Rare Breed: The Komondor
An article by D. Wyn Hughes in Woman’s Realm in 1978 gives a good description of this rare working dog.
“At first sight you might mistake a Komondor for an animal with a strangle felty blanket slung over him for the vast coat, falling in tassle-like cords from head to tail, with just the feet and a little of the legs visible, make this unusual breed look more like a beast of burden than a dog. As it slinks along with its head down and tail out, a Komondor gives the impression of great length and its bulky coat makes it look twice as big as it actually is.”
This dog has been bred for many years in Hungary where its main job was to guard various flocks, and its owners’ property. This strange dog with its corded coat has protected sheep, chickens, goats and also children in the past.
The earliest record of the Komondor goes back to the mid-sixteenth century and it probably came from Asia originally for in the ninth century the wandering Magyar tribes, themselves originally Asiatic, came to Hungary and their large sheep much resembled their dogs. The Komondor was an excellent guard for these sheep. Later smaller sheep were introduced; the Komondors stayed as guardians and the smaller Hungarian Puli acted as herder to the smaller sheep.
The colour is always white. Dogs weigh about 110-115 lbs; bitches somewhat less. The puppy cat is fluffy and later becomes corded.
As a show dog his coat presents problems. “As it is not easy to keep the coat clean and yet at the same time maintain the much admired long cords. At about six months old the process of parting the cords commences, and it this were not continued, the animal would eventually be covered with one solid mat like a coat of armour. Each time the Komondor is bathed, the coat has to be separated whilst drying, and the cords encouraged to remain as long narrow strips of hair rather than as bunches.”
As Mrs Pat Lanz says “They are simply not dogs for everybody”, but apart from their original role as guard dogs they can be sociable and also entertaining animals. But – “This may sound the perfect sort of dog for farmers, but English farmers are unlikely to take on the liability of this vast, strange corded-coated ancient breed for working use. The Middle Atlantic States Komondor Club endorses the emphasis on the need for caution with this unusual breed.”
The Komondor Club of Great Britain was formed by dedicated people with the object of protecting and furthering the interests of the Komondor in Great Britain. The inaugural meeting took place in 1978. A Club Show is held every year, usually in conjunction with another show, but in 1981 held it’s own limited show. The Club Newsletter Magyar Mutterings is published two or three times a year.
With only a few Komondors being shown there are only SIX shows in a year that schedule Komondor classes (i.e. Birmingham National, Birmingham City, East of England, National Working Breeds, Hammersmith Gold Medal Show, and Dudley Metropolitan Show), the rest of the time they are exhibited in Rare Breeds and Not Separately Classified Classes.
1972 – 1
1973 – 7
1974 – 1
1975 – 5
1976 – 1
1977 – 2
1978 – 18
1979 – 15
1981 – 9
1982 – 1
This article was writtem with the assistance of the Komondor Club of Great Britain.