Trimming and prepping a Puli for a show is a delicate affair. Where other breeds may require nothing more than a bath, a trim and a brushing, the Puli's complex coat of locks demands careful styling and trimming if he or she hopes to look like anything more than an indistinct ball of fluff.
Perhaps one of the more important things to remember is to make sure that the face is neatly visible. However much time is invested in the Puli's coat, it may all be for naught if the face cannot be seen. Remember that the face is what a judge will identify with, what will charm them. Leaving the face covered with messy bangs will prevent the dog's personality from immediately shining through. The mouth and eyes should both be especially prominent.
The feet are important, as well. Make sure the hair on the feet is trimmed of anything the dog might wind up treading on. When the dog has to walk around on their own hair, they become unsure of their footing and can look graceless and sloppy in action. A lot of owners and judges prefer a rounded look to the hair on the feet as opposed to being squared off. Most importantly, in terms of appearance, the trim needs to be even, with no wild strands splaying out.
Except for some trimming on the face and feet, it's advised that the strands be kept the same length throughout the coat for the most appealing look. Chopping it all off at exactly an inch from the ground, or the blunt cut is almost never regarded as an attractive style.
At about three years of age, the Puli will have a coat that is full without quite reaching the ground yet. This look is said to be ideal for a show cut, so a photograph of the dog at this age can serve as a guide for an aesthetically pleasing trim. It's also a good idea to regularly maintain the coat, carefully separating any cords of hair that might be tangled together, as this will make for much less of a hassle later when preparing the Puli for a show, as well as throughout the dog's life.
One more thing that deserves mention, tying the cords up with ribbons isn't just for show. The Puli's locks are notorious dirt traps and the tying serves the purpose of keeping the coat from dragging along the ground when the Puli is outside.
Any Puli owner with serious ambitions to the end of taking the dog to shows is advise to find an experienced owner in their area that can mentor them in the complex art and etiquette of presenting a show dog. Hopefully this article will give you a good idea as to what preparing a show Puli entails and whether this is something the reader would like to pursue, but there isn’t nearly enough space here to give a full course in the craft.