Komondor

Description Komondor

Independent, Fearless, Gentle,
At first glance he might look like a sheep, but no, he’s a dog. More specifically, a Hungarian herding dog. Hidden beneath the matted shaggy fur is the Komondor, and he’s good for a few surprises.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 40-60kg
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Coat type: long hair
  • Colours: Ivory

Character Komondor

The Komondor was recognized by the FCI and belongs to Group 1. This includes herding and cattle dogs, with the exception of mountain dogs. The Komondor’s most distinctive feature is undoubtedly its coat. How could it be otherwise, after all it covers most of his body. At a cursory glance, it can sometimes happen that front and back are confused.

The fur consists only partly of living hair. The shed hairs become matted with the still firmly rooted ones and form tangles or cords. Incidentally, this affects the entire body of the dog, not even eyes or ears can be seen. However, this game of hide-and-seek makes it difficult to see the dog’s intentions.
All Komondors look very uniform.

The fur is white but darkens with age. Then it is called ivory . There are only differences between the sexes. The males are on average a good 5 centimeters taller than the females. The dogs are fully grown relatively late, at around 18 to 24 months.

If the coat were to be clipped, a still large, well-muscled dog would emerge. However, you should definitely refrain from doing this, as the fur is an indispensable protection for the dog. It prevents injuries and bites from enemies. In addition, it is suitable for the alternating very cold or extremely hot conditions of the puszta, its homeland.
As a native herding dog , the Komondor likes to be out and about at night.

He has a pronounced territorial behavior . His urge to move is rather low. He is content when he can patrol and keep close contact with his herd. With a life expectancy of 12 years and often more, it stays with its owners for a long time.
Another distinctive feature of the Komondor is its independence .

Often on his own as a shepherd in the Puszta, he has learned to assess dangers independently. This independence means that he is not easy to train. As a rule, he only fulfills tasks if he considers them to be useful. If he meets other dogs, the Komondor takes command as a matter of course.
It is therefore hardly suitable for beginners, a Komondor needs an experienced owner.

Dealing with strangers is also sometimes difficult because the dog is suspicious of them. He is very fixated on his reference person, to whom he has unconditional loyalty.

Diet Komondor

The Komondor is a large dog. With a weight of 40 to 50 kilograms for the bitches and another 10 kilograms more for the males, he has a decent appetite. Even if this is expensive, you should not skimp on the food. Your dog’s health depends in large part on its diet.
As with many large dogs, there is an increased risk of gastric torsion in the Komondor.

These can be very dangerous and even lead to the death of the dog. The best way to prevent stomach torsion is to calculate the amount of food precisely. So the dog does not overeat so easily. Because the longer the food is in the stomach, the higher the risk.
The composition of the feed also plays a role.

Dogs are predators, so their diet should consist primarily of meat. Too much dry food can also be dangerous. Since it takes a while for the stomach to swell, the dog still feels hungry and eats more. You should also avoid grain in the feed. The plant food is difficult to digest.

Especially if you have just gotten a Komondor, you should be careful with the food. Moving is particularly stressful for the dog. Ideally, however, the food remains the same for the first few days. Over time, you’ll gradually add new food to it. Keep increasing the proportion until the dog eats the new food.

So you protect the sensitive stomach.
Due to the special appearance of the Komondor, there is something else you should pay attention to. Changes in weight often remain hidden under the dense fur for a long time. You can remedy this by weighing it regularly. This gives you the opportunity to react quickly to all circumstances.

Grooming

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that a large part of a Komondor’s grooming relates to their coat. You have to take good care of your four-legged friend from puppyhood onwards. Combing and bathing are taboo. This could damage the unmatted fur. Instead, the fur care of the puppy is initially done by stroking.

With puppies, the main purpose of stroking is to get them used to taking care of their shag later on. Pay special attention to the ears. Only from the age of about one year does the undercoat begin to become matted with the top hair. Large mats directly on the skin are harmful to the dog. You can carefully cut them apart into thumb-thick bundles.

This will prevent eczema from developing.
Even the adult dog should only be bathed and not combed in an absolute emergency. Instead of brushing, use your fingers to remove twigs or other things caught in the fur. You can also hold the shags in shape with your hand. You should only cut them around the excretory organs so that neither feces nor urine can get stuck in the fur.

Paws and ears require special attention . Matted areas between the pads of the paw can cause injury, so you should remove them. You should also pull out the hairs that grow in the Komondor’s ear in tiny clumps so that they don’t stick with earwax. If you are careful while doing this, your dog will not be in pain. And daily care strengthens your bond.

A Komondor’s coat of fur may seem unkempt to some people, but don’t let that fool you. A Komondor is only well groomed if it has the typical shaggy coat. He doesn’t stink any more than other dogs. He needs his coat to stay healthy and comfortable. Another advantage is that hardly any hair falls out of the shag.

In old age, you can trim the coat if necessary, when the dog is weakening and the stress caused by the heavy weight is becoming too much.

History

The history of the Komondor is fascinating and mysterious. Clay tablets were found during excavations in Mesopotamia, on which, among other things, large, shaggy dogs could be seen. Experts disagree on the interpretation of the associated writing. Despite this, it is possible that today’s Komondor dates back to the dogs of the Sumerians who protected their herds of cattle. That would mean the breed would be several thousand years old.

It is certain that the Komondor is a steppe dog . But whether its origin is in Mesopotamia, in Tibet, in Turkey or in the Ukraine, the experts are arguing about that. This also applies to its relationship with other traditional herding dog breeds. At some point, however, the path led him to Hungary. He may have come along with the Cumans, from whom his name may have been derived.

The first mention of a Hungarian shepherd dog was in the 16th century and more followed. The imposing exterior of the Komondor caused quite a stir. In 1815, a drawing with the associated description was published in a specialist book for the first time.
The way the Komondor is bred today probably only came about over the course of the last century. The researchers infer this from the change in its fur, because the thin cords were not described before the turn of the century.

During this time it was also held at some European courts. But more because of his unusual appearance than because of his ability as a guard dog.
Many of the myths that still surround the Komondor today are exaggerated. Its fur is said to have served to surprise creeping predators. When the supposed sheep suddenly barked, the wolves are said to have been disturbed.

A wolf scare in sheep’s clothing. However, in most cases the mere presence of dogs is enough to deter predators. No matter what they look like.
More recently, the importance of the Komondor has increased again after the number of dogs had fallen sharply. They are still sometimes used today as herding dogs, for example in the USA.

But their real calling has become that of a watchdog and family dog.

Komondor Accessories

Your Komondor does not need complex accessories such as special dog brushes. As already mentioned, your fingers are sufficient for grooming. To trim your growing dog’s hair, all you need is sharp, rounded-tip scissors. To clean the ears, you should just use your fingers, not cotton swabs or anything like that.
Most important for the Komondor’s well-being is a large plot of land , where ideally he can roam freely .

Keeping a kennel is not for the herding dog. Cities are not suitable as homes either.
Exposed farmsteads or large, fenced gardens are more likely to suit him. He finds toys relatively uninteresting, being together with his herd is enough for him. Otherwise, of course, a Komondor needs the same accessories as any other large dog.

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