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One Man and His MopWhen we first saw a puli running down the street in Budapest, we looked around with some chagrin for the joker who was throwing mop heads around. It is one of the oddest dogs you’ll see, a compact canine whose shaggy coat forms a series of natural cords—often mistaken for dreadlocks—that reach to the ground, covering its whole body. If the dog is standing still, it can be difficult to tell whether it is wagging a tail or shaking a head. When lying flat, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a bath mat—although it would be a poor performer in this respect, for the puli can take three days to air dry, and will walk carefully around a small puddle. Despite appearances, the puli is highly agile. It looks more sheep than shepherd, but was brought to Hungary by Magyar tribesmen over 1,000 years ago as a herder of livestock on the plains. The dogs gathered the stock from the villages, and drove them between grazing areas or to market. Pulik differed from other working dogs, such as border collies, in having to move huge numbers of sheep—often upwards of 400, many with foot rot—in tall grass. As a result, theirs was a vigorous and less-refined method than other breeds—bounding to see over the grass and yelping to spur the flock into motion. They are usually black in colour (originally to distinguish them from the sheep), highly intelligent, extremely active, and expressive watchdogs. Bred to be the sole companion of the shepherd during months of isolation, they are also affectionate and loyal.