About the Komondor Dog Breed
The Komondor is an ancient breed that was brought to Hungary well over a thousand years ago. The breed has traditionally been used to protect livestock in Hungary and in most recent years has become a companion dog. They are affectionately referred to as “mop dogs.”
Komondor Physical Characteristics
The Komondor is a powerful, large bodied dog. They have black noses, long drop ears, and long curved tails.
Most commonly seen in white.
The most distinctive feature of the Komondor is its coat. The entire body is covered in long, tight cords of hair resembling dreadlocks, which grow all the wat to the feet and cover the face. The cords are formed from the outer coat twisting together with the undercoat. This twisting of the coat results in a coat that sheds very little.
Komondor Personality and Temperament
Moderate to high
The Komondor is a very brave dog, and for this reason they make excellent guard dogs. They are loyal, affectionate and gentle toward their families and are especially good for families with children.
Things to Consider
The Komondor needs to be with an experienced dog family. They can be aggressive toward strangers until they are sure the strangers are safe. This is a very intelligent dog that has been bred to think and act on its own, but because of its great strength and temperament, it is highly recommended that obedience training be started early and consistently.
Ideal Living Conditions
Komondors do well in the country with lots of wide open space.
Komondors need special grooming; professional and regular grooming is best, otherwise the coat will become such that it will have to be removed entirely – not the ideal. In addition, the hair on the feet should be trimmed regularly to prevent matting and injury, and the ears checked and cleaned regularly to prevent infection.
This is a generally hardy breed with few health problems. The following conditions are commonly seen in Komondors:
- Hip dysplasia
- Ear infection
- Skin problems during the hotter months of the year or if not groomed properly
- Parasites – fleas, ticks, etc., that hide in the heavy coat
Komondor History and Background
The earliest records of the Komondor date back to 1555, but it is thought the breed existed long before. Its primary role was to guard flocks of sheep against predatory animals. They were so effective, in fact, that some believe the breed completely depleted the wolf population in Hungary.
The Komondor is descended from the large, long-legged Russian Owtcharka, which were brought to Hungary by the Huns to help care for sheep herds. The dogs bore such a striking resemblance to the Racka, or Magyar sheep, with their curly wool and dog-like carriage, that they easily mixed in with the sheep and seemed to be part of the flock.
The first Komondor was introduced to the United States in 1933; four years later the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. As many breeds suffered during World War II, so did the Komondor breed almost face ruin in Europe. Fortunately, dedicated breeders were able to revive the breed’s numbers and popularity.
The Komondor is among the most attractive dogs in the show ring, but only the finest are on display. Thus, the Komondor is an uncommon breed throughout the world, except in Hungary, where they are a national treasure. Because the breed enhances the shepherd’s ability to guard flocks, there has been a revival of the breed by new-generation shepherds in the U.S. that have taken an interest in it.