Last month I had the experience of working with my first Komondor, and I have become absolutely fascinated with the character of this breed of dog. On a superficial level, these are those dogs that when well groomed, look like giant moving mop heads. What lies beneath this striking appearance is an extremely unique, intelligent dog that captures both the heart and the imagination.
The Komondor, or Hungarian Sheepdog, is a big, powerful, stoic creature with an expert ability to guard flocks. As loyal as they are tough, the Komondor makes for a superb guard dog and loves nothing more than to take care of the family for which they live and breathe. They are affectionate, intensely loyal,
A sharp and independent thinker, the Komondor was raised and bred to ascertain threats to the flocks under his charge - with little training necessary. As working stock, this dog is more often than not quite matted and shaggy, allowing them to blend in with the sheep they guards. The groomed coat of a Komondor, on the other hand, takes the appearance of long, white cords, making them a pleasantly striking, unusual dog to look at.
While appearing bulky and ponderous, the Komondor is in fact extremely quick and agile, capable of reacting with sudden bursts of remarkable speed. Due to their protective nature, the Komondor requires thorough socialization at an early stage and throughout life, in terms of humans and other dogs/animals.
The Komondor is known for their loud, booming bark. In close settings, like apartments, particularly where there is a great deal of activity, training is usually needed to ensure less frequent, softer vocalizations.
If it sounds like the Komondor is a lot of dog for the average household, you're not at all wrong. With the right combination of having a job to do, the appropriate amount of physical and mental stimulation, appropriate and regular socialization, and good grooming practices, the Komondor is a wonderful animal companion. Tempered by a healthy dose of respect for their size and guardian temperament, and in the right environment, the Komondor is an excellent animal companion.
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Camille Salter is the founder of All Dogs Toronto and a certified, knowledge-assessed dog trainer (CPDT-KA). She is the author of two books on dog behavior: Pandemic Puppy, Decoding the Dog Park, and the Big Book of Dog Training.