Move over, cats in hats, because dogs with dreadlocks are the greatest thing to ever happen to pets. With one of the best dog hairstyles, these pups belong to a breed known as puli dogs, intelligent and athletic animals that are one of the best herding dog breeds in the world.
All that amazing dog hair isn't even the most interesting thing about these dogs. These rare animals have a long history that stretches back centuries, one that is full of hard work and intense training. In the 21st century, they are one of the most reliable dogs for shepherds and are also praised for their many other skills. Their strange names also come with some strange grammar, as the plural of puli is actually pulik. You can also say pulis, but some puli fanatics might doubt your knowledge of this astounding breed. Read on to discover some fascinating facts about pulik dogs.
Their Signature Hairstyle Isn't Actually Locs
The stand-out feature of puli dogs is obviously their amazing, shaggy manes that bare an uncanny resemblance to dreadlocks. But while their clumps of hair look like dreads, they are actually referred to as cords. The base of the cords is much softer and becomes tangled in the thick outer layer, which is a weather resistant shield that allows these dogs to survive through all sorts of environmental challenges. Some owners brush out these cords to get rid of the distinctive curls.
This Unique Breed Is Originally From Central Asia And Was Treasured For Its Herding Prowess And Speed
Originally bred as a specialized sheep dog, pulik traveled to Europe nearly 1,000 years ago. They were brought to Hungary alongside the migrating Magyar tribesman from the Ural mountains. They excelled at herding and were incredibly valuable as agricultural tools. A single puli could sell for the equivalent of a year's wages to the average Magyar shepherd. They were held to incredibly high work standards, with only the best and most intelligent dogs surviving their rigorous training.
Their Long Cords Act As Armor
It might seem impossible that these adorable dogs have any sort of use for their strange locks of hair. It would appear as if the hair would just get everywhere and make movement a chore, but that is surprisingly not true. The hair of puliks helps them brave the elements and also acts as a sort of armor that protects them from potential predators. The massive amounts of hair camouflage their bodies and biting predators are more likely to catch a mouthful of hair than actual flesh.
The Breed Is Way Older Than You'd Think
While pulik were first bred to be sheep dogs in Hungary around the 9th century, their lineage stretches much further back. Some experts believe that the breed may have existed as far back as 4500 B.C. in Central Asia, which means that puli dogs predate the Roman empire.