What is a Puli?

Lily is a gorgeous dog. Whenever we go out for walks, we are stopped everywhere by people wanting to stroke and play with her. She loves the attention. When her fur is long she basically becomes a walking teddy bear attracting people from a 200-yard radius.

Poppy, on the other hand, isn’t. She’s a scruffy mutt, or so people think. She’s actually a shaved Puli. People mistake her for a cockapoo. A recent conversation:

Woman at the park.
‘What a gorgeous cockapoo, she looks just like my daughter’s dog.’
‘She’s a shaved Puli, not a cockapoo.’
‘I like cockapoos and she’s lovely.’
‘She’s not a crossbreed, she’s a Puli without the cords.’
‘A wonderful cockapoo.’
Woman wanders off.

This is what a Puli looks like:


Jumping Puli

Basically a mop dog. I had seen one once before in my life, in Bristol. It was a funny thing, running around with loads of energy on the Downs. It certainly drew a lot of attention.

Poppy does not look like this. She will never look like this. I don’t have the time or the energy to look after fur like this. Plus it takes around three/four days for the cords to dry. I live in the country, can you imagine how much dirt she’ll pick up on each walk? Not happening. I choose Poppy to help her out of her terrible situation, not on how she looks. Sorry to all Puli affectionados. This is Poppy:

Poppy the puli

So what is a Puli? According to Wikipedia:

The Puli is a small-medium breed of Hungarian herding and livestock guarding dog known for its long, corded coat. The tight curls of the coat, similar to dreadlocks, make it virtually waterproof. A similar looking, but much larger breed – also Hungarian – is the Komondor. The term used for a group of Puli is Pulik.[1]

It’s also one of the oldest dog breeds in the world with Puli-type dogs existing nearly 6,000 years ago. SIX THOUSAND YEARS. It’s a working dog, used in the day time to guard and herd while the massive Komodor would look after the livestock at night. Any wolves come along and the Pulik would bark to bring out their bigger brothers to take the enemy down.

The Pulik have a piercing bark, even more than the Toy Poodle. And they’re fast. Poppy is getting her strength back and she can run. She loves to run and play and is very intelligent. She herds me by pulling my arm or blocking my path to get me to where she wants me to go. It’s all done softly and without malice, but I’ve learnt to look down around my feet when I’m up as she’s a solid dog.

Her personality is coming out and it’s much more fun than the Poodle. She feels so much joy, all the time, and is a bit of a joker. Lily is a typical Poodle, who likes to play and have fun, but on her terms and when she decides.


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