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

Life expectancy :





Size :

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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

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)


Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the Komondor

  • Komondor

    Adult size

    Female : Between 26 and 28 in

    Male : Between 28 and 31 in


    Female : Between 88 and 110 lb

    Male : Between 110 and 132 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    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.


    • 33%


      The Komondor is very attached to her family, but less demonstrative with others.

    • 33%


      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.

    • 66%


      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.

    • 66%


      She is moderately intelligent, and can quickly tell the difference between a visiting guest and a malicious intrusion.

    • 33%


      This creature is not known for her hunting prowess.

    • 100%

      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.

    • 100%


      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

      • 100%

        Tolerates solitude

        She can easily remain alone at home or in the garden where she proudly and courageously fulfills her mission of guardian.

      • 33%

        Easy to train / obedience

        The Komondor requires firm training as she is a powerful dog who can be obstinate and independent-minded.

      • 66%


        She has a loud bark and may use it with little provocation in the pursuit of her guarding duties.

      • 33%

        Tendency to run away

        The Komondor rarely tries to scarper because her business is to stick to her observation post.

      • 66%


        As a solitary dog, she is not usually destructive, but can cause a fuss when bored.

      • 66%

        Greedy / Gluttony

        She is not particularly greedy, although treats can be useful in training.

      • 100%

        Guard dog

        Although a sheep ‘herder,’ the Komondor is more of a sheep ‘guard’ in practice. She is territorial and will watch your property and people with a vigilance that needs to be kept in check with the proper training.

      • 33%

        First dog

        The size, power, and obstinacy of this dog make her a problematic choice for a first dog.

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        • 33%

          Komondor in a flat

          No. This dog needs space, and will not gladly tolerate sharing a building with unfamiliar inhabitants.

        • 100%

          Need for exercise / Sporty

          The Komondor is surprisingly active and agile for her size and needs plenty of exercise; outdoor time will suit her temperament well.

        • 33%

          Travelling / easy to transport

          She’s a bit of a whopper to drive around but it’s not out of the question if she gets used to it from a young age.


          • 33%

            Komondor and cats

            If she is raised alongside cats she should be okay, but beware a Komondor can quickly damage a pesky cat if they step out of line.

          • 66%

            Komondor and dogs

            She is not especially sociable with other dogs, although she will fiercely protect those alongside whom she is raised. 

          • 66%

            Komondor and children

            She is gentle and protective with children of her own family, but don’t expect her to spend hours playing or being cuddled by them. Her living space must be respected.

          • 33%

            Komondor and the elderly

            With her significant training and exercise needs and her size, this dog may not be the ideal choice for older people.



            You can expect to pay upwards of £1,000 for a well-bred KC registered puppy. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £90 to £160 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


            While this uniquely-carpeted dog may not require as frequent grooming as you may imagine (and absolutely no brushing) she needs to bathed now and then and have her cords divided and cared for a few times a year.


            Low shedder.

            Nutrition of the Komondor

            Ordinary high-quality dog food; she doesn’t eat much for her size.

            Health of the Komondor

            Life expectancy

            This dog keeps generally good health. Her average life expectancy is 11 years.

            Strong / robust

            She is a sturdy dog, but suffers from several health conditions.

            Withstand heat

            As you can imagine, she soon becomes uncomfortable in hot weather.

            Withstand cold

            She is perfectly designed to work hard in very cold weather.

            Tendency to put on weight

            She is not a greedy dog, and not predisposed to put on weight.

            Common illnesses

            • CHD
            • Gastric torsion
            • Cataracts
            • Skin problems (sebaceous cysts, dermatitis)
            • Trichoepithelioma (skin tumor)
            • Hip dysplasia
            • Entropion
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