Komondorok, the plural of Komondor, are majestic creatures that have rightfully earned the title King of the Dogs. Their demeanor is best described as dignified, brave, protective, and steadfastly loyal, while their appearance is imposing with a pleasing conformation. Komondor dogs are the oldest breed known to man in their present form, with a history dating back 6,000 years. They have been bred to be independent thinkers, managing flock security and property patrols without human intervention. This instinct produces a strong-minded individual ready to make decisions and act alone. The adult at work is a sight to behold, they read intentions and detect intruders and coyote with super senses, and their long strides cover mountain terrain with incredible speed. A true working dog, they need to be given a job, or they will become bored and get into trouble. Koms are credited with running the wolves out of Hungary, and many an estate have been protected by the presence of a large Komondor.
Are you ready for a Komondor?
We have seen Komondor live successfully in cities such as San Francisco, New York, or Paris, but these require a great deal of attention, training, and walking. Komondor dogs are best suited for farm life, protecting flocks. A ranch with ample room is ideal, but most homes can suffice if the owner is willing to dedicate the time, and the Kom will see the family as the flock to be protected if given the chance. All Komondor need space to exercise, and a lot of high quality food, ideally including raw meat and bones, to be healthy. From months 2-9, puppies grow 10 pounds every 30 days. Submissiveness is not in the Komondor nature, and if you don't have time to train your puppy, or work with them to explain the boundaries and acceptable behaviors, problems are bound to arise. These are big dogs, with an imposing stature, and they are persistent and determined to accomplish their goals. They are not aggressive to friends and family, but owners must be strong willed if they are going to be seen as a leader, and maintaining control of a full grown dog on a leash is no easy task. Adolescent stages are trying and can be extremely frustrating when they are in their chewing phase. One should be prepared and know that this breed is not for everyone. That being said, a loving relationship with your adult Kom is a mutually enriching, uplifting, and wonderful experience. This is truly a special breed, and we're grateful to share the farm with such loving, intelligent animals.
Males are 27 1/2" (70 cm) & up, weigh 110-135 lbs (52-60 kg)
Females are 25 1/2" (65 cm) & up, weigh 90-115 lbs (40-55 kg)
Anyone interested in owning a Komondor will greatly benefit by reading Joy Levy's book, Komondor, and Livestock Protection Dogs, by Orysia Dawydiak & David Sims. A Komondor's coat requires regular maintenance, especially between 11 months and 3 years. After the third birthday cords still need to be separated, but the majority of the work is done in adolescence. We do not recommend shaving, they have sensitive skin and eyes, the cords are protection from the elements, insulating from both heat and cold, and the coat is essential if you plan on raising a livestock guardian dog, as the cords protect them from predator attacks. They need minimal bathing, twice a year can be sufficient for working dogs, as they clean themselves remarkably well, and excessive soap residues can damage their coat. The hair on a mature Komondor with a fully corded coat is dense and luxurious, yet they shed very little once cords form, as the hairs released from the inner coat are trapped in the cords. It is a common misconception that they can't see because of the hair, but in Hungary they say, "the Komondor sees better than you, even with all the hair." To get an idea of how Kom sunglasses work, hold wool fabric over your eyes.
Komondor Dog Information
Learn more about Komondor dogs here:
AKC - American Kennel Club Komondor Info
MASKC - Middle Atlantic States Komondor Club
KCA - Komondor Club of America
FCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale Komondor Standards
CKC - Canadian Kennel Club Komondor Page
"Early History of the Komondor" - by Dr. Arthur R. Sorkin
Nine Hungarian Dogs - Komondor History
"Komondor Dogs: Shepherds Extraordinaire" - 1981 article by Catherine Allen