FCI standard Nº 53

Mrs C. Seidler and Mrs Elke Peper
Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
Section 1 Sheepdogs
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Monday 09 August 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 06 April 2010
Last update
Wednesday 13 September 2000
En français, cette race se dit
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
En español, esta raza se dice
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd


Herding dog.

Brief historical summary

The Komondor is an old-established Hungarian herding breed of Asiatic origin. His original ancestors almost certainly came with the migrating Old Magyars, living as stock-breeding Nomads, to the Carpathian basin.

General appearance

The Komondor is large in size and powerfully built. His appealing outward appearance and dignified deportment arouse respect and even fear in the observer. By nature he is not ingratiating. His robust body is covered by matted, corded, throughout dense, long hair. The body, seen sideways, forms a prone rectangle, little deviating from a square. The thickly coated head rises above the body. The tail is carried hanging down with its tip bent upwards, almost horizontal. The coat colour is ivory.

Important proportions

The body length sligthly exceeds the height at the withers.
The deepest point of the brisket is approximately on a level with half of the height at the withers.
The muzzle is slightly shorter than half of the length of the head.

Behaviour / temperament

He has an imperturbable courage in the guarding and defense of the herds entrusted to him and the property and home of his master. He attacks silently and duringly. He regards his territory as his own property and will not tolerate any other living creature in it. His nature is suspicious. During the day, he likes to keep a lying position enabling him to control his area. At night, he is always on the move.


Cranial region

Broad, in good proportion to the body. Even the dense screen of hair does not make him appear out of proportion.
Domed, brows well developed. 
Well developed but not too steep.

Facial region

Straight, cut off blunt, black.
Not pointed; bridge of nose straight.
Black, tightly fitting to mouth and jaw bones. Corner of mouth jagged.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws very well muscled, strong and powerful. Even and complete scissor bite, according to the dentition formula.
Broad, of medium length.
Horizontally set, dark brown. The black rim tightly fitting to the eyeball.
Set medium high on the domed skull. Clearly pendant from the base and V- or U-shaped. Not raised neither when alert nor in attack.


Very well muscled. Should form an angle of 35 degrees to the horizontal. In quiet or peaceful situations, it is carried almost in continuation of the backline. Rather short than of medium length. Without dewlap or neck ruff.


Those parts of the body which form the topline are broad and very well muscled.
Sufficiently long, clearly defined in front.
Of medium length.
Broad, of medium length, slightly sloping.
Broad, well muscled. Brisket of medium depth, broad, long.
Underline and belly
Slightly tucked up.


Low-set, clearly pendant; tip of the tail shows a slight bend, almost to horizontal. It is desirable that the tail reaches to the hock. When alert, the tail is raised, at most, to the level of the back.



Judging of the limbs is highly affected by the long corded coat. Front legs are columnar and straight, parallel and vertical seen from the front or the side. The chest is broad which results in wide apart, strong and free moving legs. The limbs are firmly connected to the body. Bone substance is strong and powerful. Joints are large.
The shoulder blades are moderately sloping. Points of the shoulder blades placed vertically over the deepest point of the chest.
Large, strong with well knit toes. Pads are slate grey, thick and well padded. Toenails grey.


The position of the hind legs supports the body with medium angulations. Continuing the croup of medium length, broad, well muscled limbs are required.
Upper thigh
Strongly muscled, voluminous.
Hind feet
Longer than forefeet, otherwise similar. Dewclaws to be removed.

Gait and movement

Light, free and even. The stride is wide and ground covering.


The skin contains a lot of pigment and is slate grey. Dark pigment at the gums and the roof of mouth preferred. Diminished pigment and pink skin undesirable.


The whole body is covered by long hair. The coat consists of a coarser topcoat and finer undercoat. The characteristic coat is determined by the relation of the top coat to the undercoat. The shaggy coat, that tends towards matting is a basic requirement. An equally dense, wavy, corded coat also occurs. The smaller tufts of hair are less or not matted at all. The coat is longest on the croup, at the loin region and on the rear of the upper thighs (at least 20-27cm). On the back, at the sides of the chest and at the region of the shoulder blades, it is of medium length (15-22 cm), at the cheeks, the eyebrows, on top of the head, on the ears, the neck and the limbs, it is shorter (10-18 cm) and at the lips and on the lower parts of the limbs shortest (9-11 cm). Neither a combed nor a completely neglected coat are desirable.
Ivory colour.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Dogs minimum 70 cm, bitches minimum 65 cm.
Dogs 50 – 60 kg; bitches 40 – 50 kg.


• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

The breed shows few faults in type and is largely uniform as it has always been bred with the same target.
 Lack of pigment on noseleather, eyes and rims of lids.
 Loose eyelids.
 Ring Tail.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.
 Flabby construction, body lacking muscle.
 Entropion, Ectropion.
 Overshot or undershot, wry mouth.
 Pricked, light ears.
 Short tail (ending 3 cm above hock).
 Heavy limbs and faulty movement.
 Not ivory coloured or multicoloured coat.
 Diversion from lower height limit as mentioned in the standard.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.




Additional information from visitors

Related to other bearded Molossers of the East, this ancient sheepdog was introduced to Hungary over a thousand years ago by the invading Magyars. Some believe that the Komondor has remained unchanged since the mid 1500's, while others claim its development was completed at the begining of the 20th century.
An excellent wolf-killer, this Hungarian sheepdog is highly valued for its working abilities. Its long corded white coat allows the Komondor to blend in with the flock and surprise the potential predators with an extremely swift and powerful attack. Some fanciers suggest that this mighty breed is the sole reason for the complete eradication of wolves in Hungary.
The Komondor makes a good watchdog, due to its natural distrust of strangers. An agreable and loving companion, this breed requires a fair ammount of exercise and needs regular care of its trademark "dreadlocks" to avoid matting. The only colour accepted is white. Average height is around 28 inches.

Detailed history

The "King of Hungarian Sheepdogs" is the proud Komondor, whose very large size and abundant "corded" fur make a strong impression.

Komodor; because we sometimes forget the "n" of his name; immediately evokes the Italian Commodore, which perfectly suits the temperament and the physique of this dog, truly a "commander". Moreover, the word "Komondor" could find its origin here, given the very frequent historical links between France and Hungary. Charlemagne, for example, subjugated the Avars of Pannonia in 799, and the Naples branch of the house of Anjou reigned over Hungary in the fourteenth century. The monks of Cluny Abbey even founded schools there.

It would be more legitimate, a priori, to search for a Hungarian root for the name of this Berger, in this case, komor, which means "serene", according to a suggestion of the writer Szinney. Yet this etymology is not unanimous. In ancient Sumerian writings, we find several words corresponding to the names of the three oldest Hungarian races, pu-ly, ku-assa and finally ku-mun-dur, which would mean "chief of dogs". The hypothesis is disturbing, certainly, but the specialists of the Sumerian period consider it totally fanciful.

Be that as it may, the Komondor is undeniably part of the Hungarian heritage, even if the date of its establishment in Hungary is not determined with certainty. It may be thought that he arrived in 896, when the Magyar tribes of Prince Arpâd settled in the puszta. Or would it have been brought by the Mongols who invaded Hungary in the thirteenth century ?

Many documents, in any case, attest to the antiquity of this dog. Thus, the Komondor appears in a classic of Hungarian literature, the History of King Astiagis, written in 1544 by Peter Kanoyi. The Czech humanist Amos Komensky, known as Comenius (1592 - 1670), also refers to the Komondor. As for its first graphic representation, it is more recent, since it is an engraving included in the Natural History of Ferenc Péthe, dating from 1815. On the other hand, with regard to the kinship of the Komondor with the other "mountain dogs", we must admit that we are lost in conjectures.

Admittedly, like mountain dogs, the Komondor is a defender of herds against predators, and, as this inhabitant of the vast plains is not a "mountain dweller", it may be objected that mountain dogs were undoubtedly many more widespread formerly and that their habitat has been copied only late on that of the last wolves and bears, namely the mountainous massifs.

However, the Komondor is distinctly different from the other descendants of the Tibetan Mastiff, while it has a "cousin" that is much closer to it, the Kuvasz. Except for its high stature, the Komondor is rather similar to another family of dogs, whose representatives are Briard, Bobtail and Bergamasque, which could be a particular branch of the set of Asian molosses. This family would also include the Russian Ovtcharka (also called Owtchar, Aftcharka), which was described in works of the late nineteenth century, including by Earl Henry Bylandt, and sometimes even drawn or photographed (allowing not to doubt the past existence of this race, even if it seems extinct today, none of the Ovtcharka recorded by the Soviet Cynological Congress of 1952 really resembles it, except perhaps the Southern Russian Ovtcharka, first of the Russian Shepherds to have been recognized by the FCI). A great deal of mystery therefore remains around the Hungarian Shepherd.

As old and strange as it may be, the Komondor will have to wait until the 1920s - 1930s to be concerned about his fate in his native country and the following decade to be discovered in the West. After the First World War, Dr. Emil Rajsits noted the scarcity of Komondor in the Hungarian countryside: cereal crops have expanded to the detriment of extensive livestock, and the last large herds are no longer afraid of predators (outside marauders).

If the Komondor did not disappear at this time, it is because, thanks to its instinct of guard very developed, it remained very appreciated by the farmers. However, this traditional breeding is very declining, so Dr. Rajsits is considering a new future for the breed: only a dog breeding and adaptation of this dog to urban living conditions, or at least rustic, can him give life back. In 1921, this clairvoyant man wrote a first standard, and in 1924, the Hungarian Komondor Club was formed (previously there was only the Association of Hungarian Shepherd Breeders.) This rescue is perfectly successful, since, as early as 1935 in Hungary, about a thousand Komondors (or Komondorok, plural) are duly registered in the National Book of Origins.

It is at the same time that the breed begins to spread outside Hungary, first in Germany, then quickly in the United States, which is closely related to the important Hungarian emigration, towards the America, especially, in the years before the Second World War. In 1937, the population of Komondor is large enough in the United States that the American Kennel Club decides to officially register it from that date.

The war severely interrupts this development. It was not until the sixties that the Komondor was reconstituted in his country. Before 1960, Hungary asked for and obtained recognition of the Komondor by the International Cynological Federation. On the other side of the Atlantic, dog collectors can not get back in touch with their Hungarian counterparts until 1962, but from then on, the Komondor is enjoying a net renewed interest in the United States, to which no foreigner the sponsorship of some personalities of Hungarian origin, as the actor of television Oskar Beregi.

Today, Komondor is known in Canada, Eastern Europe, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy. He arrived in France in the seventies. But it was not until 1977 that the French manpower began to expand, in view of what, at first, a section of the Hungarian Shepherds could be created within a club "d ' Home ". Indeed, the number of births for all Hungarian sheepdogs (Komondor, Puli, Kuvasz) had not yet reached the threshold of 50 per year, a limit that will be quickly overcome, however, since, finally, 15 November 1981, the Hungarian Shepherds Club is born. Having since extended its responsibilities to all Eastern Shepherd Dogs (from Europe and the Soviet Union), this club is now affiliated with the Central Canine Society and recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture.

With its somewhat showy originality, the Komondor catches the eye. But its character is not less particular. Moreover, the person who would take it for a "good big teddy bear" could be inflicted a severe denial. The thick, corded mass of her dress may even be a cause of misunderstanding for the imprudent few, who know her behavior well: she does not allow to see the expression of her eyes or the movements of her ears; moreover, he rarely barks. Is it so unpredictable, as is often claimed? In reality, the Komondor does not shuffle, it instantly goes to action when it wants. And, as he kept. a powerful instinct of protection combined with a strong sense of initiative, a lot of courage, even biting, he is a formidable watchdog.

This role, quite topical, is not too far removed from the original "job" of the Komondor: protector of the herds. And we should not imagine a dog staying with the shepherd, waiting for orders to act. No, the Komondor lived permanently among the sheep, almost solely guided by his instinct to do his work. By his mere presence, he reassured the sheep, because it discouraged predators, but also other animals, such as foxes, boars, stray dogs, likely to panic sheep, which is not nothing. Calm and almost invisible among the sheep, during the day, he exercised at night, by his sonorous barking, his flawless vigilance and his implacable bravery, a truly sovereign power. This explains his current behavior, quite different from that of sheepdogs, or more exactly herd dogs, such as Puli.

This vocation for protection, where dressage intervenes little, has recently been honored in the United States: This extraordinary faculty of Komondors to effectively protect the herd is now used to great effect in the United States, a country of great outdoors and coyotes. Fast and cunning, these small animals wreak havoc in herds and are a real scourge to American sheep and goat farmers. After much research, the Americans found that one dog, more than any other, was able to answer their problem: the Komondor. Its mere presence is enough to deter the coyote that has detected it. In case of combat, the Komondor is a formidable opponent, protected by its thick coat.

This eminently rustic dog is made for outdoor living, which he certainly prefers to the comfort of a cozy interior. Although he is usually of a quiet behavior, that, for example, he loves the nap (but always keeping an open eye), he needs space and freedom. Seeing it running is, by the way, a rather extraordinary sight! It can therefore be left all year round, provided it provides a simple shelter for periods of heat and especially rain. Indeed, its thick pelisse makes it practically insensitive to the cold (the climate of the puszta is continental, so very rigorous in winter), but it should not be too often wet at heart, because it is difficult to dry (However, baths are not discouraged, on the contrary).

The Komondor is independent: he does not let himself be approached or stroked by strangers, he does not manifest the need to live constantly with his masters, he is not an exemplary sociability towards other dogs. He is a dominant dog, who needs a natural authority, able to instil a minimum of education before he manifests (towards six or seven months) desires to take himself for the leader. However, as an adult, he weighs in 60 kilos. Lovers of quirks, indulgent or velletic characters, but also violent and angry temperaments, go your way, you could have surprises.

But in firm hands, the Komondor is a sweet and affectionate dog, patient with children, not "sticky", a very safe guard, you can still go out everywhere. To spend, he will enjoy regular walks and long enough, moments of frolic freedom, but he does not need huge spaces. Acquiring a Komondor can only be a serious and thoughtful act, because this animal really out of the ordinary, solid, extremely endearing, deserves the consideration.

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