If it isn't already evident by his unique appearance, the Puli loves to express himself. This mop-topped dog's bouncy gait reflects his affable temperament. His personality, like his distinctive coat, is over-sized. He loves spending time in the company of his family, but his herding instincts might cause him to be a little bossy, especially with small children.
The Puli is a self-confident, intelligent dog who loves being the center of attention. Pulik love nothing more than racing about in suburban or rural areas where they have lots of space to play. Your Puli will delight in working hard to please you. He will also indulge his naturally curious and athletic instincts. He is strong-willed and self-confident, so he does better with firm, creative training. You'll soon see that his most mischievous habits are herding your children gently around the house and barking at suspicious strangers.
Pulik are sensitive to the needs of those they love and make excellent guardians for children or the elderly. They frequently make successful therapy dogs because they are perceptive and comforting. The Puli loves to bark and retains his perky puppy attitude for most of his life. He will do best with plenty of outlets for his energy where he can be praised for his positive behaviors. They are impressive jumpers who excel in agility and herding competitions, where they astound the owners of more traditional herding dogs with their ability to herd flocks of up to 400 sheep at a time.
The Puli is most often black, but his coat is also available in white or gray. In Hungary, the Puli is also available in fako, a color described as matching the inside of a whole-wheat roll. Because Pulik do not shed, their black coats eventually appear "weathered" with white hairs. The outer coat is wavy or curly, but never silky. The undercoat is soft, wooly and dense. The textured double coat gives the Puli his voluminous appearance. This profuse, water-resistant double-corded coat provided natural insulation to the Puli in his Eastern European homeland. Today it helps protect him from the elements while he is frolicking in his large, fenced-in yard. The Puli's substantial corded coat makes him appear almost three times wider than he actually is. In reality, he is a medium-sized dog who weighs about 30 pounds and stands between 15 and 17 inches tall. That coat will attract significant attention in the show ring or at the dog park, but it will also require significant attention to maintain. When your Puli is about one year old, his puppy coat will grow into the impressive fluff for which he is famous. Some Pulik are self-cording, but most require a little encouragement from their owners, who separate the cords by hand for three or four months until the cords are set. Even though your Puli's cords will form on their own, tending to the cords throughout the process will prevent them from matting and closing off to the skin. By the time the Puli is three or four years old, his coat will reach the ground and completely cover his eyes. Pulik are actually some of the best dogs to groom at home, because many professional groomers do not know how to properly maintain a corded coat.
As a conscientious Puli owner, you will need to devote some significant time to learning how to manage your dog's impressive coat. Some owners prefer to shave the coat to help their Puli stay cool and clean, even though many Puli enthusiasts consider the coat a defining characteristic of their favorite breed. If you plan to show your dog, you'll need to get comfortable maintaining his cords or brushing out his long coat, because those are the only acceptable styles in the show ring.
No aspect of home dog grooming requires as much time and regular devotion as brushing. Although you won't need to brush your corded dog with a brush, you should carefully separate the cords by hand to prevent matting and keep their coats and skin healthy.
Corded dogs are considered moderately high or high maintenance for grooming ... for obvious reasons. Their intricate coats are comprised of a strong top coat, which is wrapped around a soft, wooly undercoat. Corded dogs do not need to be brushed, because brushing could pull apart the cords, but their cords do need to be separated on a regular basis. Pull the cords apart gently with your fingers to help your corded dog stay clean and prevent matting. Cords should be uniform in thickness and fully separated from the body. They should be thicker and stronger at the base to support the cord as it hangs down from the body. When your corded dog is a puppy, before his coat grows into cords, you can brush his coat about once a week with a slicker brush or metal comb.
Even though bathing your Puli can be a daunting task, he does not mind the water and will appreciate your efforts. The long adult coat attracts dirt and small objects, so it will need frequent washing if it is not corded. If your Puli's coat is corded, washing the coat will take a significant amount of time. Once washed, his coat can take days to dry. If the coat does not dry thoroughly, the cords can mildew and smell. Plan to help your Puli dry off with a blow dryer and some quick runs around the yard.
Pulik are actually some of the best dogs to groom at home, because many professional groomers do not know how to properly maintain a corded coat. As a conscientious Puli owner, you will need to devote some significant time to learning how to manage your dog's impressive coat. Some owners prefer to shave the coat to help their Puli stay cool and clean, even though many Puli enthusiasts consider the coat a defining characteristic of their favorite breed. If you plan to show your dog, you'll need to get comfortable maintaining his cords or brushing out his long coat, because those are the only acceptable styles in the show ring.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Eyes / Ears
Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.
It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Corded dogs should have their ears checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Because their cords tend to grow around their face and eyes, take special care to clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.