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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.

Appearance

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.

History

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.

Temperament

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.

Care

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. 

Comments for Weird Animals - the Komondor

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    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      You are so right, Patricia. The Komondor is really cool looking - like a mop with a tongue. I would consider adopting one but south Florida is much too humid for that breed. Delighted you enjoyed the Komondor babies as much as I do.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi drbj...I have always thought these were the coolest looking dogs. They really do look like a mop!! And the picture of the babies is priceless. Sending Angels your way :) ps

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      You are right on target, Chris, the Komondor looks just like a very curly mop with a dark black nose. It is an unusual dog but I would not want to raise it in a humid place like south Florida. Thanks for finding this a cool hub.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I first saw this breed recently, and was shocked-- it did look just like a mop with a nose. LOL. The owner was telling somebody that he can't go anywhere without people staring- it certainly is unusual -- and it made a cool hub !!!!!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      You are so right, suziecat, the Komondor looks exactly like a walking mop ... or running mop ... or jumping mop. It's a very strong and intelligent breed besides having such unusual fur, er, hair, er, whatever. Thank you for the Cool and the up!

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 

      6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I have never seen a dog like this before. Like a walking mop. Cool Hub - rated up!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      You are spot on, Alicia. The Komondor is amazing and fantastic looking especially when you see one in person. Or should I say, 'in dog.'

      Thank you for stopping by and your gracious comments.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The Komondor has such an amazing appearance! Thank you for sharing the great photos and the interesting facts, drbj.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Dolores. Until recently I had never seen a Komondor dog in person either. But a few weeks ago, walking down Fifth Avenue in NYC (where else?) there was a beautiful model-type, young woman walking a genuine beautiful Komondor.

      She was very impressive and stately-looking. So was the dog! :)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, drbj - I remember seeing a Komondor on a televised dog show a few years back and it seemed like, the next week, everyone was talking about it. Never seen one in person! A very impressive animal.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      What a great appellation, Becky - Komondor - the rag mop dog. As puppies they are adorable and grown up, they are unbelievably beautiful and intelligent. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      The rag mop dog. Spray on some Pledge and throw the ball across the wood floor.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      You are spot on, Feline, m'dear. The Komondorok with their mop-like fur do look like canine Rastafarians. As puppies, are they cute or what?

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      6 years ago

      It's amazing the things you discover, drbj! The Komondorok look like the Rastafarians of the canine world! :)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Isn't this breed amazing looking, Holle. And very intelligent, too. If I lived on a farm I would have me one ... or even two. Mopping a floor would be a cinch with this puppy. You would have an antiseptic kitchen and the dog would be sanitized at the same time. :) Thank you, m'luv, for the up.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      I've always wondered...could you squirt some Pinesol on this dog and have it roll around on the kitchen floor? I hate mopping. I've always found the komondor one of the most interesting dog breeds. Voted up!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Can you believe this Komondor dog? What a remarkable creature it is? Thanks for your comment. Check out my other hubs, too, if you can. I'm especially entranced by the star-nosed mole.

    • bayareagreatthing profile image

      bayareagreatthing 

      8 years ago from Bay Area California

      Hey I have that one too :) Here are the others

      https://hubpages.com/animals/weird-wacky-creatures

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