Did you know?
A weird law still on the books in Paulding, Ohio allows police officers to bite a dog to get it to be quiet!
Why, that dog is practically a Phi Beta Kappa. She can sit up and beg, and she can give her paw – I don’t say she will, but she can. – Dorothy Parker
Considered the national treasure of Hungary, the Puli was first brought to that country from central Asia by invading Magyars in the 800s A.D. Nomadic Hungarian shepherds valued these dogs so much it was not uncommon for them to pay as much as a year’s salary for a Puli.
The Puli is an expert sheep herder and guardian of the flock on the great plains, or Puszta, of Hungary. He will also hunt birds and small game and retrieve from land and water.
These dogs at work are a wonder to behold! They can run across the backs of sheep to get from one side of the flock to another. They also jump on the back of a runaway and ride it until the animal is tired. Then they will herd it back to the flock.
The Puli worked in partnership with the much larger, white Komondor, another Hungarian livestock guardian dog. The Komondor guarded the sheep or cattle mostly at night, while the Puli herded and guarded them during the day. When wolves or bears attacked the livestock, the Puli would sound the alert and the Komondor would come and assist the Puli to fight the intruders. Pulis were protected from attacking predators by their thick corded coats which kept the attackers teeth from breaking their skin.
Photos displayed courtesy of Stephanie and Terry Horan, Immerzu Pulis, Nova Scotia
The Puli stands up to 18 inches (46 cm) at the shoulder and weighs up to 33 pounds (15 kg).
He has a remarkable long, shaggy, double coat that curls into natural cords over the first two years of his life. It may be black, reddish black, grey-reddish-black, fawn, or white. Although the coat does not shed, it requires some special grooming to keep it free of mats. Over time, the cords may grow so they eventually touch the ground. The coat is water-repellent, insulates against extreme cold and heat, and protects the dog from attacking animals.
Pulis are active, lively, amusing, and high-spirited members of the family. Naturally affectionate and home loving, they make great watch and guard dogs as they are suspicious of strangers. Pulis are devoted to their families, especially the children. They are loyal and faithful companions who should not be left outside in a kennel. The breed really are herding dogs at heart. This instinct may show up in attempts to herd children or family pets!
Obedience training is important for the Puli. He is a highly intelligent and responsive dog who may find some aspects of training boring. Innovative and creative techniques may be required. His owner must be a strong leader with the time and energy to train, groom, exercise, and socialize the dog.
As a working dog, the Puli is very energetic and he keeps his puppy-like playfulness for his whole life. Once full-grown, he makes a great jogging partner as he will happily keep up with the most athletic runner. A Puli needs an outlet for his abundant energy otherwise he’s smart enough to get up to real mischief. His favourite sort of exercise is running. He’ll run, jog, race around a field, or keep up with a bike. He needs lots of open space to run free. He’s agile and can turn on a dime. Pulis do very well in agility trials, obedience, rally, flyball, tracking, and herding competition.