The Komondor has to be a dog breed with the most distinctive and recognizable look in the whole canine universe. This Hungarian dog breed has a noble heritage and is known for its amazing guarding abilities. Throughout history, these dogs were entrusted to watch over large flocks of sheep and Hungarian Shepherds trusted that these dogs will protect their sheep if such a situation arises.
As most of the world’s guar and watchdogs, the Komondor also has a lot of energy that needs to be channeled productively so these dogs would not be the best fit for people or families that live in the cities or in apartments. These dogs might adapt to such living conditions but they really thrive in families that have larger, fenced yards where they can run and “guard” territory.
They are naturally protective of their family so they are not the most trustworthy towards strangers. With their human families, these dogs are incredibly gentle and affectionate and will defend you with their life. They are intelligent and independent thinkers that need to have a job to be completely happy and satisfied.
Some of these dogs can become too protective and they will literally watch over you all the time. These dogs need a strong, confident owner that will quickly earn their respect and can treat this dog properly. The Komondor is naturally very protective so you need to be careful when introducing guests to your home. Once the Komondor accepts someone, they will forever be a part of the “flock” that your dog considers their own.
25-27 in (63-69 cm)
80-100 lb (36-45 kg)
Komondors originated from Hungary where they were used for guarding livestock from the beginning. It is believed that these dogs are descended from the Russian Owtcharka. Because of their white coats, they were perfect for guarding purposes because they could easily fit in among the sheep and the predators couldn’t spot them.
Many breeds were nearly destroyed after World War II and the Komondor is no different. Thanks to the breed enthusiasts and fanciers Komondors were saved but they are still rare and largely unknown.
Dog Breed Characteristics
It should not come as a surprise that such an ancient and known working dog breed is accepted by the largest cynology union in the world - the Federation Cynologique Internationale or the FCI. The FCI has a complete standard for the Komondor that was developed by the Hungarian Cynology Association and all of the 98 FCI member states accepted this standard. It describes these dogs as being quite large and powerful with an appealing appearance. The Komondor was placed in Group 1 (Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs, except Swiss Cattle Dogs) Section 1 (Sheepdogs). This breed does not have a working trial.
The required size for this breed according to this standard is defined only as the minimum required height and it is 27,5 in (70 cm) for male Komondors and 25,5 in (65 cm) for the females. Their weight should be proportioned with their height but should be between 110 and 132 lbs (50 - 60 kg) for male dogs and between 88 and 110 lbs (40 - 50 kg) for female dogs.
The Komondor was registered by the FCI on the 9th of August 1954.
The Hungarian Komondor is a full member of the governing cynology association in the United States. That association is the American Kennel Club and it is a very old and prestigious institution. They too have a full Komondor standard and the AKC standard describes these dogs as large and muscular with plenty of substance.
This standard also mentioned the required size for these dogs and it a minimum of 27 in (69 cm) for male dogs and 25 in (63 cm) for females. The weight should always be proportioned to the height and male dogs should be over 100 lbs (45 kg) and female dogs should be over 80 lbs (36 kg).
The Komondor was accepted by the AKC in 1937.
Komondor has one of the most unique coats in the dog world. While they are puppies they have soft curls that will later grow as they mature and develop into long cords. Their undercoat is soft and wooly while the outercoat is coarse.
These dogs don’t require a lot of brushing but that doesn't mean that they are maintenance-free. From 8-12 months of age, their cords began to form and in that process, the soft undercoat is trapped by the outercoat and during that period you will have to keep your dog clean and dry. In some cases, cords can form until the dog is 2 years old.
Komondor coat colors
Every color except for white means disqualification by the breed standard.
They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.
Komondor dogs should have a medium active life if you want your dog to be happy and healthy. They are best suited for houses with a big yard where they can run freely. Chasing a ball, playing with the owner, or just regular walks can all do the trick and keep this dog satisfied.
Training such an intelligent dog breed is essential for preventing the development of bad behavioral traits. Start training them as soon as they arrive at your house.
If you are interested in properly training your Komondor and are unsure where to start, you can always ask professionals for help. Many puppy training programs and doggy schools can significantly help you train an active shepherding breed.
When training a Komondor, make sure you use positive training methods. Never use fear, punishment, or pain because not only is it cruel, it can result in an overly shy or even aggressive dog. Be firm, fair, and consistent, but use only positive reinforcement! You should make training sessions exciting, and you will start noticing great results in a matter of hours.
Komondor and kids
Komondor are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member including children. Take note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Komondor can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age they will be their playing parting and they will enjoy spending time together. They are however better suited for older kids who know how to properly interact with such a big dog.
Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.
Komondor and other animals
Komondors are not very fond of other dogs and they are best suited for households where they are only pets. They can however learn to get along with cats in the households. They will mostly be happy if they have livestock to protect.
The Komondor is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 10-12 years.
When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;
- Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
- Entropion - A defect causing the eyelid to roll inward.
- Gastric Torsion - Also known as bloat. A dangerous condition that causes the stomach to twist (torsion).
If you are looking to get one of these dogs, make sure you find a registered Komondor breeder. Ask them as many questions about this breed as possible and ask if they think you and your new Komondor will be a great fit. These dogs can be a handful so ask for any advice they can give you. They are knowledgeable and should know everything there is to know about their dogs so don’t be shy and find out everything you can about this breed before you get one.
Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy.
Komondor is still a rare dog breed and if you are interested in getting one of these dogs you must be prepared that you will be put on the waiting list.
When you bring your new puppy home start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team