His appearance might make you think he was developed to mop floors, but the Komondor has a long and noble heritage as a flock-guarding dog breed in his native Hungary. He still retains a strong protective instinct and will defend his family and property with his life.
Komondors were brought to Hungary by Cumans, the Turkic speaking, nomadic people who settled in Hungary during the 12th and 13th century. The name Komondor derives from Koman-dor, meaning “Cuman dog”. The breed descends from Tibetan dogs and came from Asia with the Cumans, whose homeland might have been near the Yellow River. In the late 10th century, Mongols began to expand their territories at the expense of the Cumans, forcing them to move westwards. Fleeing from the Mongols, they reached the borders of Hungary in the 12th century. Cumans were granted asylum and settled in Hungary in 1239 under Köten Khan. Komondor remains have been found in Cuman gravesites.
The name “quman-dur” means “belonging to the Cumans” or “the dog of the Cumans,” thus distinguishing it from a similar Hungarian sheepdog breed which later merged with the Komondor. The name Komondor is found for the first time written in 1544 in the History of King Astiagis by Kákonyi Péter, in Hungarian. Later in 1673 Amos Comenius mentions the Komondor in one of his works. Today the Komondor is a fairly common breed in Hungary, its country of origin. Many Komondors were killed during World War II and local stories say that this is because when the Germans (and then the Russians) invaded, they had to kill the dog before they could capture a farm or house that it guarded.
The Komondor is a large dog (many are over 30 inches tall), making this one of the largest breeds of dog, or a molosser. The body is covered by a heavy, matted, corded coat. The dogs have robust bodies, strongly muscled, with long legs and a short back, with the tails carried with a slight curl. The body, seen sideways, forms a prone rectangle. The length of body is slightly longer than the height at the withers, approximately 104% of the height at withers.
The Komondor has a broad head with the muzzle slightly shorter than half of the length of the head, with an even and complete scissor bite. Nose and lips are always black. People unfamiliar with the breed are often surprised by how quick and agile the dogs are.
The Komondor is built for livestock guarding. The Komondor’s temperament is like that of most livestock guarding dogs; it is calm and steady when things are normal, but in case of trouble, the dog will fearlessly defend its charges. It was bred to think and act independently and make decisions on its own.
It is affectionate with its family, and gentle with the children and friends of the family. Although wary of strangers, they can accept them when it is clear that no harm is meant, but is instinctively very protective of its family, home and possessions.The Komondor is very good with other family pets, often very protective over them, but is intolerant to trespassing animals and is not a good dog for an apartment. The dog is vigilant and will rest in the daytime, keeping an eye on the surroundings, but at night is constantly moving, patrolling the place, moving up and down around the whole area. The dogs usually knock down intruders and keep them down until the owner arrives.
This dog does best in a clean country environment where he can receive extensive daily exercise, but it will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. It does well in most climates, for the Komondor lives for many months outdoors in all kinds of weather.
The Komondor comes with lots of benefits in addition to the responsibilities. This loyal breed will happily spend his days under or on your feet, serving as companion, friend, and guardian.