Other names: Hungarian Sheepdog, Mop Dog, Hungarian Commonmop
Right, this is the one. The dog you’ve been seeing around town. The one that causes small children to stop and drop their lollipops. But while yes, this dog is a big mop on legs, and at least twice as adorable in person as seen from afar, she is also a serious working dog in her own right: a shepherd and a fierce guard, whose flowing cords disguise her strength and vigour. Thus, she may be a mop but she’s nobody’s broom to push around, and without adequate training this large and determined dog can become quite a handful. Properly raised, however, she will become an affectionate and striking member of the family and a great help around small domestic spillages.
Key facts about the Komondor
Origins and history
Known as a Hungarian Sheepdog, her ancestors were brought to Hungary in the middle-ages by the Cumans, from whom she takes her name and at whose graves her ancestors’ remains have been found. Before that, her heritage seems to have been Tibetan. She has been a popular worker in Hungary for many centuries, guarding rather than herding sheep. It is said that many of her kind perished at the hands of the invading Nazis because no Komondor house could be taken with this fierce protector still alive.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 1 : Sheepdogs
Physical characteristics of the Komondor
Female : Between 26 and 28 in
Male : Between 28 and 31 in
Female : Between 88 and 110 lb
Male : Between 110 and 132 lb
Type of coat
Coarse upper coat, tending towards corded; fine undercoat.
While the Hungarian Sheepdog is known for her mop-like appearance, her coat may appear more or less smooth, wavy, or matted according to the individual; and those cords can take several months from puppyhood to develop. All the same, you’re looking at one hairy dog, whose hair at its shortest is 10cm (ears, neck, and limbs) while nearing 30cm on the croup. So striking is her hair-do that many neglect to ponder, or simply can’t imagine, what’s going on underneath. What you would find were you to look is a broad, domed head, a muscled neck in perfect line to her back, a broad chest, muscled torso, big bones, yet a light gait.
Good to know
There are only a few dozen of these dogs in the UK so tracking down a pup can take a while.
The Komondor is very attached to her family, but less demonstrative with others.
Before adulthood, she likes to play, but once she matures, she becomes much quieter. She prefers to watch the surroundings rather than being distracted by games.
As a shepherd, it is her professional duty – and her nature – to remain calm when times are calm, but to respond fearlessly to counter threats to her charge.
She is moderately intelligent, and can quickly tell the difference between a visiting guest and a malicious intrusion.
This creature is not known for her hunting prowess.
Fearful / wary of strangers
She is at best reserved with strangers, and needs to be well-socialized from an early age with people and dogs.
The Komondor has been bred to guard sheep independently and may transfer that independent streak to other facets of her life.
Behaviour of the Komondor
She can easily remain alone at home or in the garden where she proudly and courageously fulfills her mission of guardian.
Easy to train / obedience
The Komondor requires firm training as she is a powerful dog who can be obstinate and independent-minded.
She has a loud bark and may use it with little provocation in the pursuit of her guarding duties.