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Komondor Origins and History

The Komondor is believed to be a very ancient breed, although historical references to the dog only go back several centuries. It is probable that the Komondor moved to the Danube Basin (present day Hungary) with the nomadic tribes which settled there in the
ninth century. These early Komondors were used to guard herds of sheep, goats and cattle from predators, which included wolves, bears and humans. The dogs lived out in the open with their charges, and often had to make their own decisions in the absence of a shepherd to guide them. Thus they developed into a very intelligent, independent and strong-willed breed. A few Komondors were imported to the United States in the 1930s, at which time the breed was recognized by the AKC. During World War II, Komondors were used to guard military installations and a great number of them were killed. The hardships suffered by both the people and dogs of Hungary also took their toll, and after the war, the dogs were extremely rare. Dedicated individuals who loved the breed searched out remaining Komondors, which for the most part still lived as flock guardians in remote rural parts of Hungary, and started breeding them again.

Once the Iron Curtain separated Hungary from the western world it became quite difficult to export the dogs, and very few made it to the U.S. However, enough dogs made it through, mostly via the efforts of Hungarians living in the West, that the breed had become fairly well established in the U.S. by the late 1960s. The Komondor is still a very rare breed, and most people have never seen one. The largest populations of Komondors today are in Hungary and in the United States, with numbers of animals in each country probably in the two to three thousand range. The total number of Komondors worldwide is far less than ten thousand.


Breed Characteristics

A correct Komondor should give an impression of imposing strength, courage, dignity and pleasing conformation. The Komondor is a large, medium-boned, muscular dog with an unusual white (never colored or black) coat which consists of tassels of hair which are called cords. (The coat is hard to imagine, if you have never seen it, but it is somewhat similar to the dreadlocks worn by Rasta
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