HISTORY OF THE BREED
The Puli is an ancient Hungarian sheepdog that can be traced back around 6,000 years. At Eridu on the Euphrates River, one of the oldest cities on earth, a tomb was unearthed of an eight year old Princess named II De, inside was found many possessions including a statue in white alabaster, five inches tall, of her little Puli. The Magyar tribes swept into central Europe bringing with them their spirited horses and shaggy Puli dogs which served as a herding dog with natural guarding instinct.
Of medium size, these nimble, intelligent dogs were bred to withstand the harsh and hostile lands, hence their unusual coat hanging in tight cords, which serves as great protection against the elements. A full-length coat can take 4-5 years to reach to the ground. A shepherd would pay up to a year's wage to buy a Puli, the most precious gift he could give was a Puli puppy. It is said that one shepherd and two Puli's could easily herd up to two thousand sheep and cattle.
Controlled breeding began in the 1910s. Dr. Emil Raitsits, a leading Hungarian expert on animal breeding, wrote many articles between 1916 and 1933.
PULI's IN ENGLAND
The first Puli to be exhibited at a Midland Show was back in 1952 but it was in the late 1960's that the breed was founded when a litter of two dogs and two bitches was born in quarantine. One of the bitches Fruska' Ch. Borgvaale Pusztai Marok Marcsa, was the foundation of Pat Lanz's Borgvaale Puli's, the other sister Desamee Pusztai Pitykes Panni established Nancy Tomlin's kennel who became well known for her Desamee Briards. Panni was the first bitch to win the CC and BOB at Crufts in 1978, the first year they were granted CC status that was judged by the late Bobby James. The DCC that year was won by Ch/Hung/Polish Ch. Kajakos Csibesz Kocos, known as Old Tosha' an import who was to be a great influence on the breed. He was imported by Mrs Frou Stretton and later transferred to Pat Lanz. Another import at this time was from America, Skysyl Watch Mr.Big Stuff of Borgvaale, (Willi) who produced the great Ch. Borgvaale Fanny By Gaslight she became the first British bitch champion and the breed record holder at that time. Fanny was the first group winner at an all breeds championship show and was BOB at Crufts in 1979, 80 & 91, she was Grand-dam to Ch.Weetoneon Dainty Dinah, who also became a Group winner at Leeds 84 and reserve in the working group at Crufts 85. Fanny is great grand-dam to Ch. Weetoneon
The Equalizer who made breed history by winning Best in Show at the City of Birmingham '96, since then Turbo has had Res. Best in Show at Windsor 1998 and many group placements and is now the breed record holder with 28 CCs.
Willi was also the sire of Ch.Borgvaale Polly Peachflowa at Loakespark who became the first and only apricot Champion to date. In June 1981 saw the release from quarantine of the first White dog who gained a lot of admirers, Ch/Hung Ch. Eszak Magyar Orszagi Dome of Borgvaale, he won three CCs in succession and went on to win a total of 14 CCs including three at Crufts. Polly was mated to Dome, which produced the first two grey champions. Ch.Loakespark Polynesian Boy gained his title first and was BIS at Working Breeds of Wales in 1988. His sister Ch.Loakespark Polly-Esta was the previous breed record holder with 23CCs including three at Crufts in 1987 88 & 89.Ch. Borgvaale Beautiful Dreamer is the only other Puli to win three CCs at Crufts.
A mention must also go to Ch. Borgvaale Domas High Diver, another Dome son, who resided in Scotland and became the first Scottish champion, and was the sire of four champions.
Although blacks still dominate, recently we have seen the growing popularity of white or cream, in 1997, Ch. Tyngeli Dancing Queen became the first English bred white puli to gain her title, a daughter of Turbo.
December 1971 was the year the Hungarian Puli Club was formed and last year saw its 25th anniversary. The first club show was a limited show and attracted 43 Pulis (91 entries). National Working Breeds was the first Championship show society to offer breed classes in 1972, with an entry of 22 Pulis. The first club championship show was held in 1982 judged by a highly respected Hungarian breeder, the late Sara Nagy.