At first glance, he may seem like a sheep, but no, he is a dog. More precisely, a Hungarian herding dog. Under the matted shaggy fur hides the Komondor, and he is good for some surprises.
The Komondor has been recognized by the FCI and belongs to group 1, which includes herding and driving dogs, except the mountain dogs. The most striking feature of the Komondor is undoubtedly its fur. How could it be otherwise, after all, it covers most of his body. At a cursory glance, it is possible to confuse the front and the back.
The fur consists thereby only partly of living hair. The shed hairs mat with those still firmly rooted and form shag or even strings. By the way, this concerns the complete body of the dog, not even eyes or ears can be seen. However, this hiding game makes it difficult to recognize the dog's intentions.
All Komondors look very uniform. The coat is white, but becomes darker with age. Then it is called ivory. There are differences only between the sexes. The males are on average a good 5 centimeters taller than the females. The dogs are fully grown relatively late, only at about 18 to 24 months.
If the fur were to be cut off, a still large, well-muscled dog would be revealed. But you should definitely refrain from doing this, because the fur is an indispensable protection for the dog. It prevents injuries and bites from enemies. It is also suitable for the alternating very cold or extremely hot conditions of the Puszta, its homeland.
As a native Herding dog the Komondor likes to travel at night. He has a pronounced territorial behavior. Its The urge to move is rather low. He is content to patrol and maintain close contact with his herd. With a life expectancy of 12 years and often more, he stays with his owners for a long time.
Another special feature of the Komondor is its Independence. As a shepherd in the puszta often left to his own devices, he has learned to assess dangers independently. This independence means that he is not easy to train. As a rule, he performs tasks only when he deems them useful. If he meets with other dogs, the Komondor takes command as a matter of course.
Therefore it is hardly suitable for beginners, a Komondor needs an experienced keeper. Even dealing with strangers is sometimes difficult, because the dog is suspicious of them. He is very fixated on his reference person, to whom his unconditional loyalty applies.
The right food
The Komondor is a large dog. Weighing between 40 and 50 kilograms in females and another 10 kilograms more in males, he has a proper appetite. Even though it's expensive, you shouldn't skimp on food. The health of your dog depends largely on his diet.
As with many large dogs, the Komondor also has a increased risk of gastric torsion. These can become very dangerous and even lead to the death of the dog. The best way to prevent stomach upsets is to calculate the amount of food exactly. 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 food also plays a role. Dogs are predators, so their diet should consist mainly of meat. Too much dry food can also be dangerous. Since it swells in the stomach only after a while, the dog still feels hungry and eats more. You should also avoid grains in the food. The vegetable food is difficult to digest.
Especially if you have just got a Komondor, you should be careful with the food. The move is particularly stressful for the dog. Ideally, the food should remain the same for the first few days. In the course of time, you gradually add new food. Increase the proportion until the dog eats the new food. This way 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 thick coat for a long time. You can remedy this by weighing him regularly. This gives you the opportunity to react quickly to all circumstances.
It should not surprise you that the care of a Komondor is mostly related to its coat. From puppyhood, you need to take good care of your four-legged friend. At the same time combing and bathing are taboo. The unfelted coat could be damaged by this. Instead, the fur care in the puppy is done by stroking for the time being.
With puppies, petting is mainly to get them used to caring for their shag later on. Pay special attention to the ears. It is not until the dog is about one year old that the undercoat begins to mat with the topcoat. Large mats directly on the skin are harmful to the dog. You can carefully cut them apart into thumb-thick bundles. This will prevent the development of eczema.
Even the adult dog you should bathe only in an absolute emergency and not comb. Instead of brushing, use your fingers to remove twigs or other things that get caught in the fur. You can also use your hand to keep the shag in shape. Trim only around the excretory organs to prevent feces and urine from getting stuck in the fur.
Require special attention Paws and ears. Matted areas between the pads of the paw can cause injuries, so you should remove them. You should also pull out the hairs that grow in the Komondor's ear in tiny tufts so that they do not stick together with earwax. If you're careful about this, your dog won't be in pain. And daily grooming will strengthen your bond.
To some people, the coat of a Komondor may seem unkempt, but don't let that stop you. A Komondor is only well groomed when it has the typical shaggy coat. At the same time, he doesn't stink any more than other dogs. He needs his coat to stay healthy and feel comfortable. It is also an advantage that hardly any hair falls out of the shaggy coat. In old age, you can shorten the coat if necessary, when the dog becomes weaker and the burden of the high weight becomes too much.
Your Komondor does not need elaborate accessories like special dog brushes. As already mentioned, your fingers are quite enough for grooming. To cut the hair on your growing dog, you only need a sharp scissors with rounded tips. To clean your ears, you should just use your fingers, not cotton swabs or anything like that.
Most important for the well-being of the Komondor is a large property, on which it ideally move freely can. Kennel keeping is not for the herding dog. Cities are not suitable as homes either.
Exposed farms or even large, fenced gardens are more his speed. Toys he finds relatively uninteresting, as occupation is enough for him to be with his herd. Otherwise, of course, a Komondor needs the same accessories as any other large dog.
Origin & History
The history of the Komondor is fascinating and mysterious. During excavations in Mesopotamia, clay tablets were found on which, among other things, large, shaggy dogs could be seen. Experts disagree about the interpretation of the associated script. Nevertheless, it is possible that today's Komondor goes back to the dogs of the Sumerians, who protected their herds of cattle. This would mean that the breed would be several thousand years old.
It is considered certain that the Komondor is a Steppe Dog is. But whether its origin is in Mesopotamia, Tibet, Turkey or Ukraine, experts argue. This also applies to his relationship with other traditional herding dog breeds. At some point, however, the path led him to Hungary. Possibly, he came together with the people of the Cumans, from which his name could also be derived.
The first mention of a Hungarian shepherd dog was then in the 16th century and others followed. The imposing appearance of the Komondor caused a sensation. In 1815, a drawing with associated description was published for the first time in a reference book.
The way the Komondor is bred today, it probably came into being only in the course of the last century. This the researchers take from the change of his fur, because the thin cords were not described before the turn of the century. In this time he was also kept at some European courts. But rather because of its unusual appearance and not because of its ability as a guard dog.
Many of the myths that still surround the Komondor today are exaggerated. So his fur would have allegedly served to surprise sneaking predators. If the alleged sheep suddenly barked, the wolves should have been disturbed. Quasi a wolf fright in the sheep fur. 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 is increasing again, after the number of dogs had fallen sharply. They are still sometimes used as herding dogs, for example in the USA. But their real vocation has become that of a guard dog and also a family dog.