how do you groom a puli dog

Grooming a Puli dog is a unique and rewarding experience. The Puli is known for its distinctive corded coat, which requires specific grooming techniques to keep it healthy and beautiful. Proper grooming is essential for preventing matting and maintaining the Puri’s signature cords. It ensures that your Puli remains comfortable and looks its best. Whether you’re a new Puli owner or looking to refine your grooming routine, this guide will explore how to groom a Puli dog. 

By following these steps, you can learn how to groom a puli dog and make grooming a bonding experience with your dog. Let’s get started.

Why is it Important to Groom a Puli Dog?

Grooming a Puli dog is crucial due to their unique corded coat, which can quickly become matted and tangled if neglected. Regular grooming helps maintain the health and aesthetics of their coat, preventing discomfort and skin issues. It also allows for early detection of parasites, skin conditions, and other health problems. 

Grooming strengthens the bond between you and your Puli, making them more comfortable and confident. Ultimately, proper grooming ensures your Puli remains happy, healthy, and looking their best, showcasing their distinctive and beautiful appearance.

Essential Tools to Groom A Puli Dog

Before you start grooming your Puli, it’s essential to have the right tools and a suitable space. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brushes and Combs: Invest in high-quality slicker brushes and wide-tooth combs to handle the Puli’s dense coat.
  • Scissors and Clippers: Use blunt-tipped scissors for trimming around sensitive areas and clippers for regular haircuts if needed.
  • Shampoos and Conditioners: Choose gentle, dog-specific shampoos and conditioners that cater to sensitive skin and promote coat health.
  • Towels and Blow Dryers: Absorbent towels and a blow dryer with a fantastic setting help in drying the cords thoroughly to prevent mildew and odors.

How Do You Groom A Puli Dog?


The following are the steps that you should follow to groom a puli dog.

Bathing Your Puli Dog

Bathing a Puli dog requires special attention due to their unique corded coat. Pulis does not require frequent baths. Generally, washing them every 6-8 weeks is sufficient unless they get filthy. Overbathing can strip the coat of natural oils, leading to dryness. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your Puli stays clean and healthy:

  • Use lukewarm water and ensure the bath area is slip-proof. Have all your supplies within reach.
  • Dilute the dog-specific shampoo with water to ensure it penetrates the cords. Gently apply the shampoo to the cords, avoiding tangling. Rinse thoroughly to remove all shampoo residues.
  • It’s crucial to rinse the coat thoroughly. Any leftover shampoo can cause irritation and matting. Repeat the rinsing process to ensure that all products are out of the cords.
  • Squeeze excess water from the cords with your hands. Use absorbent towels to pat the coat dry, then follow up with a blow dryer in a cool setting. Ensure the cords are dried thoroughly to prevent mildew and unpleasant odors.

Brushing and Combing

Regular brushing and combing are crucial to prevent tangles and mats in a Puli’s coat. For Pulis with corded coats, brushing is less frequent but still essential. A thorough brushing every few weeks can help maintain the coat’s health. For those with brushed coats, weekly brushing is recommended to prevent tangling and matting. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Divide the coat into manageable sections. Work on one section at a time to ensure thorough brushing.
  • Start with a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle any knots. Follow up with a slicker brush to smooth out the coat. Be gentle to avoid pulling on the cords.
  • For mats, use your fingers or a mat splitter to carefully work them out. Patience is key—never force a mat out, as this can damage the coat and hurt your Puli.

Cord Formation and Maintenance

Maintaining the Puli’s distinctive corded coat requires specific techniques and regular attention. Puli puppies usually have a soft, fluffy coat that starts forming cords as they mature, typically around 6-10 months of age. 

The cords form naturally as the undercoat and outer coat intertwine. Regular maintenance is crucial during this period to guide the cords properly.

How to Encourage Natural Cord Formation

  • As the coat begins to mat, separate the mats into smaller sections with your fingers. It helps shape the cords and prevents large mats from forming.
  • Check the coat regularly to ensure cords are forming evenly and to catch any tangles early.

Separating and Maintaining Cords

  • Use your fingers to gently pull apart any cords that are merging or tangling together. This should be done carefully to avoid breaking the cords.
  • Regularly separate the cords to prevent them from matting. Mats can form at the base of the cords and need to be addressed promptly to avoid discomfort and skin issues.

Trimming and Clipping

While Pulis are known for their corded coats, regular trimming, and clipping are necessary to maintain their appearance and health. Here’s how to approach this aspect of grooming:

Areas That Need Regular Trimming

  • Face and Eyes: Trim the hair around the eyes to ensure your Puli can see clearly and to prevent irritation.
  • Feet and Paws: Keep the hair around the paws trimmed to avoid dirt and debris accumulation and to prevent slipping.
  • Hygiene Areas: Trim the hair around the genital and anal areas to maintain hygiene and prevent matting.

Nail, Ear, and Dental Care

In addition to coat grooming, proper nail, ear, and dental care are essential aspects of keeping your Puli healthy and happy. Here’s how to approach each:

Importance of Regular Nail Trimming

  • Long nails can cause discomfort and affect your Puli’s gait. Regular trimming prevents overgrowth and keeps nails at a comfortable length.
  • Overgrown nails are prone to splitting or breaking, which can be painful for your dog.
  • Trimming nails ensures proper weight distribution on your Puli’s paws and prevents issues like splaying or arthritis.

How to Clean and Check Ears for Infections

  • Check your Puli’s ears weekly for signs of redness, swelling, or discharge, which may indicate an infection.
  • Use a dog-specific ear-cleaning solution and a soft cloth to wipe the outer ear gently. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal to prevent injury.

Dental Hygiene Tips for Pulis

  • Brush your Puli’s teeth regularly with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.
  • Provide chew toys and dental treats to help keep your Puli’s teeth clean and reduce tartar buildup.


Do Puli dogs need grooming?

Yes, Puli dogs require grooming to maintain their unique corded coat and overall health. Regular grooming helps prevent matting, keeps the coat clean and healthy, and allows for early detection of any skin issues or parasites.

Can you cut Puli dogs’ hair?

Trimming a Puli’s hair is necessary for hygiene and comfort. However, it’s crucial to maintain their distinctive corded coat. Trimming is typically limited to specific areas like around the eyes, feet, and hygiene areas. It’s important to note that extensive cutting or shaving of the coat is not recommended. This is because it disrupts the formation of natural cords and can damage the coat.

Read More: How To Groom A Newfoundland Dog

The Takeaway

Grooming a Puli dog is essential for its health and well-being. It involves maintaining its corded coat and taking care of its nails, ears, and teeth. Regular grooming is necessary to keep your Puli comfortable and healthy. This guide provides tips and techniques for establishing a grooming routine that strengthens the bond between you and your Puli.

Frank Washington

I'm passionate about canine wellness, particularly skin health. Drawing on years of experience and ongoing research, I hope to provide useful insights and practical tips to help dog owners ensure their pets have a vibrant, healthy coat. As a proponent of natural and holistic care, I founded as a resource center for fellow dog lovers looking to nourish their pet's skin from the inside out.