The Puli is quite a unique breed of dog, surrounded by a wealth of myths and pseudo-truths, their background is steeped in mystery and debate. Their quirky nature is partly to thank for the fact that there is no shortage of surprising stories and little known facts about the breed. Here are some things you might not know about the Hungarian Puli:
With the exception of carefully groomed show dogs, Pulis tend to have wild manes of hair covering their faces, and as silly as it sounds, there is a common misconception that Pulis can't see. It is true, however, that their mane might hinder their peripheral vision, and Puli owners are advised not to startle the dog by sneaking up from the sides. [...]
The unique, aesthetically pleasing look of the Puli afforded the breed the opportunity to have "Fluppy Dogs", a line of children's toys, designed after its features, accompanied by an hour long animated television special on the Disney Channel in 1986. Although the special had been intended as a pilot for a possible series, it wasn't picked up for further episodes.
The original Fluppies design was nearly identical to their real life counterpart breed, using thick yarn for hair and being proportioned appropriately. Other than their plush, cartoony build, the only major difference was their striking pastel colors, lending them a more cheerful, cartoon-friendly look. [...]
The delightful appearance and headstrong, intelligent character of the Puli is as much a curse as it is a blessing. Sadly, a lot of owners dive right into adopting a Puli without doing any research on the breed, thanks entirely to their looks and characteristics.
Pulis are on the high-maintenance end of the purebred dog scale, and all too often, adopters bite off much more than they can chew.
That so many Pulis and owners find themselves in dead-end relationships with one another may be thanks largely to the pseudo-truths and outright falsehoods that spread by word of mouth. There is something of an entire myth built around the breed involving how to properly groom and care for them, leading some people to think that the Puli requires little to no effort to properly raise. [...]
Let's get it right out in the open: The Puli is inarguably adorable, perhaps amongst the most adorable breeds to ever charm a dog lover. The prideful breed boasts a beautiful, fluffy, thick coat of curls and locks, sometimes being described as looking like a Rastafarian (if you take a look through a book of dog photos or check around online, you're liable to find an image or two where someone has put a baggy, rainbow colored, wool-knit cap on a Puli). Given their delightful appearance, it's no surprise that the breed has been featured in a children's book or two.
Not many of these examples have risen above having a cult following, in fact the most well known may be Disney's Fluppy Dogs, the unfortunately short lived (though no less endearing) book, toy and cartoon franchise, but the Puli also served as the basis for the delightful children's novella, Philos, by J.G. Messervy-Norman. [...]
The Puli lover may find their favorite breed, being a little on the obscure side, neglected in popular magazines and best-selling dog books. Luckily, there is support for the breed in the form of various local clubs (depending on the reader's area) and books. Below is a brief list of available Puli books and their descriptions. Regretfully there is little information at the ready regarding any available monthly publications or national clubs focusing specifically on the Puli. Even with the unfortunate scarcity of Puli clubs and publications, hopefully the reader will have found something that fits their needs by the end of this article. [...]
Amongst the dozens of considerations to be taken prior to bringing any new pet into your home, one of the first and foremost is, not surprisingly; how will this little lady or fellow fit in with my other pets? This is of pressing importance regardless of whether your prospective new pet be cat, bird, fish or any variety of dog.
Firstly, one should consider the animals already present in the Puli's prospective new home. 1,100 years ago, the Puli was bred for sheep herding work as well as companionship to their human shepherd counterpart, so they've always been a friendly breed, arrogant and controlling, certainly, but friendly nonetheless, so the breed's temperament is nothing to worry about when it comes to introducing a Puli into a new home. [...]
Thanks in no small part to their history as a Hungarian sheep dog, having kept company to many a shepherd on many a freezing cold night, the Puli makes for a fine companion dog. Intelligent, playful and bouncy, the breed is a lot of fun to be around, and with their thick coat of curls and locks, just as much fun to pet.
For these reasons, the breed is an absolutely wonderful addition to a family full of children who will have the time and energy to play with the dog as he or she needs, this, by the way, is of particular importance. The Puli was bred to herd huge flocks of sheep and is known to be extremely energetic and demanding of attention at every opportunity, so a band of energetic children would seem to be just what the doctor ordered. Nonetheless, a decision like adopting a dog can never be jumped into without taking certain things into account. [...]
There is, quite unfortunately, a lot of misinformation being spread and, even more unfortunately, practiced, regarding the grooming and proper maintenance of the breed known as Puli. Chief amongst these half-facts and myths is the false belief that the Puli requires little to no grooming in order to maintain a healthy, attractive coat of locks. Nothing could be further from the truth. As anyone who has actually owned or cared for a Puli can tell you, they are in fact, an unusually high maintenance breed when it comes to the matter of grooming, and any mistreatment might just wind up with the dog needing to be completely shorn of their trademark curls. The origin of the low-maintenance myth might have to do with the breed's aesthetic similarity to the dreadlock hairstyle, which is equally misconstrued as requiring little to no maintenance. In fact, Puli owners and Rastafarians alike should be urged to take proper care of that hair. [...]
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 Puli was originally bred over a thousand years ago to assist and accompany the shepherds of Hungary with the transport and upkeep of enormous flocks of sheep. It’s said that more than half of these sheep likely suffered hoof rot. Because of the intense demand of this job, the Puli developed to be known for their bouncy movements, their high energy and their ‘yelps’. While the unenlightened might possibly see these as detriments, or a sign of poor training, it should be understood that the Puli, a very small dog, was entrusted with a lot of responsibility and required to have immense authority in the field. There is perhaps not one in a hundred breeds that, pound for pound, can deliver like a Puli when it comes to shepherding. [...]