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The puli or Hungarian puli is an ancient Hungarian shepherd dog breed. They are around 40 cm in height. Their "Rasta" coat colours are usually black, but there are white and grey vartiants. They are friendly, intelligent and undemanding.
The Puli is an ancient sheepdog, from Hungary, introduced by the migration of the Magyars from Central Asia more than 1,000 years ago. The Puli were used for both herding and guarding livestock. The Puli would commonly work together with the much larger, white Komondor, a Hungarian breed of (solely) livestock guardian dog. The Komondor is a large, solidly built dog, around 30 inches tall. The Komondor (or several Komondors if there was a large amount livestock) 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 alert the pack and the Komondors would come and fight the intruders. Puli can be good at fighting off wolves, because the thick coat protects their skin from being bitten. The Komondors usually rested during daytime but at night walked around the flock, constantly moving, patrolling the area.
Nomadic shepherds of the Hungarian plains valued their herding dogs, paying as much as a year's salary for a Puli.
In Asia, the breed dates back 2,000 years and anecdotal evidence suggests that a Puli-like dog existed 6,000 years ago. Although the coats may look slightly similar, the Puli has never worked in water and the Puli's coat does not grow continuously in the same fashion as a corded Poodle's once the cords are formed. The ancestry of the Puli, however, is not known with certainty, as there are some references to ancient Rome.
Possibly the Puli’s ancestors are ancient Hungarian shepherd dogs. Travelers brought the Puli with them to the Carpathian basin, to help organize the flocks, and herd the stallions of the area. The huge Komondor and the Kuvasz were used for guarding the belongings of the owner. while the Puli would keep the animals together. Around the beginning of the 20th century a real turning point for the breed came when it was rediscovered but no longer used much as a sheepdog; extensive shepherding was replaced by intensive farming. The Puli’s role was reduced in the life of the flock. Although, their traditional duty was kept, they started to fulfill jobs that were convenient in the circumstances of their owner: they became house dogs. After World War II, the breed became a less popular pet; even now the breed has not been able to regain the popularity it previously enjoyed.
Color and Coat Edit
The Puli is a solid colored dog that is usually black. Other less common coat colors are white, gray, or cream (off-white or fakó in Hungarian). A variety of the cream-coated dogs have black masks. The white Pulis are not albino, nor do they have blue eyes. They commonly have dark pigment, black pads, black noses and black pigment inside the mouth. The white gene is recessive to the pure black gene. The breed standard is for females about 16.5 inches (42 cm) at the withers, and 17 inches for males. Females weigh 23-25 pounds, males slightly more. The coat of some Puli dogs can be different, thinner or thicker cords, either flat or round, depending on the texture of the coat and the balance of undercoat to outer coat.
The coat is the result of a controlled matting process. Thin rope-like corded coats are desired and the grooming should control the coat towards the forming of thinner ropes. The Puli's coat needs considerable grooming to keep its cords clean, neat, and attractive. With age the coat can become quite long, even reaching the ground. Alternatively, the coat can be trimmed short regularly for easy maintenance, although the corded coat is what attracts many people to the breed. Contrary to some beliefs, the coat of a healthy puli will grow out again after trimming. This breed has little to no shedding.