If you love large dogs and have room for them inside and outside, the komondor is definitely a special breed of dog to consider. Also called the Hungarian sheepdog, they were bred to be working dogs, specifically livestock guardians and flock guardians. If you don't have a flock of sheep in need of guarding, komondorok (the plural of komondor) also make great family dogs.
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Komondor dog history
The komondor was a sheep herding dog in Hungary for thousands of years. The name komondor means "dog of the Cumans," who were nomadic people who eventually settled in Hungary as one type of Magyars, known today as Hungarians. As herding dogs, their white woollike coat helped them blend in with the flock. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1937. However, World War II halted imports from Hungary, making the breed scarce. More recently, komondorok have come back into favor as large, affectionate, protective companions and guard dogs.
Komondor dog characteristics
The komondor is a purebred Hungarian shepherd dog known for a white coat that forms into cords, or dreadlocks, making them look like giant, mobile mops. Along with this outer coat, they also have an undercoat to keep them warm while herding. Komondorok are a large breed, with males at least 27.5 inches tall at the shoulders and females at least 25.5 inches tall. Males typically weigh 100 pounds or more, while females weigh 80 or more pounds. With attentive care, komondorok have a potential life span of 10 to 12 years.
Komondor dog temperament & training
A komondor wants to have someone or something to look after and protect, whether it be another animal or their humans. Komondorok are highly affectionate toward their family. Due to their watchful nature, however, they need early socialization so that they don't perceive everything as a threat. Their temperament is calm and steady until they feel the need to be protective. Because of their size and speed, they need owners who can keep them under control and a fenced yard to keep them close.
These big, moplike dogs take well to obedience training, but starting early between 4 and 8 months of age is key. Be sure to use positive training methods rather than punishments, as all dogs respond better this way. Komondorok also benefit from healthy socialization around strangers, so be sure to take them on walks, to parks, and to the pet store.
Komondor dog grooming
The Komondor dog's glorious, moplike coat is his shining feature provided that it is well groomed. The cords should never be brushed, but regular shampooing gets the dirt out of the cords, which are also prone to matting and need to be separated. Be sure to rinse out all of the shampoo and allow up to two days for the coat to dry. Use a blow dryer or fan to help if you wish. If you get one of these massive dogs, you'll want to make sure you have the time to keep his unique coat looking fabulous.
Komondor dog exercise & health
Despite their size, komondorok are fast and agile, and they crave daily exercise. Being active also helps them maintain a healthy weight. Komondorok generally have few health problems, especially if you seek conscientious breeders who perform proper testing and choose only healthy parents to breed. Some health conditions the breed could develop include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and bloat (or gastric torsion), where the stomach fills with air and twists, which can be life-threatening.
Komondor dog puppies
Komondorok are watchdogs, so they bark when they sense a threat. Early socialization keeps them from treating everything as a threat and barking at anything. They should be regularly introduced to different dogs, people, and environments. Begin training when puppies are about 4 months old so they learn listening and good behavior from the start.
Initially quite agreeable while training, adolescence marks a more rebellious time that they will grow out of. However, komondorok do not become adults until around 3 years of age, so you can expect some puppy behavior to continue up until that point.
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