Friday, February 20, 2009
Sandra from Chicago writes: I was watching the Westminster Dog Show last week and saw the Puli. Every time I see a Puli, I wonder how they are groomed. I always forget to ask you and thought this a perfect place to do so. Love your blog and I tell every dog owner and/or lover I can about it.
Pulis are indeed interesting, beautiful and unusual dogs. The fancy hair do you saw on the "show" Puli is called a "corded coat." The corded coat resembles dreadlocks. Do you remember the Bud Light Commercial from a few years back? The guy used his Puli as a wig so he could go inside a bar and drink a cold one.
The coat on a Puli or any other corded dog, such as the Komondor and even Poodles and Havanese, is not groomed in the traditional manner: brush, brush, brush and wash and dry. Making and maintaining the cords, however, takes just as much work (if not more).
A corded coat requires a huge commitment. On many dogs, the coat doesn't naturally start cording until the pooch is about one year old. Moreover, it can take years to develop all those beautiful long cords.
The cords are really well manicured mats that are shaped into long tubes. The owner or groomer gently pulls apart the mats into the appropriate size. The cords are never brushed. When washing a corded dog, the coat cannot be scrubbed. Rather, the dog is soaked in a tub and then the cords are squeezed -- like when you wring out a mop. Scrubbing makes the cords frizzy and breaks up the mats (cords) you've worked so hard to produce. Rinsing is crucial because the cords can trap soap near the skin.
Corded coats require specialized grooming at home and with a professional. Talk to a trusted breeder to help you find a capable groomer. Alternatively, you can groom a Puli or other corded coat dog in the traditional manner and have a fluffy ball of fur to snuggle up with at night.