Temperament (By Noreen Simmons)

I can almost hear the sighs and groans of “Oh not again” when you see the title. But, although I’m sorry to keep harping on this subject it cannot ever be ignored and every Komondor owner should be or must be made aware of the Temperament of the Breed.

Several earlier Championship Shows this year brought me reports of badly behaved Komondors on the benches. Were the dogs badly behaved? or were they doing what comes naturally to them and GUARDING the bench and the owners belongings etc. I am fully aware that people want to poke and prod these wonderful corded dogs. I also realise that photographers have a hey day when they see a corded Komondor. I am also aware that when asked not to touch they still proceed to do so. I have seen them stand and stare so hard, obviously in amazement, at the benched Komondor that, eventually, the dog has lunged at them, and then they recoil back looking absolutely horrified. People who spectate at dog shows usually appear not to know how to behave with the benched dogs. They just assume that it is there to be petted and touched and of course the appearance of the Komondor does belie his traits. Why do you think so many bears and wolves came to grief in Hungary.

Please always ensure that your Komondor is not left alone on the bench too long and if you have to leave ask another owner to keep an eye on your dog. One remark we hear often is that they don’t look Vicious. They are not on the whole VICIOUS. They are GUARDING for which they have a very strong instinct. The adoration for the owners, owners families and property is all too evident. They are intolerant of strangers and intruders.

Showing a Komondor can pose as much of a problem as the benching. Every judge is all too aware of the strong guarding instinct. Different attitudes and approaches can easily upset. ALWAYS be on your guard. you have a potential killer on the end of the lead. Never forget this. When the judge is examining the rear of the dog hold the muzzelle so that you are in full control of the sharp end. There are several youngsters with super temperaments about at present and the owners appear very confident. Don’t be tempted to think this is how it will always be. For the minority this may be so but if you have a true Komondor you will most certainly find a change when the dog begins to feel his feet which could be anything from nine months to eighteen months of age. So don’t relax thinking all is well because it just might catch you unaware when you least expect it.

I have a ‘nipper’ and two ‘snap in the air’ experts here at home. I have had many experiences of a complete explosion. Then a calm Komondor, laying at my feet, has suddenly exploded with very slight reason into a roaring, towering giant. The ‘nipper’ has just about nipped everyone here but it is done with affection. Particularly when she has puppies. No biting for her. She proudly shows everyone her offspring and then proceeds to nip everyone on the bottom on the way out, not always so affectionately. My ‘snap in the air’ artists when you can hear the teeth coming together, use this method as a warning. ‘Leave off or else’. This of course does not apply to the family but any visitor they feel wary of or not particularly happy about, which in our case appears to be most.

I finish off this article by saying that I don’t feel that I can impress upon you enough the importance of temperament and your Komondor. Having a longstanding association with Dobermanns and then with Rottweilers both good guarding breeds in their own rights, I feel justified in saying that the Komondor is totally different in makeup and a more fearsome guard than I have ever met, but in the correct hands with the correct management is the most wonderful, faithful and gentle dog I have had occasion to encounter.

Noreen Simmons

The above item was written by Noreen for one of our first newsletters, in 1979.