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Commonly Confused Breeds: The Komondor vs. the Puli

These dreadlocked dogs share a showstopping corded coat—but the similarities stop there

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Featured Komondor photo Ershov_Andrey/; Featured Puli photo DejaVuDesigns/

These two striking breeds share a chief characteristic—those trademark dreadlocks—that can result in the two being confused. The telltale difference here is size: the Komondor can top the scales at over 100 pounds, whereas the relatively diminutive Puli weighs in at 25 to 35 pounds. Despite both being Hungarian flock dogs, there are major personality differences, too.

Photo Colin Seddon/

Hailing from Hungary, the powerful Komondor is covered in profuse white cords from head to tail. The coarse curly adult coat starts to naturally mat at around six months of age and requires separation. Described by the AKC as dignified, brave, and loyal, this is an independent and protective breed—and a large one. Big males can weigh over 100 pounds and stand more than 27 inches at the shoulder. Despite their heft, they are very fast, agile, and light on their feet. They were bred to be flock guardians and are noted for their aloof personality, though they are loving and highly devoted to their person. Bred to be independent, they can be difficult to train. Unlike the Puli, they are always white.

Photo vauvau/

The Puli, on the other hand, was bred to herd, not guard, the sheep and is a much smaller dog. Loyal, intelligent, and home-loving, this compact herder is covered from head to tail in its most recognizable feature: profuse cords. The cords are naturally occurring at about 10 months to a year of age but can be brushed out. Once the cords are formed, they are relatively easy to maintain, though like the Komondor, the coat can mop up a fair bit of dirt and track in debris.

Substantially smaller than the Komondor, the Puli, standing 16 to 17 inches at the shoulder and weighing around 30 pounds, is still noted for its power. They’re also agile, acrobatic, and light on their feet, making them a natural fit for Agility sports. Having been bred to work closely with their people, the Puli is smart, a quick learner, and bonds deeply with his owner. This is a dog that needs a job to do. Unlike the Komondor, they have a curly tail and come in solid colours of rusty black, black, gray, and white. They are also more vocal.

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