Bathing a Puli

The first thing you should know about bathing a puli is that it is time consuming. The second thing that you should know, is that you must dry them completely. If your puli doesn’t get fully dry, he will smell.

Hopefully you got your puli used to baths as a puppy. Your puppy class instructor will have helpful tips to achieve this. As in anything, some puli will love baths, some will tolerate baths, and some will hate them. Mojo will tolerate baths, while Bojtár hates them (he doesn’t like being wet in general, let alone soaked).

Step 1: Pre-bath

  • Pick out any burrs, sticks, etc.
  • Take the opportunity to do some cording. The bath will help tighten them up afterwards.

Step 2: Prepare the Bathroom

Mojo in the tub

Mojo in the tub beside the RapidBath Sprayer

  • Place a bathmat in the tub. Your puli will appreciate the non-slip surface.
  • Set up the shower sprayer or bucket you will use to wet and rinse the dog.
  • Have a supply of towels ready – thick fluffy ones, high absorbency, etc.
  • Gather any shampoos and rinse aids you plan to use.
  • This is also a good time to set up your drying area and apparatus.

 

Step 3: Bath Time

  • Wet down your puli. Since the coat is water resistant, this will take a bit of time. It is helpful to squeeze water into the cords. We usually leave getting the head wet until the end of the bath.
  • Apply shampoo and squeeze it into the cords. We use a RapidBath sprayer. It has a high and low pressure setting for water, and a shampoo setting that combines the shampoo with water for instant suds. Most dog shampoos are concentrated, so follow the instructions on the label. Some people apply diluted shampoo from an old dish soap bottle, or use a cup and bucket.
  • Initial rinse. Be sure to squeeze the soap out of the cords.
  • Shampoo again, if necessary and rinse.
  • Shampoo any areas that need undiluted shampoo like bums and bellies, and rinse.
  • Wet head and shampoo it. You may need undiluted shampoo around the muzzle. Try to avoid getting shampoo in your puli’s eyes.
  • Final rinse. Squeeze the cords to ensure you get all the soap out. This is also when you would use a rinse aid, the cheapest of which is diluted vinegar. This helps kill any soap residue you may have missed rinsing out.
  • Squeeze out as much water from the cords as you can. The more you get out in the tub, the less towels you will go through, and the less time it will take them to dry.

Step 4: Drying

  • Towel dry your puli, with cotton towels, high absorbency towels, whatever you like. Squeezing will get the
    Mojo sitting in front of the stand dryer

    Mojo sitting in front of the stand dryer

    most water out. We choose to wrap our boys in several layers worth of towels and sit with them on the couch for twenty minutes to allow the towels to soak up a lot of the water. This also calms Bojtár down after getting wound up from being in the tub, and prevents him from running around the house rubbing up against every surface trying to dry himself.

  • Air dry your puli. This can be accomplished with one or more stand dryers, hand held blow dryers, or box fans. We have a stand dryer, and put the dog on a towel covered grooming table. some people line a wire crate with towels and put box fans around the crate, changing the towels frequently. Hot air can damage the cords, so I don’t recommend a human hair dryer.

It is important to note that if you do not fully dry your puli, he will smell.

Step 5: Post Bath

  • Once your puli is dry, then you can start to trim them.
  • Give them a cookie for being so good.

 

Other Notes

Shampoo: What shampoo you use is your choice.

    • You may want to consider how often you bath your puli, and if you need to replace oils that shampoo strips from the coat.
    • Scent is also important to some people, as your puli will smell like the shampoo for the first day or so after a bath.
    • Do you need a specialty shampoo for sensitive skin? or a black out shampoo? or a whitening shampoo?

Finishing Sprays: This is also a personal choice to use or not.

      • We use Ice on Ice as a post bath finishing spray. On their bellies and bum, it acts like a conditioner to help keep pee and poop off the coat, and for the rest of the coat, it contains sunscreen, to help the coats stay black.

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Puli Purse

While I’ve never been much of a fashionista, and I don’t tend towards large purses, I want this handbag from FuzzyNation. So far it only comes in black, but it has a cute pink tongue, and posable legs! The best part is that you can bring a puli with you wherever you go, for those times when you have to leave the live ones home.

$140.00USD

puli, purse, fuzzy nation

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Doesn’t Your Puli Get Hot?

Bojtar the puli keeping cool

Bojtár lying on his back keeping cool.

Yes, my puli gets hot, but not any hotter than most other dogs out in the sun. Like all dogs, most of their heat loss is achieved through panting, with some cooling through their foot pads. A puli’s coat actually helps protect them from some of the heat by creating an insulating layer. Clipping the coat will not make them cooler, you are just removing the protective layer. A black coat will heat up in the sun more than other colours, and if given the option a puli will choose a shady spot to stay and reduce their activity level.

 

The puli coat has been this way for generations because it works – water repellant, warm in the winter, heat protection in the summer, and sunglasses all year round.

 

Bojtar the puli keeping cool by lying on a coolmat.

Bojtár keeping cool lying on his coolmat (the green bit sticking out).

Worried about your puli in hot weather? Here are some tips that we find useful:

                    • Keep plenty of fresh water available.
                    • Trim the hair on their belly and feet (how much is personal preference). 
                    • Plan your walks or activities for the cooler parts of the day and take frequent rests in the shade.
                    • If outside, be sure that shade is available as well as water.
                    • Consider purchasing a cool mat. A review of two brands by a puli owner can be found here.
Mojo the puli enjoying the breeze from the fan

Mojo enjoying the breeze from the fan

 

Every puli is different, and will want to cool down in different ways. Some like sitting in front of a fan, others will find the coolest room in the house. A concrete pad in the shade for some, while others like to dig in the dirt. Provide a wading pool and some pulik will jump right in, while some will treat it as lava. Ice cubes as a treat can be hit or miss too!

 

Stay cool in the heat, and keep an eye on your puli for any signs of over heating.

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How to mix (or not mix) Puli and Rain

Our two pulik are opposite when it comes to their reaction to rain. Bojtár will stand on the deck and refuse to go pee in the morning if it is raining. I’m not sure if this is just him, or whether we inadvertently trained him to be like that. It is likely a personality trait, given how much he hates baths. For Bojtár, indoor play with tug and squeaky balls, as well as training, is much preferred than a walk in the rain.

Mojo on the other hand, seems oblivious to rain. He will stand in the middle of the driveway in a storm giving you a “Aren’t you coming to play?” look. In many cases, Mojo’s attitude towards rain is quite handy. It means he is happy to play and work in the rain. I don’t have to worry about him shutting down in the middle of a trial because he is unhappy about being wet, or being that dog that is trying to scootch under a table or tent edge during a down stay.

A wet puli is a smelly puli. A wet puli means a wet couch, a wet bed, and wet chairs. So what do we do to keep our boys dry?

 

Don’t take them for a walk in the rain. This may seem lazy, but we stick to indoor play/training if it’s wet out.

Keep their feet trimmed. This is essential for any time of year. When the ground is wet or snowy their feet will collect moisture, so the less hair the better. This also helps keep (some) sand from being tracked into the house.

Puli

Bojtár napping on mom’s Thermarest.

Put a rain suit or coat on them. I know, the puli coat is weather resistant, so why do my boys have rain gear? For the times that you have to be out in the rain – be it training, camping, or getting from the car to a conformation venue. A raincoat can go a long way to keeping our boys clean when the sheep pen is muddy in the spring. When we are camping, the boys sleep in the tent with us, and are mat/pillow hogs, and no one likes a wet sleeping bag.

Keep towels everywhere. We have a towel at the back door, on the couch, in the car, lining both their car and house crates, etc.

 

Puli, raincoat, Bojtar

It’s not raining anymore, do I have to wear this?

Bojtar has a little raincoat, to which we have added extra hook-side Velcro to cover up excess hook portions. It is easy to put on, and is highly visible. When mud is involved, we will pair his coat with leg covers, which are also useful in preventing snowballs in the winter.

 

 

Puli, Rainsuit, Mojo

Mojo looking poofy with all his cords tucked in.

 

 

 

Mojo has a Neopaws body suit. Although I can’t see the size anymore, I’m pretty sure it is a medium. The suit fit very well when he was younger, but it is getting harder and harder to do up as his cords get longer. It offers better coverage than just a coat, but is a little more awkward for a puli with long cords. We’ve also found that the noise the legs make (think slush pants) tends to spook sheep at first.

 

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Puli Bingo

 

 

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What is that?

Can it see?

Did you do that to their fur?

He looks like he’s from Jamaica!

[/pullquote]

 

Every puli owner gets the same questions and comments each time they are out with their dog, including: You must get this all the time, but….

Chuck Boudreau, a long-time puli owner decided to make a game of it, and created Puli Bingo. Each time you refresh the page, a new card is generated. Print it out, grab a pencil, and go for a walk! You can decide if a line is good enough, or whether you’ll wait for a full card. Or let your pal play too and give him a treat for every square you cross off.

Thanks Chuck!

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Loose Leash Walking Success

I’ll admit it – I don’t like walking the dogs around town. I’d rather walk in the woods, or drive them to the off leash park so they can run around and socialize with other dogs. I try to convince myself that’s its better for them because I can practice off leash recalls, and recalls out of play. The truth is I find walking both dogs on leash together hard, so I don’t do it as much as I should. It’s easier to have them chase balls in the back yard for ten minutes than walk around the block. Unfortunately, this means that I have been ignoring an essential dog skill: walking loose leash.

Bojtar and Mojo showing off their loose leash walking skills

Bojtar(left) and Mojo loose leash walking together.

I worked really hard on Bojtár’s loose leash walking when he was a puppy, and he had it down. His downfall is that he is a sniffer, and a marker. Mojo on the other hand, always seem to be on a mission to somewhere and thus a puller. It’s embarrassing having dogs that pull you around, or that you have to pull away from a sniff spot. So, over the last few months I’ve worked on Mojo using the tips and tricks that I learned from taking classes with Bojtár. I’m not a professional dog trainer, but I can tell you that consistency works. Most dog trainers will tell you this, but when it comes to loose leash walking, I have the voices of Sue and John from Dogs in the Park in my head (Aside from all their regular classes, they have a whole workshop on loose leash walking).

Mojo making eye contact with Fran, while walking loose leash beside her.

Mojo making eye contact with Fran, while walking loose leash beside her.

In the beginning, stopping each time the leash was tight, meant stopping almost every step. It also involved a lot of demand barking. Patience was required, mostly because Mojo wasn’t really interested in what/who was holding the other end of the leash. Although often frustrating, it became easier when I realized that if we only went around the block in half an hour, so be it. Mental work is tiring for dogs too. Once Mojo realized that I wanted eye contact, and offered tasty treats if he came back, things got much easier. There was still a lot of yo-yoing, but he began coming back to sit at my side consistently once he felt a tight leash. I’m now getting to the point that I can ask him for 25+ steps of walking beside me before he gets a treat. The best part is that even if he isn’t in heel position, when he is ahead of me, the leash is still slack and he checks in with me from time to time. I’m not sure if he gets the connection, but the better behaved he is directly relates to how long the walk is. If he’s really good we can make it to the off leash zone and he gets to chase and tug his ball-on-a-string.

Work with Mojo will continue as he learns more self control. I will increase the length of time between treats until I can cut them out completely and still have a dog that is happy to walk with me.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.followthemop.ca/loose-leash-walking-success/

Puli Sticker

Ever wanted one of those stick families on the back of your car, but hesitated because a generic dog sticker won’t do? It’s not a dog, it’s a puli!  Ook Ink has several dog breeds, including the puli. The stickers come in a variety of colours, and are removable.

$5.00USD

Puli Sticker

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FAQs

Black white grey Puli

So it’s a Poodle and a what..?

No. It’s a puli.  An ancient Hungarian sheepdog.  The puli dates back thousands of years, it probably has less to do with a poodle than a chihuahua has to do with a blood hound. It’s not a designer breed.

Is that really a dog?

The jury is out on that one. The common ancestor for all dogs, Canis familiaris, is dated at about 4000 years ago, however a puli-like animal is referenced as “precious animal” in Magyar literature around the same time. Thus the breed must have been domesticated and trained much before this time. Also the genetic markers that link most other dogs are not found in the puli. We are looking to confirm this information.

There is a saying among those owned by a puli: “It’s not a dog, it’s a puli!”

Can they see?

Puli_Eyes

Yes, a puli can see just fine. Tying the hair up can actually damage their eyes in bright conditions, although it is done for some sports.

Do you have to do that to their coat?

No.  A puli’s coat will cord naturally.  They do need the occasional trim, and you do have to make sure the cords don’t mat.  While they don’t shed hair, and you don’t brush the cords, there is the never-ending battle of picking leaves and grass out of the coat by hand.

Puli-information_show_coat

Don’t they get hot?

The coat acts as an insulating layer. The keeps them warm in the winter, and helps keep them cool in the summer. In direct sun the outer coat can get quite hot, however if you feel in underneath they are much cooler. Although they stay cool for much longer than other dogs, they can have difficulty cooling down if they do overheat.

Do they have a tail?

Yes, a fairly decent one at that, it’s curled up on their back. Some herding breeds have curled tails so that their tail stays close to their body and doesn’t get trampled on.

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