How do I find out if this breed is really the best for me?
We strongly suggest that anyone who is thinking of getting a Komondor should make every effort to see some adult Komondors in their homes before making a final decision. The Komondor Club of America (KCA) or Middle Atlantic States Komondor Club (MASKC) will assist you in locating owners of Komondors in your part of the country (or in other countries in many cases). Many Komondor owners are willing to let you visit with their dogs and will explain what it is like living with this unusual breed. The reason that we feel this is so important is that Komondor puppies, with their fluffy coats and playful natures, are extremely appealing, but they are not necessarily like the adult that you will eventually own for many years. It is in the best interest of both you and your Komondor that you understand what an adult Komondor is like, so that when the puppy days are over, you won’t be dismayed at what that fluffy puppy has turned into. Unfortunately this happens over and over, and not just with Komondors. We believe that people who obtain a dog are making a commitment that lasts the life of the dog, and we encourage people to make that commitment with full knowledge of what it entails.
Where can I find a Komondor if I decide to buy one?
The Komondor Club of America can furnish you with a list of breeders, including information as to who has puppies or older dogs available. Breeders listed with the KCA have agreed to abide by the Club’s Code of Ethics which specifies responsible practices to be followed by breeders to ensure the health of the puppies and the satisfaction of purchasers. Komondors are often available through the KCA Rescue Program. These are dogs which have been given up by previous owners for various reasons. Occasionally Komondors are offered for sale by pet stores, but the chances of getting a sound, healthy puppy from this source are not good. Puppies are also sometimes available from breeders who supply working dogs. Whatever the source of the puppy, the parents should have been X-rayed and certified clear of hip dysplasia, and every effort should be made to ensure that the puppy is healthy and has been well cared for.
How big are Komondors when fully grown?
The Hungarians are very clear on this subject: if it isn’t big and impressive, even if it has cords, it isn’t a Komondor. The Komondor should be large enough to command instant respect. The actual size of Komondors in the United States ranges quite a bit, but on average males are 27 1/2 inches or taller at the shoulder and bitches are 25 1/2 inches or taller. Males usually weigh 100 pounds on up and bitches 80 pounds or more. These are good average sizes, but many dogs are bigger and some are smaller. There are a lot of breeds which are more massive, are taller, or heavier. But with his thick coat and large size there are few that are as impressive as the Komondor.
Will I have to worry about friends or acquaintances coming into the house or yard with my Komondor?
The Komondor is a large territorial dog that is used for flock and home guarding, and the Komondor owner must always anticipate his dog’s behavior based on this fact. The Komondor will make up his own mind about who is or is not welcome on his property if he’s not taught by you how to behave when strangers come to the house. It is important that Komondor puppies be socialized from the beginning. Kindergarten Puppy Training classes are excellent for Komondor puppies, as they expose the puppy to lots of people and dogs at an early age. These classes can usually be found through obedience class instructors or clubs in your area. Komondors learn very quickly which people are welcome in your house, and will greet them happily, but as a responsible owner, you must be sure the dog is under control (either through strict obedience training or physical restraint) when strangers are introduced to him.
Are Komondors noisy? How would they do in an apartment?
As a guarding dog, part of a Komondor’s job is to alert people when a potentially threatening situation exists. He does this by barking, and a Komondor’s bark is meant to, and will, get your attention. As we have mentioned, the Komondor’s nature is to decide for himself what constitutes a threat, and they definitely tend to err on the side of caution. Thus some Komondors are constantly barking because they hear a strange noise, or see someone passing by on “their” road, or because a strange car pulls into the neighbor’s driveway. Obviously this sort of situation can be worse if you live in close proximity to others and have lots of strange people and strange cars coming and going. Having said this, however, there are people who have successfully had several Komondors living with them in an apartment. Komondors generally are quite adaptable and can adjust their behavior to fit the situation. If they are constantly perceiving threats (in their own mind) however, they will be noisy, and the situation could become very uncomfortable for both the owner and the dog.
How much exercise does a Komondor need?
Komondor puppies are as playful and energetic as any other puppy. Adult Komondors are generally quite inactive, and require very little exercise. They take their job of guardian seriously, and will usually position themselves in a location where they can keep an eye on their family, rather than running around checking things out. Often the most exercise adult Komondors get is accompanying you as you move about the house. If the dog doesn’t have access to a fenced yard or large run, however, he should be walked two or three times a day.
Do Komondors have any particular health problems that I should know about?
There are no known health problems which are peculiar to Komondors. As with all dogs there is a certain amount of hip dysplasia in the breed. Responsible breeders have all their breeding stock certified as being free of dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
Also as with many large breeds, there is some incidence of bloat, or gastric torsion, in Komondors. The causes of bloat are still largely unknown, but when it occurs, the stomach becomes enlarged and filled with gas, eventually rotating inside the chest cavity and killing the dog if not corrected in time. Anyone with a large dog should talk to a veterinarian in order to learn to recognize the symptoms of bloat and should know what to do if it occurs.
How much will a Komondor puppy cost?
Prices vary from breeder to breeder, but current prices for pet quality puppies are in the $1000 +dollar range, and show/breeding quality puppies are somewhat higher in price. Reputable breeders will usually sell pet quality puppies with limited registrations or spay/neuter guarantees, the object of these provisions being to prevent breeding of puppies sold as companions.