Puli Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Puli so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Pastoral / Herding Dogs
Popularity Rank142
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Puli dog profile picture
OriginHungary flagHungary
Other Names
What other names does the Puli have?
Hungarian Water DogPuli DogPuli KutyaPulikHungarian Puli
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?


The Hungarian Puli is a cattle dog breed. Their trademark is the unique ribbon and tangled outer coat. A proper Puli coat might seem like a mop, as The New York Times once wrote. The Hungarian Water dog breed standard is the rounded head with a thick outer coat that is hardly separate from its body because its neck is virtually invisible due to its long hair. The soft wooly outer coat eventually cords after puppyhood. The long dense coat is heavy, but it doesn't decrease the dog's high energy level. A proper Puli coat consists of a coarse top coat and a finer undercoat. The breed standard is the advanced jaw and strong teeth. As the breed standard, their intersecting teeth are closed like scissors. His eyes are dark brown, looking intelligent, but the dense hair of the head covers the eyes as a shield. As a herding dog and a cattle dog, their sight is excellent. The Hungarian Water dog breed has wide hanging ears that are almost unnoticed from the ribbons of their coat. His back is straight and tight. As the breed standard, his tail is bent over his back, so it melts to his hair. The chest of this dog is long and deep, his belly is slightly raised. The Puli breed's limbs are well muscled, straight and parallel. The hind limbs also have good muscles. This makes the Puli a tireless and very high energy level herding dog. His paws are strong, round, black or grey.

In this Dogs 101 video, you can find a brief summary of the Puli breed information. 


Photo Gallery of the Puli Breed

Puli Price and Availability

How much does the Puli puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? How much money is a Puli?
If you choose to purchase the Puli, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Puli for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Puli gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Puli? How many Puli are there in the world?
Frequent: The Puli is easier than average to get. Maybe there is some risk of overbreeding, as it is a popular breed.

Due to its popularity, inbreeding may occur. A new study shows that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful and seek the help of an experienced person or a professional, in making your decision.

Puli Size

Is a Puli small, medium or large dog?

How big do Puli get?

How much does the Puli weigh? How much should the Puli breed weight? What is the normal weight of a Puli?
Male: 25-35 pounds (11-16 kg), Female: 20-30 pounds (9-14 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of a Puli?
Male: 30 pounds (13.5 kg), Female: 25 pounds (11.5 kg)
How tall is the Puli? Puli height:
Male: 16-17½ inches (41-46 cm), Female: 14½-16 inches (36-41 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of a Puli?
Male: 16-17.5 inches (43.5 cm), Female: 14.5-16 inches (38.5 cm)

Puli Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Puli have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
DenseCurlyWavyThickDoubleWoollyRibbonTangledHeavyCorded These are the most typical, but never silky.
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Puli's coat?
How to groom the Puli and how often?
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition. The Puli requires grooming on a daily basis.

Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer is essential. Everyday brushing of the dog's coat is necessary to reduce shedding.

Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath should be on a weekly schedule.

Taking good care of your Puli is time-consuming and requires excellent grooming skills. If you don't have the time and skill search for the best dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.
Grooming of the tangled coat is advanced. The corded coat protects them from the tough winters, so the Puli can adapt well to harsh weather conditions, and also can be a good mountain dog.
Shedding Level
How much do Puli dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Hungarian Water Dog?
Pulis shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car being covered by dog hair. Puli dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Puli need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Puli every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.

Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Puli Personality / Temperament

What kind of personality does the Puli have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Puli? Is the Puli breed dumb or smart?
Smart: Puli's has great intelligence. They understand and memorize new commands in 15-25 repetitions.

The Puli is among the smartest dogs in the intelligence ranking.

Are Puli dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Pulis are easy to train. They find out the association between commands and actions quite quickly.
How playful is this breed?
The Puli is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Puli sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Pulis don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well.

They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is a Puli a good family dog?
Average to High: Pulis are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Hungarian Water Dog need? Puli social needs:
Pulis need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Do Puli dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Hungarian Water Dog bark?
Average to High: The Puli is a vocal breed. Not the best choice if you prefer a quiet breed. They often bark loudly and howl sometimes. They can change their barks depending on their emotional level and what they're trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and the same barks could have different meanings.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Watchdog Ability
Is Puli good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Pulis are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Puli dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Puli dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Pulis are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect its territory so the Puli can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Puli will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Puli bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Hungarian Water Dog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Puli? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Puli has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Puli has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Puli? How much bite force does a Puli have?

Between 200 and 400 PSI

Puli bite force: Ordinary. Average dogs have a bite force between 200 and 400 PSI.

The Puli, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained.

However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.

How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Puli do?
Pulis have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Pulis need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Puli to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Puli roam?
Pulis have high wanderlust potential, which means that this breed has a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command. This breed is also able to cause damage to your fence.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Puli have high prey drive?
Pulis have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Pulis are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Puli good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Not an apartment-friendly dog the Puli breed. If you don't have a garden, think carefully about your decision, keeping Puli indoors can cause a lot of problems.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Pulis adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
The adaptability of Puli was formulated by many classical Hungarian writers in novels and books.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can a Puli be left alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.

Puli Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Puli temperament with other people:
Pulis are not the most stranger-friendly dogs.
They can be distrustful with strangers.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Puli dogs get along with other pets? Are Puli dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Pulis are generally with other pets.
Child Friendly
Are Puli dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Puli temperament with children:
Pulis are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
There are lots of positive and touching stories about Puli dogs who have changed the lives of people and families. In families where Puli dog kept, they share positive experiences. Pulik are very friendly with the kids, they are reliably behaving with them and they become excellent playmates and companions.
Cat Friendly
How well do Puli dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Puli breed live with a cat?
Pulis are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Puli good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Puli dogs get along with other dogs?
Pulis are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Puli breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Puli breed suitable for first-time owners?
Pulis are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Pulis good office dogs? Do Pulis make good office friendly dogs? Can Pulis be office dogs?
Puli is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Puli dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Hungarian Water Dog temperament with senior people? Are Puli dogs good for elderly owners?
Pulis are usually recommended for elderly people.

Puli Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Puli dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Puli is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The most typical diseases are Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Cataracts.
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Puli breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Puli see the vet?
The Puli should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Puli dogs live? How old can a Puli be? What is the age limit of the Puli? How many years can the oldest Puli live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Puli?

12-16 years
The average lifespan of Puli: 14 years
Is the Puli breed hypoallergenic?
Pulis do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction. However there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs in the world, there are a variety of breeds that are considered to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Puli have? What is the activity level of the Puli?
Pulis are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does a Puli need? How much exercise do Puli dogs require per day?
Pulis need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Puli breed need?
Pulis don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does a Puli need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Puli breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Puli? How much food should I feed my Puli?
1 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Puli risk for obesity:
Average: The Puli has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Puli's weight regularly.

Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather
Dogs that tolerate hot and cold weather are typically those that have a double coat of fur. Dogs with a double coat of fur have a layer of fur that insulates their skin and helps protect them from the cold and the heat.
Weather-resistant, because the raging heat, the chilly cold, the harsh, hard herding work resisted the breed from the extreme weather conditions.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?


The Puli has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Puli drool?
The Puli is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Puli could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Puli.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Puli As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Puli be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Puli is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Puli be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Puli be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Puli is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Puli be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Puli is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Puli be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Puli is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Puli be a boat dog?

Not really

Puli breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Puli be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Puli is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Puli dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Puli Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is a Puli pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Puli breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Puli: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Puli have in a litter? How many puppies can the Puli breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Puli have? How many puppies can a Puli give birth to?
4-6 puppies

Puli Recognition

AKC Group
Is Puli recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936 as a Herding breed.
FCI Group
Is Puli recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Puli breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel Club

Puli Pros and Cons

  • Intelligent Rank: Smart: Puli's has great intelligence.
  • Trainability: Pulis are easy to train.
  • Hypoallergenic: Pulis do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction.
  • Shedding Level: Pulis shed none to minimal.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Puli is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Watchdog Ability: Pulis are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Adaptability: Pulis adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Pulis are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Pulis are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Pulis are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Apartment Friendly: Not an apartment-friendly dog the Puli breed.
  • Grooming: Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Pulis have high wanderlust potential, which means that this breed has a strong desire for exploring the world.
  • Office Friendly: Puli is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Puli History

Is the Puli dog breed originated in Hungary?

It's impossible to find out exactly where it came from, but the drawings of a corded coat dog from the 1700s and written memories make it clear that this ancient dog breed of the Hungarians was this ribbon coated dog, probably the Puli. The name itself can easily come from the word poodle. The Hungarian Water dog can be a relative of the poodle, although the poodle wasn't a shepherd dog, it was a hunting dog. It's certain that the Hungarian ancestors had once come to Asia during their migration and the canine was brought to Hungary because they were the main helper of the people by being excellent herding dogs and cattle dogs. Their double coat makes them an ideal mountain dog as well. In the 1900s there was a turning point in the breed's life since the Puli was re-discovered, but not as a sheepdog. As the structure of agriculture changed, the tasks and the job opportunity of the Hungarian Puli decreased. Of course, this doesn't mean that they have completely lost their herding dog skills as a cattle dog, but the possibilities of their usage have been enlarged, as they became guard dogs and watchdogs.

After the World Wars, the Puli became unpopular. In the 1960s, Imre Ócsag started breeding the pooch again. There was a lot of debate about the color and size of the Puli breed, but ultimately the hues of today's colors and the breed standards set by the final breed standard were formed. The Puli coat varies mostly at white and black fur color. His popularity fell, which was good for him, as he wasn't an over-grown fashion dog.

The United States Department of Agriculture imported four purebred Hungarian Puli dog in 1935 to help American agriculturists concerned with the problem of shepherd dogs which often killed the animals so they started to lose control over them. The Puli was bred among themselves and crossed with the German Shepherd, the Chow Chow and perhaps with two Turkish herding breeds which were quartered there at the time. On the experiments and tests given by researchers there, Puli dogs scored between 75 and 85, where the other herding group scored in the range of 12 to 14. Because tests were inconclusive, they were never published. When World War II broke out, the Puli breed was sold off to professional breeders, and it's thought that it's from these four dogs and their descendants that history of the Puli in the USA began. This breed was accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1936 and the Puli Club of America was founded in 1951. In 1972 it was an international exhibition where nearly a hundred Puli took part. It has become increasingly popular abroad. In the countries of Europe, America, Canada, and Australia, there are separate Puli clubs. The Hungarian government declared the breed as a national treasure in 2004 (including other Hungarian dog breeds like Komondor, Kuvasz, Mudi, Pumi, Hungarian Greyhound, Vizsla">Wirehaired Vizsla, Vizsla, and Transylvanian Hound).

Nowadays only a couple of hundred Puli puppies are registered each year in the USA. Although thanks to the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, this herding dog becoming more and more popular today both in the United States and in Hungary, and hopefully in the whole world.

With Puli's popularity, it has become a protagonist for TV commercials in America.


And one more video:


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Puli Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Reed Keltner

    Dec 13, 2020, 6:28:05 PM:

    Great article I love my puli Lou!

  • Petra

    Sep 28, 2018, 9:32:05 PM: