Puli, the Hungarian Water Dog

Puli: A Dog with Dreadlocks!
The Puli (AKA Hungarian Water Dog) is a small to medium-sized breed of dog that is best known for having a "corded" coat. What do we mean by corded? Well, this dog basically grows dreadlocks, and they are curled so tight they are nearly waterproof! As you can imagine, maintaining the Puli coat requires a whole lot of time and effort. Luckily, it doesn't shed much. Pulik (the pluralized form of Puli) can be seen most often in black, because this made them ighly visible among the sheep! However, they also are sometimes gray, white, and cream (and cream with a black mask, which is pretty cool). 

Hailing from Hungary, the Puli breed has existed for at least 2,000 years, and there is anecdotal evidence that they have been around for as long as 6,000 years! Pulik were first used for herding and guarding livestock. They often worked together with a much larger dog breed that had a similar look, called the Komondor (or Mop Dog). The Komondorok (yes, another weird pluralization) would guard the animals at night, while the Pulik took the day shift. If the pack or herd were attacked by a larger beast, such as a bear, the Pulik would alert the Komondorok, and together they would drive off the enemy. Teamwork rocks, even in the dog world!

As a result of their breeding and this training, they are fiercely protective of their territory and pack, and are excellent guard dogs. As a member of the herding group, Pulik require a great deal of exercise, and as a pet, they are best suited to a very active family. The Puli are no dummies, and they are very agile. They are affectionate, loyal, train well, have a great sense of humor, and usually retain their “puppy” attitude. They can also be obstinate, require a strong leader, and can be shy around strangers. In fact, if they feel that the stranger represents a threat, they may even become aggressive. So if you ever decide to own a Puli, please make sure to train him well!

Pulik are entirely fearless when it comes to protecting their herd, pack, or owner, despite their size. Even when a whole group of larger animals comes after a herd they are guarding, a single Puli will selflessly attempt to scare off the intruders, although it is unusual that this dog inflicts any serious injuries. This fearless and loyal behavior means some Pulik find a calling as police dogs!

The Pulik are not as popular as they once were, as guarding livestock from bears and wolves is not much in demand in these modern times. They do require lots of activity, and are not an ideal apartment dog, becoming bored easily and developing bad habits if not given plenty of exercise and training. Some people still breed Puli and sell them as household pets, while many Puli owners train them for rally and obedience events, agility trials, and other competitions!

Due to both their rarity and the fact that people seldom give them up, Puli are rarely available for adoption. Here is a website we found, where you can join a waiting list to adopt a Puli. And here is the Puli page on RescueMe.org.


  1. Pulis are the quirky beautiful kind of dogs. If you want a mop of a dog, then look no further. They are intelligent, loyal, and brave. I really believe that owning a Puli is also a fashion statement, because it really is a looker. I am looking forward to getting one after reading this really helpful article: http://dogsaholic.com/breeds/profiles/puli.html