Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Hungarian Komondor and Puli

Komondor (l), Puli (r)

 A few posts ago we featured the Hungarian Kuvaz. Today we feature the Kuvaz's most likely closest relative the Komondor, and the Komondor's smaller working partner the Puli. The Komondor is a white dog and while the most common Puli color is black they are also found in white, silver, cream, brown, and rust. (Okay, that sounds a lot like off-white and shades of faded black but still...more color range than the Komondor.)

The Komondor and Puli have similar looking corded coats developed to protect them in the working environment from the elements and predators they might have to fight.

Puli herding

Together they would watch over flocks of sheep and other livestock - the Puli would alert the larger Komondor to the presence of predators during the day while the Komondor stayed near the flock. At night the Komondor would patrol protecting the livestock while the Puli would stay near the animals. Puli could also be used to herd the flock.

Puli pups
 While the Komondor is still in use as a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD), the Puli is now more often a family companion than a working dog...although Puli do still show up at herding trials.

A Komondor is not a dog for everyone. They require firm, consistent training from a young age, are not particularly well suited to life in small spaces, and tend to be suspicious of strangers.


A Puli has less of an edge than a Komondor and has also been bred for a house-dog for more generations than the Komondor. The Puli started to fall out of favor as a herd dog around the time of WWII and while their numbers dropped, those that remained lived largely in homes with families. The Komondor still could be found out in the fields with livestock - which wandered less but still required protection from predators.

Komondor working agility course

Both Puli and Komondor are now seen in agility work; both breeds are perhaps better suited to an active role in life and not as quick to train for just obedience work.

These are breeds that continue to thrive with a job and with daily activity that allows them to move. A Puli is a very quick and agile dog under those chords of hair while the Komondor is a powerful, big breed that is used to being outside.

Komondor and pup

Just as other LGD are finding their way into homes, so will an increasing number of Komondor. If you are active, enjoy training, can be firm and consistent, and want a dog that will keep strangers out of your yard then a Komondor might be right for you.

Puli working agility course

 And if you want a smaller, more agile, and slightly more trainable dog that is less suspicious of people, but will still warn you of strangers, then the Puli might be a breed you would like.


  1. Great post. Beautiful dogs. I wonder how they are groomed?!

    1. Very carefully....

      :-) Couldn't resist, sorry Sue!

      In their natural state it is said they do not require grooming. Those who live with them will bathe them, however, they take a great deal of time to dry and thus should not be washed in cold weather. Their coats are designed to shed dirt and be resistant to harsh weather.

  • do you know anywhere that these dogs are available for adoption or purchasing??

  • Puli rescue information: http://www.pulirescue.org/index.asp

    Komondor rescue: http://komondorrescue.com/

    If you are outside of North America then contact the breed club in your country for rescue information. Good luck!

  • My wife is half Hungarian, and her family has raised several Pulik over the years. We currently have two. Pulik are herders, so they're bred to be territorial and vocal. And as this article correctly states, they are very agile - including a love for water (at least ours do!). One of ours absolutely loves to swim, and she 'practices' her natural herding tendencies by 'herding' us from the deep end of the pool to the shallow end. I've also learned to appreciate that this is a very intelligent breed, in that they easily learn many words and commands. For example, our Pulik know their toys by name/description, as well as certain activities like swimming, walking, and going for a jog. If I say "wannna go swimming?" they run to the back door to access the pool; if I say "wanna go for a run?" they retrieve their leash and wait by the front door. Thus, Pulik make great family dogs so long as you're willing to provide some basic training at an early age (as with all breeds) and enough activity time for them to exercise their natural herding/running/playing tendencies.

    1. Thank you so much for taking time to share your personal knowledge of the breed!