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Weird Animals - the Komondor

Updated on February 26, 2013

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's a Mop.

My formal photo
My formal photo
My formal profile
My formal profile

The Komondor (pronounced Kom-on-door) is a massive, muscular dog originally bred as a guardian of livestock. It is believed they are descended from Tibetan dogs and were brought to Hungary some time between the 9th and 14th century by the Cumans (also spelled Kumans), a nomadic East Turkic people, to guard and protect flocks of sheep.The name, Komondor, came from the name, Koman-dor, which means dog of the Cumans.

Sorry I can’t be more specific about the date because: a) I wasn’t there (no matter what people say); b) my research reflects a number of different dates; c) the earliest written reference is from the 16th century; and d) it really doesn’t matter – these remarkable dogs are here now anyway.


I know what you're thinking. The Komondor needs a comb! This dog is generally white in color, and does resemble a mobile mop. The dog’s outer coat fuses with the undercoat to form a felted, curly wool coat which hangs in long tassel-like cords 8 to 11 inches long.

It takes up to two years for the cords to form completely and five years to reach full length. But no combing or brushing, thank you.

This amazing-looking corded coat serves two major purposes: it helps the Komondor blend in with the sheep it protects, and more importantly, creates a type of armor to protect it from the fangs of wolves and other predators.

The Komondor bears such a close resemblance to the Magyar sheep known as “racka” that it can easily intermingle with the sheep and at first glance appear to be one of the flock.

Here I am running.
Here I am running.
Here I am posing.
Here I am posing.
That's me! Jumping!
That's me! Jumping!
My babies
My babies

An adult male is 25 to 39 inches tall at the withers and weighs 100 to 125 pounds. The female is about 10% smaller.The Komondor has a large-boned body, massive head and muzzle, dark brown eyes, and its U-shaped ears hang down to blend with the rest of its coat.

People unfamiliar with the breed are often surprised by how quick and agile the dogs are despite their size.


The Komondorok (plural of Komondor) were so greatly valued by Hungarian shepherds that they were not allowed to interbreed with other breeds. This guard dog was so effective that it has been claimed it was responsible for eradicating the wolf in Hungary.

Note: This is particularly impressive when you realize it took three little pigs to eradicate just one wolf.

The dog was first brought 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.

Today, the Komondor remains an uncommon breed everywhere but in its native Hungary. Dogs related to the Komondor are the Bermese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Mastiff, Doberman Pinscher and Great Dane.


As a protector of livestock, the Komondor has no equal. The dog is an independent thinker and can be stubborn or domineering. It is comfortable with other pets and especially livestock. In fact, it is most comfortable when it has someone or something to guard.

As the guardian of the flock the dog was bred to be reserved with strangers, very territorial and highly protective of the family. It can be fiercely aggressive especially with strange dogs and people if they are on its property.

Although usually calm and quiet, it is utterly fearless when the need arises. That’s why the breed must be thoroughly socialized with people and other dogs at an early age, and should receive obedience training. Komondors are intelligent but easily bored, loyal to and respectful of their owners, but fierce against threats to the family.


This dog does best in a country environment where it can receive extensive daily exercise. If living in an urban environment, it needs to be taken for daily, long, long, brisk walks. Komondors are not especially fond of warm weather.

Although the Komondor is non-shedding, its tasseled wooly cords must be regularly separated or they will look like flat mats, and its coat tends to hold dirt. Bathing is time-consuming and drying can take as long as a day. The dog’s coat can be clipped but then it would lose part of the breed's unique appeal.

Favorite food

Smaller dogs and cats. Just kidding!

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. - Warren Bennis

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2010, 2013 Rev. All rights reserved.

B. J. Rakow, Ph.D., Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." A serious book about job search written with a light-hearted approach. 


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