Have you seen that ad with the dog that looks like a mop? The resemblance is astonishing.
The dog’s breed is Komondor. In short, these dogs are affectionate, intelligent but self-minded, and wary of strangers. It’s not a suitable breed for a first-time dog owner or a timid person.
Since it’s not the easiest dog to live with, we’ll help you find out if it’s the right one for you. Read on to learn more about its characteristics and the care it requires. We’ll cover the following:
- Breed Details and Characteristics
- Training and Exercises
- Grooming Needs
- Common Health Issues
What Is the Dog Breed That Looks Like a Mop?
It’s called a Komondor guard dog, or Komondorok for plural. It’s not a breed you’ll often see in the park. But it’s still a popular one, especially among people looking for a watchdog.
These dogs come from Hungary. Since many find their name hard to pronounce, the breed goes by nicknames like Hungarian Commonmop, Sheepdog, and Mop Dog.
Gentle and affectionate, these dogs are independent thinkers. Also, they love working. Give them something to guard, and they’ll stand by it as long as it takes. Bred initially as flock-guarding dogs, today they’re more popular as family pooches.
Breed Details and Characteristics
The unique coat is a characteristic that distinguishes this breed from others. The cords go all the way to the ground.
The Komondor size is considered large, with a height of about 25–27 inches and a weight between 60–100 pounds. Depending on the breeder and the size of the parents, the dogs can be slightly smaller or larger. Generally, they’re healthy dogs with a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
These mops have a strong protective instinct, making them excellent guard dogs. Although they’re very gentle with their humans, they’re highly suspicious of strangers. So the breed needs extensive socialization as early as possible.
Still, once they meet and accept a person, they’ll never forget them no matter how rarely they meet.
Origins of the Hungarian Sheepdog
The history of the breed dates back to 16th century Hungary. It’s widely considered that Komondorok are descended from the Russian Ovcharka.
They’re mostly known as flock and livestock guarding dogs. Unlike similar working breeds, the Komondor was never used for herding the flocks. But guarding comes naturally to these puppies.
They’re confident and strong enough to drive off a wolf or any other threat. Their white coat helps them blend in with the sheep, giving a surprise to predators. Hence their Sheepdog nickname.
During World War II, this breed was almost extinct. There weren’t many breeders, and those outside Hungary had no means to get dogs. Soon after the war, Komondor puppies became available again, and the breed lived on. That’s also when their popularity grew dramatically as more people wanted a guard dog.
Still, the breed is somewhat rare today, with an estimated population of 10,000 Komondorok worldwide. Although part of them remain working dogs, most are bred as family companions or show dogs.
Komondorok are the national pride of Hungary. So much so that last year, their National bank issued a collector coin with the breed.
These dogs live to guard and care for their work. They’re born to be watchdogs.
This working dog breed that looks like a mop is a self-minded pet driven by its guarding instinct. But don’t mistake that high prey drive for lack of interest in humans. Komondorok still love to play with their owners.
When socialized and trained properly, the mop dog is an affectionate family member that would love to follow you around the house. They love attention and can be eager to please if you look after them properly.
That said, the best way to make a devoted friend out of this Sheepdog is plenty of socialization and training.
You need to remember the following:
- Training should start as soon as you bring your puppy home.
- Never let your dog get away with unwanted behavior.
The dog that looks like a mop also gets bored pretty quickly. So the key to its successful training isn’t repetition but making it fun. Since they need only a moderate amount of exercise, using interactive dog toys might do the trick.
These puppies are very active until they reach maturity in their third year. After that, they calm down. Also, mop dogs are famous escape masters, loud barkers, and chewers. But only if they get bored.
Overall, it’s best to enroll them in a kindergarten as early as you can. That way, they can socialize and learn to respect authorities. At home, the mop dog needs a confident leader. They’re not well suited to timid people, as they’ll overtake the leading role and become very hard to handle.
The most appropriate food will depend on the age and activities of your dreadlock dog. Due to their size, we recommend the best dog food for large breeds. Remember that bloating is quite common for the breed and always split the recommended dosage into two meals.
When offering a home-cooked meal, learn which foods are bad for dogs and which ones are safe. Also, keep an eye on the portion size.
You’ve probably guessed that these dreadlocks aren’t easy to maintain. It could take you a whole day to bathe and dry the gorgeous locks.
Reportedly, the cords begin to develop when the dog is eight months old, and the process continues until its second year. Once you notice that, you should start separating them. The good news is you don’t need a special brush for that. Your hands will do just fine. It’s a daily affair and the only way to keep the coat clean and prevent matting.
Like with humans, the only way to a beautiful and silky Komondor hair is dedicated care. Many owners choose to leave this time-consuming affair in the hands of a professional groomer.
If you prefer to groom your dog at home, consider getting the best pet grooming clippers. Some pet owners also choose to trim the coat, but that’s quite the challenge when you have a dog with dreads.
Bathing is a full-day commitment. To keep the cords clean, you must first separate them. After that, it’s bath time. Once your dog is wet, it’s crucial to shampoo every cord. Then, you can start rinsing thoroughly. Keep in mind that if you don’t rinse all of it, the skin can become itchy.
Drying the coat usually takes between 12–24 hours. And if you think that’s the last grooming step, think again. When the coat is entirely dry, you should once again gently separate and pull the cords apart.
With a special dog coat comes special care. You should carefully select the shampoo brand. The most recommended shampoo is Burt’s Bees for Dogs. We also like to add Warren London Hydrating Dog Conditioner. Alternatively, some owners prefer to use coconut oil for the dog’s coat when it’s dry. It makes the cords look fresh, silky, and shinier.
At least the Komondor shedding is minimal. They’re even considered non-shedding dogs.
Common Health Issues
The breed is generally healthy with a lifespan of 10–12 years. According to the Komondor Club of America, they don’t have many hereditary diseases. Still, they are prone to some issues, like hip dysplasia, gastritis dilatation, and entropion.
Hip dysplasia is a disease that makes joints develop abnormally, usually resulting in arthritis. It’s common among dogs, and you won’t see the signs until your puppy matures. The symptoms include leg lameness and difficulty getting up. The condition is yet another reason to be careful with the portion sizes. If your dog that looks like a mop becomes obese, it might develop hip dysplasia earlier. In severe cases, dogs need surgery, but pills usually help.
Gastric Dilatation, also known as Bloating, usually occurs in puppies with deep, narrow chests, like Komondorok dogs. That’s when the stomach twists and fills with gas. If not treated immediately, the condition can be fatal in as little as half an hour. Symptoms include a bloated stomach, acting restless, puking without anything coming out. If you notice any of these, take your pet to the emergency.
Entropion is when the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eyeball surface. It’s painful and can lead to blindness. When detected early, vets recommend surgical correction as a remedy.
A dog that looks like a mop might look impressive, but it’s not suitable for first-time pet owners or those that don’t have the time to train or socialize their pet.
Although they can fit in an apartment, Komondors are better pets for houses with a backyard because of their loud barking. Due to their strong protective instinct, these are excellent guard dogs. Also, it’s best if you don’t keep more dogs in your household, or they won’t get along well.
When the whole family is home, this Sheepdog would love to keep you company and get some much-needed cuddles and attention. Likewise, they’ll offer you affection and unconditional love in return.
Is a Komondor a good pet?
Komondors are independent thinkers that excel at guarding with loud barking, so some households might find them to be “too much dog.” But if you’re looking for a guarding dog, this breed is among the best.
Can Komondor see?
Everybody wonders about that. And the answer is yes! The breed doesn’t have a problem with seeing, so don’t worry about that. Their eyesight is quite good.
Can Komondor dogs swim?
The dog that looks like a mop knows how to swim, but it’s not among the breeds that enjoy it. Plus, that coat needs between one and three days to dry.