The Puli is a sturdy, shaggy dog with a profuse coat that hangs in long cords like the coat of a Komondor. When fully grown, the cords can reach all the way to the ground. The coat comes most often in a weathered black, but sometimes in gray or white. The tail curls closely over the back. The almond-shaped eyes are dark brown with black lids. The medium sized, V-shaped ears hang down, blending in with the rest of the coat. The muzzle is long and straight ending in a large, black nose. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The gait should be lively and animated, exhibiting the agility needed for the dog to herd sheep in the field.
Size and Weight
The ideal height for male Pulis is 17 inches at the withers and for females, 16 inches. In the show ring, no penalty is given for dogs who are up to an inch over or under these ideals. They typically weigh anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Puli's unique, corded coat is long, thick and can take four years to fully grow in. Some coats are self-cording, though most require human assistance to cord. The hair is separated by hand when the adult coat comes in around one year of age. As the texture of the coat changes, the undercoat gets packed into the interior of the outer coat, forming a felt-like structure which eventually becomes a cord.
Because the hair is corded, Pulis no not shed. Most are black, though some are white or gray. In Hungary, there are brownish colored dogs called “fako,” which are described as the color of a whole wheat roll. Some black coats are referred to as weathered black, as some white hairs may grow among the black.
Before the cords grow in, the uncorded Puli should be brushed, combed and bathed regularly to remove dirt and tangles and distribute the nature oils of the skin. Once the cords form, grooming a Puli takes on a whole new meaning. Never brush the cords, only ever handle by hand. Bathe by first soaking the cords thoroughly in water. Then work in diluted shampoo. Undiluted shampoo can lengthen bath time by hours. Rinse thoroughly, usually a 30 to 45 minute task in itself. Then squeeze the cords dry, once by hand, then with a towel. Sometimes, owners place a sweatshirt over the dog aver a bath to help absorb excess water. Air drying a Puli can take up to two days, though heat drying is possible, but not recommended. The dog can overheat and/or become quite irritable. Because bathing a Puli is such a long, involved process, most owners only bathe their Puli when absolutely necessary.
Check the ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.