The Hungarian Puli Origins
More than 1200 years ago, the original Magyar tribes swept into Central Europe from Asia, bringing with them ‘Puli’ dogs and settling in the Danube valley, as they took up an agricultural and pastoral lifestyle. From these early times, Pulis have played a valuable part in the lives of the Hungarian shepherds. Since it is recorded that the Magyars moved westwards out of Asia, it comes as no surprise that dogs in the northern Himalayas closely resembling the Puli are still to be found. In Tibet, the Lhasa Apso is said to be a relative of the Puli. The Tibetan Terrier, somewhat smaller than the Puli, is also a related breed.
In addition to the history of the Hungarian people and the apparent relationships between the Puli, the Lhaso Apso and the Tibetan Terrier, there also seems to be a connection between the Hungarian and Dravidian language of west Pakistan, lending support to the Asian origin or the Puli. ‘Puli’ in this Dravidian language means a certain method of rounding up and driving a herd, and in Tibet any herding dog is called a ‘Puli’.Often referred to as a Hungarian legend, the Puli was practically unknown to the world until more recently, and in its home country of Hungary the breed was so closely treasured by the shepherds that most people in that country were only faintly aware of its existence.The Puli is highly valued as a working dog and companion, and much credence is given to this by the fact that as recently as the last fifty years it was not uncommon for a shepherd to give an entire year’s wages in payment for a Puli.