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Adopt a Komondor

Komondor Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


livestock dog, sheepdog, flockguard

Area of origin:


Original function:

sheep guardian

Average size of male:

Ht: 27.5, Wt: 80

Average size of female:

Ht: 25.5, Wt: 70

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Komondor Dog Temperament

Bred as an independent protector of livestock, the komondor is true to his heritage. He is an independent thinker and can be stubborn or domineering. He is not for meek people who can be dominated and socialization is essential. He is good with other pets and especially livestock. In fact, he is happiest when he has something or someone to watch over. Although usually calm and quiet, he is utterly fearless when the need arises. As a natural guardian, he is protective of children in his own family, but he may at times misunderstand rough-and-tumble games of visiting children.

Komondor Dog Care

The komondor needs daily exercise in the form of long walks or short romps. Swimming is not a good idea because of the time it takes the coat to dry. It may also be difficult to keep the coat clean in some areas. This breed does not like warm weather. The komondor is nonshedding but not carefree. His cords must be regularly separated or they will look like flat mats, and his coat tends to hold dirt; bathing is time-consuming and drying takes as much as a day. Pets can be clipped but then lose part of the breed's unique appeal. Note that it may take a dog up to 2 years of age before cords form.

Komondor Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD, gastric torsion
Minor concerns: otitis externa, acute moist dermatitis
Occasionally seen: entropion
Suggested tests: hip
Life span: 10-12 years

Interested in the history of the Komondor dog breed?

When the Huns came to Hungary, they brought with them the large, long-legged, Russian owtcharka, which became the progenitor of the komondor (plural: komondorok). These dogs bore a close resemblance to the Magyar sheep known as racka, which had a proud "doglike" carriage and masses of curly wool. Thus, the dogs easily intermingled with the sheep and at first glance appeared to be one of the flock. Greatly valued by the Magyar shepherds, the komondorok were not allowed to interbreed with other breeds. The earliest documentation of the breed dates back to 1555, although the breed is certain to have existed long before then. The komondor earned his keep by guarding the flocks against marauding animals. He was so effective that some claim he is responsible for wiping out the wolf in Hungary. The komondor was still used as a guard into the 20th century. The first komondor came to America in 1933, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1937. World War II almost decimated the breed in Europe, but through the concerted efforts of breeders, the komondor was saved. Although he is one of the most impressive dogs to ever grace the show ring, the difficulty of preparing his coat has usually dictated that none but the very finest be shown. As a result, the komondor remains an uncommon breed everywhere but in his native Hungary. Recent attempts to use the breed as a guardian of flocks in the western United States have yielded promising results, attracting the attention of a new generation of shepherds.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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Some animal welfare organizations with Komondors ready for adoption:

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