History & Overview
The Komondor is an old Hungarian herding breed of Asiatic origin. His original ancestors probably came with Old Magyars who herded their flocks in the Carpathian mountains. Magyar sheepherders are said to bring the Komondor to Hungary from Russia.
In his native Hungary, the Komondor is known as “the king of the working dogs.” But the title has less to do with stature than with the animal’s fiercely protective nature. Komondors, very popular in Eastern Europe, are gaining popularity in Canada and the United States.
The Komondor was used exclusively for sheep-guarding for many generations and in this vocation became a loyal and dependable companion of herdsmen. Rarely used to drive sheep, this dog accompanied great flocks and protected them from wild animals. This vocation is instinctive in the Komondor breed and can be seen today without training.
Some U.S. ranchers now use Komondor to fight off coyote packs that kill as many as a million sheep a year. These are independent, dominant and vigilant dogs that are incorruptible, determined and very loyal.
Its great stature and massive head commands the attention of one and all and its matted and naturally corded coat give him a startling, somewhat unapproachable appearance. Its leisurely, long gait is characteristic of the breed.
Training should be firm and consistent and based upon mutual respect. The dog requires exercise and must run long distances each day. The ideal height is 23.5 – 31.5 inches at shoulders.
These dogs should never be brushed or combed since the felting of the coat is a desirable feature. The felt is formed because the soft undercoat is not shed but is caught in the longer outer hair. Bathing is best left until summer since it can take several days for the dog’s coat to dry. Preferred colors are ivory or white. The skin should be gray, although pink is also acceptable.
- FCI-Standard # 53/13.09.2000/GB
- Dan Rice – Big Dog Breeds
- Esther J.J. Verhoef-Verhallen – The Complete Encyclopedia of Dogs (Complete Encyclopedia Series)