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  • Temperament: Loyal, Dignified, Brave
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 177 of 192
  • Height: 27.5 minimum inches (male), 25.5 minimum inches (female)
  • Weight: 100 pounds or more (male), 80 pounds or more (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Working Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Komondor standing outdoors sideways facing left
Komondor lying in grass
Two Komondorok running through a grassy field
Komondor standing in grass in three-quarter view
Komondor coat detail

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Komondor is characterized by imposing strength, dignity, courageous demeanor, and pleasing conformation. He is a large, muscular dog with plenty of bone and substance, covered with an unusual, heavy coat of white cords. The working Komondor lives during the greater part of the year in the open, and his coat serves to help him blend in with his flock and to protect him from extremes of weather and beasts of prey.

HEAD

The head is large. The length of the head from occiput to tip of nose is approximately two-fifths the height of the dog at the withers. The skin around the eyes and on the muzzle is dark.

BODY

Characterized by a powerful, deep chest, which is muscular and proportionately wide. The breast is broad and well-muscled. The belly is somewhat drawn up at the rear. The rump is wide, muscular, and slopes slightly towards the root of the tail.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders are well laid back. Forelegs straight, well-boned, and muscular. Viewed from any side, the legs are like vertical columns. The upper arms are carried close to the body, without loose elbows.

COAT

Characteristic of the breed is the dense, protective coat. The puppy coat is relatively soft, but it shows a tendency to fall into cord-like curls. The young adult coat, or intermediate coat, consists of very short cords next to the skin which may be obscured by the sometimes lumpy looking fluff on the outer ends of the cords. The mature coat consists of a dense, soft, woolly undercoat much like the puppy coat, and a coarser outer coat that is wavy or curly. The coarser hairs of the outer coat trap the softer undercoat, forming permanent, strong cords that are felt-like to the touch. A grown dog is entirely covered with a heavy coat of these tassel-like cords, which form naturally. It must be remembered that the length of the Komondor’s coat is a function of age, and a younger dog must never be penalized for having a shorter coat.

HINDQUARTERS

The steely, strong bone structure is covered with highly-developed muscles. The legs are straight as viewed from the rear. Stifles are well-bent. Rear dewclaws must be removed.

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About the Komondor

Our Hungarian-language tip of the day: The plural of Komondor is Komondorok. Now, let’s take a look at the dog. What we see is a large and powerful guardian covered in profuse white cords. A big male can stand more than 27.5 inches and weigh over 100 pounds, with heavy bone, a deep chest, and lots of muscle. Despite their brawn Komondorok are agile and light-footed, and move with long strides. With their unique look, it’s impossible to mistake Koms for anything else.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Komondor

Find a Puppy: Komondor

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Care

NUTRITION

Komondors don’t eat a lot for their size and will do well on a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some owners note that too high a protein content can lead to scratching, hotspots, or other skin reactions. “Komondors don’t require much volume and will sometimes skip a meal if not hungry,” says one breeder. “In their traditional job they probably shared what the shepherd was eating.” Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.

GROOMING

A beautiful corded coat is the result of special care. An experienced breeder reports, “We never brush but do wash the dogs regularly. When the coat starts to clump or ‘plate up’ at 9 or 10 months, we start to split the clumps or plates into areas that grow out of an area on the skin about the size of a quarter. Those grow out into the cords. There is no reason for a corded coat to smell bad or be dirty. Bathing with dilute shampoo gets the job done. To finish the bath, make sure to rinse out every hint of the shampoo, and then dry by squeezing, using towels, and then in front of a strong fan overnight. If the coat doesn’t get dry or has residual shampoo, it might smell badly.”

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Specialty/Professional

EXERCISE

Komondors are agile and athletic for their size, and sufficient exercise is important to keep them healthy and happy. Free-running time in a large, securely fenced yard, going for walks, and playing with their housemate dogs all help a Komondor stay in shape. Dog parks are often a bad idea for Komondors. Developed as a livestock guardian breed, their guarding instincts can cause them to react badly to loose stranger dogs, or to the perception that a group of dogs might be a threatening pack.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

Early socialization and puppy training classes are important for the Komondor, as are obedience training and a clear understanding that the “person” is in charge. They are independent thinkers and can be overly protective if not trained. Because of the dog should have learned to consistently follow commands by the time it is 1 year of age. Working toward an AKC CD obedience title is a perfect way for the Komondor to achieve this.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

There are no known health problems specific to Komondors. As with all dogs there is a certain amount of hip dysplasia in the breed. Responsible breeders have breeding stock certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) as being free of dysplasia. The breed’s parent club, the Komondor Club of America, also asks breeders for eye health certifications. As with many large breeds, the Komondor is susceptible to bloat, a sudden, life-threatening enlargement of the stomach sometimes accompanied by twisting. Owners need to be aware of the signs of bloat and take quick action if those signs appear.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

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History

​For many centuries the Komondor has been the king of Hungarian flock dogs. Koms guard sheep at pasture. They’re confident and tough enough to run off wolves and other ferocious beasts of prey. The dreadlocks give the dog a cool, funky look, but they aren’t for show. They provide protection from extreme weather and sharp-toothed predators. The cords also let Koms blend in with the sheep, giving them the element of surprise.

Did You Know?

The Komondor is one of three breeds of working dog native for ten centuries to the sheep and cattle countries of Hungary.
The Komondor is chief of the herdsmen dogs, but not often utilized for rounding up the herds; merely accompanies the flocks and herds in exceptional cases, acting as more of a protector than herder.
Descended from Tibetan dogs, the Komondor was brought to Hungary a thousand years ago by nomadic Magyars.
The Komondor is an almost direct descendent of the Aftscharka, which the Huns found on the southern steppes when they passed through Russian.
Failure of the coat to cord by two years of age is a disqualification in the Komondor breed.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Komondor is characterized by imposing strength, dignity, courageous demeanor, and pleasing conformation. He is a large, muscular dog with plenty of bone and substance, covered with an unusual, heavy coat of white cords. The working Komondor lives during the greater part of the year in the open, and his coat serves to help him blend in with his flock and to protect him from extremes of weather and beasts of prey.

HEAD

The head is large. The length of the head from occiput to tip of nose is approximately two-fifths the height of the dog at the withers. The skin around the eyes and on the muzzle is dark.

BODY

Characterized by a powerful, deep chest, which is muscular and proportionately wide. The breast is broad and well-muscled. The belly is somewhat drawn up at the rear. The rump is wide, muscular, and slopes slightly towards the root of the tail.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders are well laid back. Forelegs straight, well-boned, and muscular. Viewed from any side, the legs are like vertical columns. The upper arms are carried close to the body, without loose elbows.

COAT

Characteristic of the breed is the dense, protective coat. The puppy coat is relatively soft, but it shows a tendency to fall into cord-like curls. The young adult coat, or intermediate coat, consists of very short cords next to the skin which may be obscured by the sometimes lumpy looking fluff on the outer ends of the cords. The mature coat consists of a dense, soft, woolly undercoat much like the puppy coat, and a coarser outer coat that is wavy or curly. The coarser hairs of the outer coat trap the softer undercoat, forming permanent, strong cords that are felt-like to the touch. A grown dog is entirely covered with a heavy coat of these tassel-like cords, which form naturally. It must be remembered that the length of the Komondor’s coat is a function of age, and a younger dog must never be penalized for having a shorter coat.

HINDQUARTERS

The steely, strong bone structure is covered with highly-developed muscles. The legs are straight as viewed from the rear. Stifles are well-bent. Rear dewclaws must be removed.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 199

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