Komondor – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Komondor or the Hungarian sheepdog is a large size dog with unique dreadlocks. Do you think that grooming is a big deal with this breed? Read on and discover.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
25 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
80 to 100 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Komondor is that dog breed that people refer to as the ‘mop’, due to their unusual coat and overall appearance.

This is a Hungarian sheepdog or large size, bred to work in the fields and herd sheep and cattle. With up to 100 pounds and profuse white cords from head to tail, this dog looks much larger than he is.

The Komondor is an independent and protective breed that requires an experienced owner and skilled hand at training.

If you see more than one Komondor outside, know that they are called Komondorok (the plural of Komondor is Komondorok).

This powerful dog will always have profuse white cords, so if dealing with grooming this dog seems like too much work, you should think about getting another breed.

Despite their significant size, this breed is light-footed and moves easily. Grooming this dog will demand special care and time investment to get those curls right.

If you ever feel like it’s too much work for you, think about hiring a professional dog groomer, or talk with your veterinarian for the best coat-care tips.

To make rainy days more bearable think about a rainy coat or any other dog equipment that could make a rain cover your Komondor as little as possible.

For their size, Komondors are agile and highly athletic and enough exercise should keep them healthy and happy.

Quick Facts

Real name: Komondor
Other names: Hungarian Commonmop, Hungarian Sheepdog, Mop Dog
Origin: Hungary
Breed type: Working Dogs
Weight: 80 to 100 pounds
Height: 25 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Litter Size: 3 – 10 puppies
Color: White
Coat: Long and thick white dreadlocks

Komondor History

Komondor is considered to be an old breed.

The first records on this dog date back to the 16th century. Dog historians claim that this breed is even older, dating back to the period before the 16th century.

It’s believed that these large dogs were brought to Hungary by Cumans, the nomadic people who settled in Hungary sometime during the 12th or 13th century. The name Komondor derives from Koman-dor, meaning ‘Cuman dog’.

Today, the Komondor is considered to be related to many dog breeds including:

Records show that a major cross of this breed was made in the 1970s. This is why many claim that modern Komondor shares genes with the following breeds:

  • Briard
  • Catalonian Sheepdog
  • Cão da Serra de Aires
  • Pyrenean Shepherd
  • Bergamasco Shepherd

The Komondor was recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1937.

Komondor Physical Appearance

The Komondor is a large size dog with a white coat. They have robust bodies, with strong and muscled legs.

As for the size, males are slightly bigger than females. The average height is around 27 inches, while their weight is between 80 to 100 pounds. Their most characteristic feature is long dreadlocks that are challenging to maintain, especially during rainy days.

Still, this shouldn’t stop you from considering this breed as your new pet, because their soft and gentle temperament goes beyond the grooming efforts.

The tail is straight, the head is of medium size, and the nose and muzzle are always black.

Their mop-like coat was carefully developed to protect them from various predators and extreme weather conditions.

Plus, the white coat allowed these dogs to blend with the sheep flocks. When puppies, their coat is fluffy and soft. As a general rule, their coat begins to mat at 8 to 10 months of age.

Komondor Personality

Owning a large size dog means that you truly understand how they grow.

With large breeds, the common rule is that they are slow to reach their maturity. This is important especially if you are thinking about breeding the dog.

Komondor needs around three years to reach maturity. These white dogs are devoted, intelligent, independent, and extremely protective over their people and their territory.

Since they were bred to protect herds and work in the open field, they will always be wary of strangers.

If you are searching for a dog of unusual appearance with strong guarding and protective traits, this is the breed to consider having.

They will keep an eye on their humans all the time – they will see you as a flock to be protected. This is the biggest reason why they tend to be aggressive to other dogs.

These traits make their poor choice for first time owners. The Komondor is recommended for exclusively experienced dog owners who know their way around large size dogs.

Are you an experienced dog owner who is also timid? If so, this breed isn’t for you. When choosing a dog always search for a dog to match your energy, experience, and lifestyle.

Komondor With Children And Other Pets

Komondor is a family dog.

Regardless of their size, they will be gentle and soft toward his people. That being said, Komondor will be great companions to children in their families.

They may have difficulties accepting visiting children. This is why they should never spend time with children without proper supervision.

No dog, no matter how well-behaved he might be shouldn’t interact with children without supervision. This is imperative when we are talking about large size dogs who have strong instincts to move on their own.

It’s crucial to educate your children on how to behave around dogs – they must know what is allowed and what isn’t ok.

For example, disturbing dogs while they are eating, sleeping, playing on their own, or resting in their crate, should always be a big no.

Komondors prefer to be only house animals. They are not fond of other dogs, but they can learn to get along with cats. How come? They will always be happy to have livestock to guard.

The Komondor is always alert and a nig barker. This breed needs proper training and early socialization – expose him to as many people as possible, to different places, sounds, sights, and different experiences.

Komondor Training

The Komondor is naturally an independent thinker, which makes him challenging to train. They need obedience training at an early age.

The socialization period should be used well.

Make sure that before the socialization window ends that your Komondor knows basic commands, that he understands and follow house rule,s and knows how to behave around strangers.

Once the vaccination period is completed and your veterinarian gives you the green light, make sure that you start exposing your Komondor to other dogs.

Be careful about this one, and take small steps. Make sure that dogs are always introduced to each other in calm and safe manners.

Make training sessions exciting, challenging, fun, and consistent. If training becomes too repetitive, they will become bored, and as result destructive.

If you feel like you are not getting desirable training results, think about puppy classes, or hire a professional dog trainer.

Komondor Exercise

A tired dog is a happy dog.

Keeping a dog active is the best thing that you can do for his health, next to providing proper nutrition.

Large size dogs still need regular walks and a bit of exercise to keep them fit. They also usually don’t need intense exercise to keep them super happy. This is not the case with every breed.

For example, German Shepherd and Belgian Malionous need intense exercise and long working out sessions. That’s not the case with Komondor.

These dogs are in general inactive and require little exercise. They are guarding, and as such, they are trained to be still and hold their ground. That being said, large yards are not mandatory for them, although a large living space is a must.

They are large and they need a fair space to keep them happy and to feel free. These powerful dogs should be walked two to three times per day.

Komondor Grooming

As you may expect already this is a high maintenance breed. They are not for dog owners who prefer a wash-and-go dog.

Komondor will require daily care to keep its unique appearance – this breed comes with a beautiful and unique white coat.

Interestingly, they’re not born with their famous dreadlocks. They are born white but without heavy curls.

Komondor puppies have soft curls that grow heavy as they mature. Over time, these curls turn into long and heavy cords that resemble the strands of a mop.

They also have an undercoat, which is soft and woolly. When cords begin forming, the soft undercoat becomes trapped by the topcoat – it’s crucial to keep the hair clean so it doesn’t get dirty or discolored.

The cords are completely when the dog turns two years of age. The cords must be separated regularly to prevent matting. To avoid food stains Trimm him around the mouth.

Bathing this breed may be more frequent hen in other breeds. The coat may be shortened a bit to make maintenance easier – this should be done by a professional dog groomer.

Even if it makes the maintenance easier, it does that away from the breed’s distinctive appearance.

The rest is basic care:

  • Regular brushing
  • Additional weekly brushing during the shedding session, in spring and autumn
  • Grinding or trimming nails monthly
  • Checking gums and eyes weekly
  • Brushing teeth if needed
  • Bathing only when needed
  • Cleaning ears when needed

Make sure that bathing is done carefully, and only with shampoo that is specially designed for dogs.

If you feel like you need help with grooming Komondor, make visits to dog groomers a regular thing.

It may be pricey, but it will save you a lot of time and will help you meet Komondor’s original look.

Komondor Health

Komondors are considered to be healthy dogs.

So far, there are no specific health problems to Komondors. Responsible breeders will always screen puppies and present you with medical documentation on the dog.

They will also show you the facilities, let you meet the bitch, and ask you a lot of questions to help you choose the puppy that will fit your temperament.

Reputable breeders will give you a dog once they are sure that you are serious about dog ownership.

Once they give you the green light and give you the dog, they will inform you of possible health issues in the future and even provide you tips on the dog’s grooming, feeding, and exercise needs.

The breed’s parent club, the Komondor Club of America, also asks breeders for eye health certifications.

This is a common practice, and you should feel free to ask breeders about certificates.

The Komondor is a large size dog, which means that he may develop bloat.

Bloat is a condition that is specific for large size dogs and you should do your research on this breed to prevent bloat. Knowing the signs of this condition could save your dog’s life.

Is Komondor For You?

Before you get a Komondor, make sure that you truly understand what does it means to own one.

People are often mesmerized by the breed’s appearance that they pout the care nad dog needs in the second plan.

This is a high maintenance grooming-wise, who will eat a lot (after all, this is a large size dog), and require special care as a senior dog. Plus, veterinarian bills tend to be higher for large size dogs.

That being said, it cannot harm to have pet insurance and to provide regular veterinarian check-ups, to keep the dog healthy.

It’s not uncommon for Komondor’s to end up in animal shelters, so if you are serious about getting this breed, make sure that you check local shelters first.

Checking the Komondor Club Of America if usually a great first step.

But… Is this breed for you? First of all, this breed isn’t for you if you cannot provide a job for a dog.

This breed isn’t for you if you don’t want to deal with aggression toward other dogs, lots of grooming, shaggy dog syndrome, and possible destructiveness when bored.

On the other hand, the Komondor is for you if you have serious experience as a dog owner of a large size dog and you truly understand what grooming this breed means.

The Komondor is for you if you want a large size dog, who is shaggy, dependable, and highly protective of his family and home, and has a ‘mop-like’ appearance.

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