Komondor or Hungarian Shepherd: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health



The main characteristics of the komondor or Hungarian shepherd dog breed are its hair in the form of dreadlocks and large body. It has the character of a brave and courageous dog, but it is also loving and loyal to its master and family. It defends everything it considers its own, so it is an excellent guardian. In Petlifey, we explain the character and characteristics of the komondor.


Character of the Komondor breed

The komondor’s personality is that of a dog of unshakable value in defence and in caring for the herds under its charge. Its temperament also makes them protect its territory and its master’s house. It is suspicious, does not tolerate any strange being and attacks silently and boldly.

The komondor’s behaviour makes it not an appropriate breed for inexperienced owners, since it needs a master who exercises firm but natural authority over it.

It is a large, strong dog with a lot of temperament, which can go from being the most lapped animal to becoming the most terrible of enemies in a few seconds.

Its enormous strength and its courageous and unyielding character have led to its increasingly being used as a watchdog today.

Able to fight to the death with wolves and bears, the modern komondor defends its family from any danger that may threaten them.

Extraordinary guardian, stealthy and not very barking, it does not tolerate the presence of intruders in its territory, so it is important not to let unknown people enter the house unaccompanied. Even so, once inside, it tolerates them, but always maintains a reserved attitude towards them.

  • Energy: Medium / high level. You have a regular need to exercise.
  • Temperament: Faithful, confident and sweet, it shows unwavering courage in defending and caring for the flocks it is in charge of, as well as its territory and its master’s house. Attack silently and boldly.
  • Adaptability: Medium / low. It does not adapt well to other environments than its natural ones.
  • Sociability: Medium. It is very addicted to its master, but it is suspicious of strangers and tolerates their presence badly.
  • Health: Good. It is a rustic and robust dog, but it can suffer from joint or digestive problems.
  • Longevity: Low / medium. Live between 8 and 11 years.
  • Utility: Versatile. Can work in herding and as a guard and companion dog
  • Utilization: Grazing and guarding.

Is it a family dog?

Despite the fact that it is an extraordinary family dog, if you want to have it at home, you have to put emphasis on accustoming it to a more social life than was usual for the breed and teaching it to share its time with children and with other dogs. or other types of animals.

As a shepherd dog, it performs its duties instinctively and does not need anyone to teach it how to do its job.

Rustic and used to the harshest living conditions, it is not flattering or overly affectionate, but it can become a good family dog, loyal and attached to the group, brave, stubborn and protective.

This impressive breed can be misleading, since under its spectacular coat in dreadlocks that makes it look like a huge rag dog, hides a fierce and brave animal capable of facing wolves, bears and, in short, any element that consider a threat.

Can it be had with children?

Due to the uniqueness of its character and its physical strength, it is not advisable to leave it alone with children, especially if they are very young or are not aware of how the animal should be treated.

Even so, as long as it can be under the tutelage of a responsible and authoritative adult, it is also an ideal dog with the little ones in the house.

In the Komondor puppies they love to play and receive cuddles, but as they become adults become more thoughtful and responsible, imposing dogs to become guardians worthy of praise.

Can you live in the city?

Being a dog so suspicious of strangers, if a dog of this breed is going to have to live in an urban area or in a house where many visitors are received, it is important that the puppy is used to being handled from the beginning strange people.

Otherwise, it could bring out your protective instinct and cause something more than delicate.


Characteristics of the Komondor breed

If there is one characteristic that distinguishes the Komondor breed from all other Molossian shepherd breeds, it is its unmistakable ivory-colored, corded coat.

This, which can reach lengths of up to 27 cm, is formed when the undercoat melts with the covering mantle, to form long locks or dreadlocks that do not reach their full length until well after two years.

The body of the Komondor breed is very large and slightly rectangular in structure. Strongly built, it has a majestic bearing that inspires respect and even fear. The silhouette of the dog is covered by long white, tangled and dense locks.

It has medium-sized ears, triangular and set at medium height. Being covered with a lot of hair, like the rest of the head, they are sometimes camouflaged under the locks.

The feet are large, firm and with the toes together, the feet have full and well padded pads in slate grey. The nails are also grey.

The tail is set low, hanging down and reaching the hock. It is covered by the same corded hair as the cloak. In motion you can lift it to the height of the dorsal line.

What is Komondor’s hair like?

The body of the komondor dog is completely covered with fur. Double-layered, the outer coat is long and dense, while the inner coat has finer wool.

The peculiarity of the coat of this breed of Hungarian Sheepdog is that this internal hair tangles with the external one in tufts or dreadlocks.

The coat reaches its maximum length on the rump, in the region of the back and on the back of the thighs. On the back, on the sides of the chest and in the area of ​​the scapulae, it is of medium length. On the cheeks, eyebrows, ears, neck, extremities and in the upper region of the skull it is shorter.

The function of this unmistakable mantle is, on the one hand, to camouflage the dog among the sheep and, on the other, to protect its body from the attack of possible predators with whom it must fight to defend the cattle, in addition to, of course, providing it with a thermal insulation essential for their survival.

Today, many Komondor specimens spend much of the winter living outdoors, caring for herds and exposed to all kinds of weather conditions, which explains the enormous importance of this dense and protective coat.


Hungarian Shepherd breed standard

  • General appearance: Tall, stately and of strong constitution, arouses respect in the observer.
  • Origin: Hungary.
  • Size: Very large.
  • Height at the withers: 70-75 cm (Males) and 65-70 cm (Females).
  • Weight: 50-60 kg (Males) and 40-50 Kg (Females).
  • Head: It is broad and well proportioned in relation to the body. Despite the thick fur that covers it, it does not seem disproportionate.
  • Skull: It is arched, with well developed brow ridges.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): It is very marked but without being abrupt.
  • Muzzle: The muzzle is straight, not pointed.
  • Nose: It is straight, blunt and black.
  • Jaws: The jaws are well muscled and strong and powerful. The bite is scissor, regular and complete, according to the dog’s dental formula.
  • Eyes: Set horizontally, they are dark brown in color and have black eyelid edges.
  • Ears: Medium set, clearly hanging and shaped like a “V” or a “U”. The dog does not pick them up either while on alert or when going on the offensive.
  • Neck: Very muscular and without dewlap, when the dog is calm and in a friendly situation, it is carried almost along the line of the back.
  • Body: It is broad and very muscular.
  • Back: It is characterized by being short, with a moderately long back and a broad rump.
  • Chest: It is broad and strongly muscled, with a medium deep, wide and long rib cage.
  • Tail: Set low, clearly hanging, reaching to the height of the hock. When the dog is in action, it raises the tail to the height of the dorsal line.
  • Forelimbs: The legs are like columns, quite separated from each other.
  • Shoulders: The scapulae are slightly oblique, with the upper points located vertically with the deepest point of the chest.
  • Forearms and arms: Robust, bulky, straight, parallel and perpendicular to the ground, they have a strong and powerful bone structure, and are endowed with free movement.
  • Hind limbs: Broad and with strong muscles, they support the body from moderate angulations.
  • Legs: They are powerful and voluminous.
  • Knees: They have a moderate angulation.
  • Feet: They are large, firm and with the toes together. The slate gray ear pads are thick and well padded. The nails are also grey. The hind feet are longer than the front feet or the same, and sometimes they have spurs.
  • Movement: The movement of the komondor is smooth, free and moderate. The pass is wide and with good ground coverage.
  • Hair: Characteristic, long, rough and corded, the coat is composed of an outer layer of rustic hair in tufts and a finer inner wool.
  • Color: All the specimens of this breed have ivory-colored fur.
  • FCI Classification : FCI No. 53. Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 – Sheepdogs.

Komondor education and training

Socialization is the most important part of the komondor’s education and training work, and it should be started as a puppy in the first weeks of the animal’s life. The more situations you expose them to, the greater its ability to adapt and function smoothly in modern life.

So this is not an easy dog, and it is not a good choice for people who have not learned a little about it beforehand.

You can tolerate city life, but you need to enjoy long daily walks and have open spaces to move around freely and at will.

Apart from guarding and herding, it can carry out many other jobs, such as, for example, accompanying organizations such as the police or the army in defence and protection tasks.

You can also participate in sports disciplines, although in this case it may be better to keep your coat a little shorter than normal, as it will become an annoying inconvenience.

Faithful, courageous and with an imposing figure as a guardian of the house, the komondor is an excellent shepherd dog that has known how to adapt to the new circumstances of modern and family life without losing an iota of its strong personality.


Health and diet of the Komondor breed

Like many other giant breeds, one of the weaknesses of this dog is that it can suffer from certain joint and digestive problems, but these are easily avoidable if it is provided with an adequate diet that covers all its needs and keeps it strong, in good condition. and never overweight.

Given the large amount of hair and its length, it is advisable to pay special attention to the condition of the ears and eyes, which are very often covered by hair.

Likewise, the condition of the teeth and the length of the nails must be checked regularly. Older dogs, or those that are not going to lead an active shepherd life outside, can have their hair trimmed or shorn for greater comfort for both the animal and its owner.

Well fed, with adequate doses of exercise and properly bathed and groomed, the komondor is an animal with an imposing build and spectacular presence that is gaining more and more admirers around the world.


Komondor Bath and Hair Care

weak point of this breed is its coat, since keeping it in good condition can be laborious.

At the time of the bath, it is necessary to focus especially on the legs, the belly and the “pants”, areas in which urine remains can accumulate, which are, at the same time, unpleasant and unsightly.

But it must be done carefully so as not to undo the breed’s typical dreadlocks or locks, simply by lathering their surface to keep them clean.

As an advantage, however, the komondor’s hair never needs to be brushed , but is worked by hand, dividing the locks into dreadlocks of regular thickness, from the roots to the ends.

The long fur of these dogs can become a nuisance when running, jumping, turning or making some other sudden movements, because, in addition to the excess weight, the extensive dreadlocks shoot up in all directions, hitting the dog and even making vision impossible at times.


Origin of the Komondor breed

It is an ancient Hungarian indigenous breed of shepherd dogs of Asian origins. Their ancestors came to the Carpathian basin along with the migrations of the Magyars, ancestors of the Hungarian peoples, with whom they lived as nomads tending livestock.

The oldest references to this type of sheepdog of large size and peculiar coat date back to the 16th century, but it was not until after the First World War that the breed began to be known internationally.

The komondor is descended from Tibetan dogs that came to Europe accompanying the Magyar hordes from central Asia. These towns moved along with their flocks of sheep, cows and horses, which served them as food and transport, so they needed dogs that did both guard and herding work.


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