A very ancient breed, the Komondor was originally used by the Magyar people of Hungary to provide protection from predators for their sheep and cattle flocks. It was necessary for the dogs to be capable of taking on wolves and bears, and for them to work without a human to give orders or guidance. This led to the development of a hardy, intelligent working animal, capable of making decisions on his own. As there is no need for a dog to act as a flock guard in this country they are kept solely as pets, but still retain their instinct to guard and protect.
The appearance of the Komondor demands attention, and with his great size, unusual white coat and courageous demeanour he makes an imposing impression on the onlooker. The thick coat developed to provide protection from the elements and also from attack by predators, and served as camouflage when the dog was with his flock. The coat of a mature dog can reach almost to the ground.
Great strength, courage and dignity all contribute to the characteristic appearance of the Komondor. The dog should be muscular and have good bone and plenty of substance.
The Komondor would not be the dog that we know without his striking white coat. As a puppy it is very soft and fluffy, and will readily form into curls. At around 9 months or so the adult coat starts to appear. The puppy coat sheds, and this twists together with the new coat to form 'mats'. This is the beginning of the cords, and if left to itself the coat would tend to form into very large mats all over the body, although some dogs are 'self-cording'. The process of forming the cords can be time-consuming, and although it is an apparently simple procedure, it is best for the novice owner to get an experienced person to show how it is done at first. Hair should be plucked from the ears, and trimmed from the bottom of the feet, and the dog should be bathed when necessary - allowing plenty of time for drying the coat. A mature adults' coat can take several days to dry properly. If the intention is to show the dog it must always be presented corded. It is possible to keep a Komondor trimmed if necessary, and older dogs may appreciate not having the great weight of a full coat to carry around.