What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Komondor Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
Although energetic and playful as a puppy, the Komondor matures into a serious, dignified, self-reliant adult at two or three years of age.
Though calm and quiet indoors, he is emphatically not suited to an apartment. His ideal environment is a large home with a spacious and securely fenced yard, in the country without close neighbors. Komondors have a deep, impressive bark which they tend to use freely, especially at night when they are most attentive.
Selflessly devoted to his family and distrustful of strangers, some Komondors are never completely comfortable with any outsider. Indeed, most Komondors must be carefully introduced to guests, then supervised while the guest is present in the home.
Despite his bulk and heavy coat, the Komondor is remarkably agile and reacts very, very quickly. Early and ongoing socialization are essential if his territorial instincts are to remain controlled rather than indiscriminate.
The Komondor is patient with his own family's children, but can be overprotective when neighborhood kids join in. Similarly, he may be protective of his own family's pets while aggressively attacking others.
Livestock guardians were expected to keep watch and make their own decisions and that is exactly what the Komondor does. His instincts to trust his own judgment are very strong. Unless you establish yourself as the alpha (number one), no one will really have control over him.
Frankly, most Komondors are "too much dog" for the average household. This is a serious working dog with tremendous strength, and very few people can really provide the home or lifestyle that keeps this breed satisfied.
If you want a dog who...
- Is large, shaggy (unless clipped short), and exceedingly powerful and imposing
- Will protect your horses, llamas, sheep, goats, and chickens
- Is steady and dependable, rather than playful
- Is protective of his home and family
- Needs only moderate exercise
A Komondor may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- A very large dog who wants to sit on your feet and lean his weight against your leg
- Providing enough exercise to keep him satisfied
- Massive destructiveness when bored
- Suspiciousness toward strangers
- Aggression toward animals who don't belong to his family
- Providing six-foot fences and lots of supervision to prevent wandering
- Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Deep booming barks, especially at night when he hears a sound
- LOTS of grooming (unless clipped short)
- "Shaggy dog syndrome," i.e. debris clinging to the coat, water soaking into the beard and dripping on your floors
A Komondor may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Komondor
If I was considering a Komondor, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Komondors MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Bored Komondors can make a shamble of your house and yard.
Komondors are most satisfied when guarding livestock. You can substitute pulling a cart or sled, or backpacking, or tracking, or a similar canine activity, but if you simply want a casual pet for your family, I do not recommend this breed. Komondors were never intended to be household pets.
- Suspiciousness and over-protectiveness. Komondors need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they are likely to be suspicious of everyone, and with their power and determination, this can be exceedingly dangerous.
- Animal aggression. Most Komondors will treat the pets in their own family as members of their flock. However, they have strong instincts to drive away animals who do not belong to their family. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.
To keep your Komondor in, and to keep strangers and other animals out, fences should be high, with wire sunk into the ground along the fence line to thwart digging. Gates should have the highest quality locks.
- The strong temperament. Komondors are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Many Komondors are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Komondor to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Komondor Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Noise. Unless you live on a farm or ranch away from close neighbors, Komondors should never be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. Their deep, booming barks will have your neighbors calling the cops to report the nuisance -- or perhaps letting your Komondor out of his yard so he'll wander away.
- Grooming. If you want your Komondor to look anything like the pictures in dog books and on TV, you'll be spending an enormous amount of time and energy in coat care. The wiry hairs of his outer coat tend to fuse with the wooly hairs of his undercoat to form felt cords. If you wish to keep this appearance, you must separate the cords every few weeks. Bathing takes an hour, for the cords must be thoroughly rinsed. Drying takes at least 24 hours, with the dog in a crate surrounded by a dryer and box fans. Your second option is to brush out the cords whenever they start to form. This produces a natural "shaggy" look that simply requires lots of regular brushing. For the easiest coat, you may choose to keep the coat trimmed or clipped so it's short and neat.
- "Shaggy dog syndrome." Like all shaggy dogs, the Komondor is a messy dog. Leaves, mud, snow, fecal matter, and other debris cling to his rough coat and ends up all over your house. When he drinks, his beard absorbs water, which drips on your floors when he walks away. When he eats, his beard absorbs food so that when he sniffs your face or presses his head against your leg, YOU end up dirty, too. Big shaggy dogs are not suited to fastidious housekeepers.
To learn more about training Komondors to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Komondor the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Komondor. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Komondor might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Komondor home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Komondor...
When you're acquiring a Komondor PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Komondors who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
MORE OF MY ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY.....
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