Choosing a Komondor

Also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, the Komondor has earned the reputation as a fierce guard dog and loyal protector. Still used to guard herds in his native Hungary, the Komondor has become a companion animal to some in the United States.

History and Origin

Historical references of the Komondor go back several hundred years, but it is widely believed to be an ancient breed. In the 9th century, Komondorok (the plural of Komondor) were moved into Hungary by nomadic tribes. Komondorok were used in the fields of Hungary to guard herds of sheep, cattle and goats. They have been reputed to battle wolves, bears and humans, among other enemies. They worked alone, with no human guidance. Komondorok learned how to adapt to rugged conditions, and to survive independently of a pack.

During World War II, Komondorok were put to work guarding military installations. Many were killed in the line of duty, and became scarce after the war. Exporting them out of Hungary became difficult during this time due to economic and political unrest. Finally, in the 1930s, the Komondor stepped onto U.S. soil.

Some farmers in the United States still use Komondorok to guard herds, but most are companion animals.


The white, corded hair coat of the Komondor is unique, often described as having dreadlocks. The cords feel like felt and resemble a mop head. As puppies, they have fluffy, curly hair. The skin underneath is pigmented gray.

Komondorok have stout, strong body structures. Their muscular jaws and white teeth make quick prey of any trespasser.


Komondorok range in weight from 80 to 135 pounds. At the shoulder, they can measure from 26.5 to 35.5 inches.


These dogs have an intensely strong guarding ability. They are intelligent, independent, and strong willed. They tend to be reserved with strangers, viewing their family as a flock that needs protecting. Komondorok are instinctively territorial and should be watched carefully around guests.

Komondorok are loyal and loving to their family, and require very little exercise. They can be noisy, and are always on the alert for prowlers.

Home and Family Relations

Komondorok are good with other animals and children only if they are considered part of the flock. Introducing new pets or children into the household can be stressful, until the Komondor accepts them into the family. These dogs cannot be forced to like someone new; they will make up their own minds. This may not be an ideal breed for those who have frequent guests.


Komondor puppies must be very well socialized at a young age. They must have constant training all through adulthood. Consistent correction is crucial. These dogs learn quickly, but instinctively make their own decisions.

Special Concerns

The corded hair coat of the Komondor needs constant attention to prevent matting.

Common Diseases and Disorders

Gastric torsion (bloat) is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.

Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.

The Komondor has an average life span of 12 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.