Komondor Breed Magazine - Showsight



K omondors are counted among the group of dogs called Livestock Guarding Dogs, or LGDs. Although four of these noble breeds are recognized by the AKC, there are many more than that in the world. Some are already in the Foundation Stock Service, which allows them to be shown at Open Shows, but there are even more currently working in Europe and Asia. These breeds were credited with helping to develop human civilizations by guarding the livestock being raised to feed nearby tribes. Archaeologic evidenced suggests that Komondors, although known as a Hungarian breed, began in China as a dog of the Cumans who lived near the Yellow River. The Mongol expansion forced the Cumans out of their homeland to the west, to the Ural Mountains. As the expansion continued over the course of three centuries, the Mongols and Cumans continued to clash until they reached the border of Hungary. There were many serious conflicts between the Mongols, Cumans, and the established inhabitants of the area. The remains of dogs and horses were found in the Cuman graves, and the dogs were identified as being Komondors. In fact, scholars credit the Cumanian origin of the Komondor as the dog of the Cumans, or Koman-dor. A band of Cumans continued through southern Russia where the South Russian Sheep- dog (Owtcharka) can be found—a breed also thought to be related to the Komondor. As this part of the world was being developed and civilized, other bands of nomads were migrat- ing from Asia through Europe, sharing genetic material with other local dogs. Many LGD breeds share features which clearly were useful for their job protecting the flocks; light color, drop ears, juvenile features, protective coat, and of course, similar temperaments. Each breed was developed specifically for the environment in which they were working. Weather and terrain, as well as the predator they were guarding against, defined the dog’s size and coat. Since most predators were dark-colored with prick ears, the livestock were most comfortable living with guardians that looked more like the stock they were defending. This is still true today. These breeds also share temperament features. Independent thinking, with the ability to make decisions without direction, is important for a dog working remotely; but this can be problematic for a pet. Because of this, these breeds need owners to understand their need to protect the flock (family) and always be aware of what their dog is thinking. These are not breeds to be taken lightly. They are serious and are capable of making decisions that might not be what you expect. Because they are sensitive, training with a heavy hand can dampen their enthusiasm for life and create a sullen dog. But Komondors can be as goofy and playful as any other breed when they understand your needs and respect your opinion. They connect with the family just as they would a flock, and the depth of that connection can be felt strongly. Dr. Marion J. Levy who imported the first BIS Komondor was fond of saying, “You ain’t been loved ‘til you’ve been loved by a Komondor.” The same is likely true of all LGDs.

Female ‘Mira’ belonging to Doru Asmaranda from Gura Humorului, in 1994.


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