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Hungarian Komondor Breed Description

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Breed Organization

Komondor Club of America

Native Country

Other Names
Komondor, Hungarian Sheepdog

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years

Litter Size
Average 4-7 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The Komondor's coat is long, thick, and strikingly corded white coat, which resembles dreadlocks or a mop. The puppy coat is soft and fluffy. However, the coat is wavy and tends to curl as the puppy matures. A fully mature coat is formed naturally from the soft undercoat and the coarser outer coat combining to form tassels, or cords and will take around two years to form. Some help is needed in separating the cords so the dog does not turn into one large matted mess. The length of the cords increases with time as the coat grows. Shedding is minimal with this breed, contrary to what one might think (once cords are fully formed). The only substantial shedding occurs as a puppy before the dreadlocks fully form. The Komondor is born with only a white coat, unlike the similar-looking Puli, which can be white, black, or sometimes grayish. However, a working Komondor's coat may be discolored by the elements, and may appear off-white if not washed regularly. Traditionally the coat protected the Komondor from wolves' bites, as the bites were not able to penetrate the thick coat. The coat of the Komondor takes about two and a half days to dry after a bath.

Breed Standard

Head:Broad. Size in proportion to the rest of the body. Covered with abundant hair. Domed skull. Pronounced stop. Bridge of nose is straight. Very broad muzzle.
Ears: Long and hanging, u-shaped.
Eyes: Oval. Dark color.
Body: Slightly longer than tall. No dewlap. Broad breast. Deep, barrel chest. Broad loin. Short back. Slightly sloping croup.
Tail: Carried hanging down at rest and at the level of the back when in action.
Hair: Long - 20 to 27 cm ( 8-10.5 in) on the rump; 15 to 22 cm (6-8.7 in) on the back, chest and shoulders; 10 to 18 cm (3.9-7 in) on the head, neck and legs. Hair is harsh, corded, and bushy, with a fine, wooly undercoat. At birth, a puppy's coat is made up of soft, fine, curly or wavy white hairs.
Coat: White.
Size: Dog: approx. 80 cm. (32 in).Bitch: approx. 70 cm (28 in).
Weight: Dog: 50 to 60 kg. (110-132 lb).Bitch: 40 to 50 kg (88-110 lb).


Komondors were brought to Hungary by Cumans, the Turkic speaking, nomadic people who settled in Hungary during the 12th and 13th century. The name Komondor derives from Koman-dor, meaning "Cuman dog". The breed descends from Tibetan dogs and came from Asia with the Cumans, whose homeland might have been near the Yellow River. In the late 10th century, Mongols began to expand their territories at the expense of the Cumans, forcing them to move westwards. Fleeing from the Mongols, they reached the borders of Hungary in the 12th century. Cumans were granted asylum and settled in Hungary in 1239 under Koten Khan. Komondor remains have been found in Cuman gravesites.

The Komondor is related to the South Russian Ovcharka, the Puli and, by extension, the Pumi, the Mudi, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, the Schapendoes, the Bearded collie, and the Old English sheepdog. In 1947, the Komondor was used to acquire fresh blood in the rare South Russian Ovcharka. In the 1970s, another Komondor cross was made. It is also believed to be related to the Briard, the Catalonian Sheepdog, the Cao da Serra de Aires, the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Bergamasco shepherd, but the Bergamasco has flocks unlike the Komondor.

The two Hungarian breeds of livestock guardian dogs have evolved independently. This is because the Komondor was developed by a group of people who called it the Kuman-dor, the dog of the Cumans, and the Kuvasz was bred by a different people - the Magyars. For much of Hungary's early history, these two peoples lived in separate areas in Hungary, spoke different languages and so did not mix. As a result, their dogs have little, if any at all, admixture.


The Komondor is built for livestock guarding. Its temperament is like that of most livestock guarding dogs; it is calm and steady when things are normal, but, in case of trouble, the dog will fearlessly defend its charges. It was bred to think and act independently and make decisions on its own.

The Komondor is affectionate with its family, and gentle with the children and friends of the family. Although wary of strangers, they can accept them when it is clear that no harm is imminent, being instinctively very protective of its family, home, and possessions. The Komondor is very good with other family pets, often very protective over them, but is intolerant to trespassing animals and is not a good dog for an apartment. The dog is vigilant and will rest in the daytime, keeping an eye on its surroundings, but at night is constantly moving, patrolling the place, moving up and down around its whole territory. The dogs will usually knock down intruders and keep them down until its owner arrives. Hungarian Komondor breeders used to say that an intruder may be allowed to enter the property guarded by a Komondor, but he will not be allowed to leave or escape.

This dog is not suitable as a house dog; he needs space and a lot of exercise. Komondor’s are never brushed. Instead, begin separating the cords with your fingers once the dog reaches the age of eight months. The Komondor should be bathed only once or twice per year.


The breed has a natural guardian instinct and an inherent ability to guard livestock. An athletic dog, the Komondor is fast and powerful and will leap at a predator to drive it off or knock it down. It can be used successfully to guard sheep against wolves or bears. It is a big, strong dog breed, armored with a thick coat. The coat provides protection against wild animals, weather and vegetation. The coat looks similar to that of a sheep so it can easily blend into a flock and camouflage itself giving it an advantage when predators such as wolves attack. The Komondor is one breed of livestock guardian dog which has seen a vast increase in use as a guardian of sheep and goats in the United States to protect against predators such as coyotes, cougars, bears, and other predators.


They are prone to hip dysplasia, bloat and skin problems.

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