One of the oldest breeds in the world, the Pulin has existed in the Balkans since ancient times and remained unchanged for at least 2000 years, although some fanciers believe it to be even older. A number of theories about the breed's origin exist, from it being a variety of Russian Laikas to it belonging in the Alopekis group of Greek dogs. Some trace its ancestry to the spitz dogs and black wolves of Asia, while others claim that its roots are firmly tied to the Balkans, especially the Pannonian plains, as evidenced by many archaelogical findings and old folklore references to the Pulin in the region. The Voivodina Pulin is the ancestor of many similar breeds of Europe, with the Hungarian Mudi and Croatian Sheepdog being its direct descendants, while various other breeds were shaped by introducing this remarkable working dog into their bloodlines, such as some strains of Austrian and German herders, as well as other small sheepdogs of Europe.
Initially a distinct variety of the original Pannonian Herder population, the Pulin has existed in its pure form since the early 9th century, when its versatility, intelligence and resilience made it a herding, hunting and watchdog breed of choice for many Serbs, but also other ethnic groups of the region, with the largest population of these dogs traditionally being found in the territories presently divided between Serbia, Hungary, Romania and Slavonia, now the eastern part of modern Croatia. Although it was never standardized or bred for appearance, this rugged little dog hasn't changed much throughout the centuries and in the late 1600's the breed was a celebrated national treasure of many Serbian farmers and herdsmen in Banat, Backa, Baranja, Srem, Slavonia, as well as parts of Bosnia and Shumadia.
It was in Voivodina in the north of Serbia, that the Pulin breed was fully formed and its type established, influencing its sub-varieties in the neighboring areas, some of which eventually became separate breeds. Both the Hungarian Mudi and the Croatian Sheepdog are still considered to be nothing more than internationally recognized types of the Pulin by its fanciers, whose justified complaints have been falling on deaf ears for decades. However, the Vojvodjanski Pulin enthusiasts and breeders aren't expecting the Croatian and Hungarian dogs to lose their recognition as a way of correcting the mistakes of the past, but are simply fighting to have the original Pulin officially recognized as well and in recent years, the breed Standard has been written and the breeding of these fantastic dogs is taken more seriously in its homeland.
Primarily a livestock herder, the Pulin is also an excellent property watchdog, efficient vermin killer and occasional small game hunter. It herds sheep, goats, cows and even geese and ducks, as well as being a convincing livestock guardian when needed, thanks to its great courage and protective nature. Whether by itself or employed alongside the larger Molossers, such as the Sarplaninac, Neoplantaner, Sylvan, Tornjak and similar dogs, or in packs consisting of up to 4 Pulins, this feisty and tireless breed is an impressive herder and a convincing alarm and defense dog. This is a magnificent worker, possessing immense drive and stamina, but is also one of the most intelligent and intuitive breeds to be found. The Pulin is a focused, alert and famously loyal dog, committed to its owner and the work it needs to do. Trainable, energetic, agile and athletic, this breed is very well suited for sports such as Agility and Obedience Trials. It is loving of children and even-tempered, making a good family companion. Early training and socialization will control its unfriendly attitude towards strange dogs and distrust of unfamiliar people, but this breed is much happier when put to work in rural environments than as a city pet.
The Vojvodjanski Pulin is a resilient and tough working dog, with a strong back, deep chest and a broad, but fairly small head with expressive eyes, small erect ears, powerful jaws and a narrow muzzle. According to the breed fanciers, it resembles a miniature wolf more than a black fox, but the Pulin can understandably be mistaken for a Croatian Sheepdog at a first glance, even though upon closer examination it becomes clear that the Pulin has remained a stronger and more muscular breed than its Croatian and Hungarian descendants. The shoulders and chest are well-developed, but without sacrificing any of the dog's rugged elegance. The legs are straight and sturdy, with small strong paws. There is still a few regional types to be found, including a small number of working dogs with semi-erect or even drop-ears, as well as examples without a tail, but careful selection and modern breeding methods will result in greater uniformity for the breed. The coat is very dense and hard, accepted as curly, wavy or flat and in a variety of lengths, but always short and smooth on the face and legs, regardless of the texture on the body. The bearded variety is on its way to a separate recognition in Serbia, but for now there is still a fair amount of interbreeding between types in some villages.
The Pulin has traditionally been most valued as a black-coated dog, but other colorings have always been common and this remains to be the case today. Apart from the most widely distributed uniform black variety, the Vojvodjanski Pulin can also be found in solid white, cream, yellow, fawn, red, brown, brindle and grey shades. White dogs may have spots of other shades, while black and other darker-colored representatives can be seen with white markings on the legs and chest. However, with the standardization also came certain color preferences, possibly leading to the disappearance of some strains in the future.
Average height is around 22 inches, but smaller, as well as taller dogs exist.