Life span: 10-12 Years
Height: 29 – 30 inches (male), 26 – 29 inches (female)
Weight: 110 – 130 lbs. (male), 90 – 110 lbs. (female)
Often called a Hungarian Sheepdog, the Komondor is a large-sized breed that has no trouble standing out in the crowd thanks to its long, white corded coat which gives it the look of a floor mop. However, this stunning coat isn’t just for looks, as it helps to keep the dog safe from predator attacks. The Komondor is a hardworking breed that also excels as a show dog.
Quite a dare to own, this breed is not for beginners. They need a firm owner that establishes dominance as the leader, and constant training since they are young. They tend to be aggressive towards strange animals that might seem like a threat to its family, and to prevent it being aggressive towards humans must have plenty of socialization starting early in its life.
Their ears are long and barely noticeable given that they blend in with its coat, and their tail is long and hidden within their coat. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Their double coat is made up of a soft, dense undercoat and a long overcoat, which eventually blend together to form the plates. Their coat is always white.
This breed has history leading back to the Tibetan dogs and records leading back to the 16th century. They originated from the Cumans, Turkic nomadic people. When Mongol was invaded (in 1237), the Cumans moved into Hungary for safety, joining other Cumans who were there before the invasion. “Komondor” is derived from “Korman-dor”, which means “dog of the Cumans”. Remains of these dogs have been found in many of the Cumans’ graves. In 1920, many Komondor owners took their dogs to participating in dog shows, helping the breed gain popularity. In 1937, they were recognized by the American Kennel Club. They have always been used as flock guardians, even now, without the need for any human help.
The loving Komondor can be a great family dog, as long as it’s trained properly. They are used to being protectors, so they can be very aggressive with those it considers a threat, such as strange animals. No matter the size, they will react aggressively if they believe something is a threat to its family or itself. Due to this, the owner must train the dog to recognize it as the pack leader and obey its orders beginning at a very young age. However, training can be quite difficult, given that they are easily bored, so training sessions must be kept short and interesting to keep their attention. Socializing the dog since it is a puppy is extremely important in order to prevent it from getting aggressive with people. It does get along well with other animals that are within its family, as long as they are properly introduced.
This breed is relatively healthy, but may suffer from:
- Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).
- Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.
This breed does not need to be brushed, but does need the occasional bath, which is done with diluted shampoo and a thorough removal of it, along with towel drying and letting them dry in front of a fan. At around 9 months of age is when their hair begins to stick together, creating plates or clumps. These are separated with care, usually by a professional groomer. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They do need daily exercise, but they are not extremely energetic. A walk with the owner, along with play sessions and a fenced yard to play in should suffice. However, keep them away from dog parks, as their guarding instincts might get them in trouble. Training for this breed is extremely important and should begin at an early age given their independence. Owners must be dominant, giving firm yet kind commands. Having them answer commands by the time they are one year old is ideal. Early socialization is a must for this breed.