required of the Puli unique coat but also Puli’s do have a high bark likelihood that families should consider, I know that is something our family considers very seriously when adopting a dog.

Additionally, Puli’s are known to retain their puppy tendencies and mature into an adult dog later than most dogs and have very high energy levels. Families need to sure that their Puli gets enough exercise even as they do mature into adult dogs.

5) Puli History As a Herding Breed

As we noted, the Puli breed was developed as a herding breed in Hungary. They are a hardy breed and an ancient breed. According to, the Puli is the ancient sheepdog of Hungary, introduced by the migration of the Magyars from Central Asia over 1000 years ago. Records show Puli working the plains of the Puszta as early as the 9th century. 

Some believe the Puli existed as a working sheepdog for thousands of years prior to this, perhaps as early as 4500 B.C.

In 1959, Hungarian Puli club decided to create a Puli breed standard that would not have to be adjusted with constant changes in popularity. The small dogs toy and police-sized Puli were eliminated and the remaining sizes were included within one category. By the 1960s, the breed reached pre-war numbers.

6) Puli’s as Show Dogs

From herding to family pets to show dog and excelling in the show ring Puli’s are versatile and with their dog owners show quite successfully. In 2016, GCHB CH Cordmaker Mister Blue Sky, a Puli known as “Preston,” triumphed over nearly 5,000 dogs to earn a $50,000 cash prize and the title of Best in Show at the AKC National Championships.

There are several resources to learn more about the Puli including the Puli Club of America. If your family is considering a Puli be sure to find a reputable Puli breeder to avoid health problems with proper health screening processes. A reputable breeder will have done health screening so that you can get the right puppy.

Puli’s can be registered with the American Kennel Club which also allows Puli’s to show.

Do you have a Puli or are you considering a Puli?  Tell us all about it in the comments below?

Puli Dog FAQs

Do Puli dogs make good family dogs?

Puli dogs can make great family dogs with the correct training and Pulis certainly do not make our worst family dog list. They are a working dog so Pulik will need consistent and regular exercise as they are quite high energy in addition they will need extra grooming and attention due to their corded coat.

Are Puli Dogs Smelly?

Puli’s are no more smelly than any other dog which can get smelly when working or outside a lot. Their coat will need extra care and cords should be

Why do Pulik have dreadlocks?

The Hungarian Puli is a large dog with dreadlock like coat called a corded coat. It is thought that the breed was brought into Hungary as sheep herding dogs, where their thickly corded coats protected them from the harsh terrain and mountain winter weather and protected them from predators.

Can a Puli dog see?

Yes, a Puli dog can see, similar to you if you had long bangs that move as you move. Many Puli owners also tie up their front hair or trim and comb it out of the way so that Puli they can see better. Grey and black Puli dog running on grass with its tongue hanging out.