The Komondor is a Hungarian breed that was used to guard sheep flocks from predators. This breed can be traced back to at least 1555. It most likely descended from Russian herding dogs. Today this exotic looking dog is used mostly as a working dog.
The Komondor is a large working dog that stands between 26 and 32 inches tall and weighs between 80 and 135 pounds. Their white coat is long and dreaded. This is a fairly rare breed that can often be mistaken for a mutt that has not been properly groomed. However, this ragged look is what is natural to this breed. To care for this unique breed’s coat you should never brush its hair. Instead gently separate the hair into cords as its gets longer. If you are new to this breed then you may want to have a professional groomer do this for you, or at least have them show you what to do.
History and Origin of the Komondor
The Komondor is a very ancient breed. It is believed to have descended from dogs in Tibet but may have developed in Hungary. One story says that the Komondor was brought to Hungary a thousand years ago by nomadic Magyars to guard large herds of cattle and sheep. But, newer studies show they came from the Cumans. The name, “Komondor”, came from the name, Koman-dor, meaning, dog of the Cumans.
There are some accounts that the breed is an almost direct descendant of the Aftscharka, which the Huns found on the southern steppes when they passed through Russia.
It was originally bred to guard flocks of sheep. Rather than being used to herd the animals, the breed characteristically escorts the animals they are in charge of to act in the role of protector, usually without the need for commands from their master.
The breed was registered with the AKC in 1937.
Komondor Appearance and Abilities
The Komondor is a large, muscular, well-boned dog with a broad head and almond shaped, dark brown eyes. It is a massive breed with a proud gait. Its large body is totally covered with an extraordinary felted and corded coat which is always white and resembles dreadlocks or a mop. They are usually 8 to 11 inches (20-27cm.)
It is a powerful dog breed which has a natural guardian instinct to guard livestock and other property. It can reach over 30 inches tall.
The color of its coat is white, but not always the pure white. A small amount of cream or buff shading is sometimes seen in puppies, but fades with maturity.
Temperament and Tendencies of the Komondor
Komondors are independent. They were developed that way to be more effective as working dogs. They are intelligent and sensitive dogs, capable of making decisions on their own. They tend to be easily bored and you may find they are difficult to train but intuitively intelligent nonetheless.
Komondors need a variety of mental and physical stimulation. They can be very territorial thus socialization is imperative when still young.
They are loving, loyal and devoted to their family. This breed is protective and it makes them excellent guard dogs. They are also calm and alert with a very commanding demeanor.
Komondor Training and Care
They require obedience training as an early age because the breed is naturally too willful and independent. The breed needs an owner who is confident and assertive, yet positive and gentle.
When it comes to grooming the Komondor demands a great deal of time and attention to detail, and maintenance of his corded coat can take a lot of dedication. Its hair must never be brushed or combed. It must be divided into cords and trimmed. Its coat needs a lot of bathing and takes a long time to dry. Fortunately, it sheds very little.
The Komondor does best in a clean country environment where it can receive extensive daily exercise, but it will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. It does well in most climates.