The chances are good that you turned to the internet at least once to find out what type of dog looks like a mop. The Komondor is the official name of this purebred dog, which also uses the nickname of a Mop Dog. Originally bred to keep track of flocks of sheep, they are very loyal creatures today. They are also brave pups as their owners depended on them to keep those sheep safe from bears, wolves and other potential dangers.
They are big dogs with a corded coat that keeps them safe from various weather conditions. This is a dog that is happy playing in the snow and running around in the sunshine. The name Mop Dog comes from that coat, which looks as if the dog has a huge mop on its back. Some will also notice that this coat resembles dreadlocks. Though you probably won’t want to show one, you can bring one home and know that it will remain safe in the great outdoors. Their hair is so thick that it protects their skin from bites from other animals. Also called a Hungarian Sheepdog, this is a popular family pet that you can learn more about below.
Mop Dog Basics
With a Mop Dog, you get both a watchdog and a family pet in one adorable package. These dogs love their families and remain loyal to know they see every day. They do not like strangers and can take some time to warm up to new people. Sheepdogs are very intelligent and usually prefer to be on their own. While your dog may like being around you and your family, it will also be comfortable when left alone. Unless you have experience owning and training dogs, you might not do well with a Mop Dog. In the American Kennel Club, this dog is part of the working dog category, but they are a member of the Sheepdog family in the World Canine Organization. You can show the dog during events held by the American Kennel Club and other organizations too.
History of Hungarian Sheepdogs
The history of the Hungarian Sheepdog starts in Hungary. Used as guardians and watchdogs, they belonged to the Maygar tribe, which dates to the late ninth century. The Maygars used the dogs because of their coats, which allowed them to blend in with their sheep. Predators that went after the sheep at night found the dogs instead and ran away. Komondors were also popular with this tribe because the members knew that the dogs would protect their flocks of sheep when humans weren’t around.
In the early 1920s, the first standards for this breed appeared in print. Those standards included information about their height and weight as well as their coat and colors. Just a few years later, the Hungarian Komondor Club opened, which brought more attention to this dog. Some credit this club for the popularity of the breed today and the spread of the Mop Dog outside of Hungary.
Mop Dogs first traveled to Germany where farmers and others registered their dogs. They then became popular in Belgium before moving to the United States. Many American farmers used the dogs to scare off coyotes, which were growing in numbers at the time. This led to the AKC recognizing the breed in 1937 and the World Canine Organization added the breed to its registry in the mid-1940s.
As the owner of a Komondor, you can join different clubs to talk about your pet. One of the largest is the Komondor Club of America, which opened in 1967. Its members came together as a way to protect this breed and to get its recognition in the United States. This and other organizations also have programs designed to find homes for abandoned Mop Dogs. You can offer to foster one of these dogs or adopt one for your family.
Mop Dog Characteristics
Though Mop Dogs are a suitable breed for different types of homes and families, it’s helpful to see what these dogs look like and how they act before you open your home. Most have an average size of 25 to 275 inches, but some can be larger or smaller depending on their parents. Their weight ranges from 80 to 100 pounds too, which makes them large dogs. A Komondor lives for an average of 10 to 12 years with a life span that can be much longer.
Mop Dog Puppies
You may never forget the first time that you hold a Mop Dog puppy in your hands. These puppies are super soft and can be just as fluffy as your child’s favorite plush toy. Newborn Komondor puppies have a cream coat that is soft and smooth. When they reach around nine months of age, that softness will begin going away as the puppy develops its corded coat. If the dog is still white by the age of two, the standard for this breed states that it has a white cord. You cannot show any adult Mop Dog that has a flesh tone nose or blue eyes as these are not standard to the breed.
Similar to a Mop Dog is another type of Hungarian Sheepdog called a Puli. You can think of this as a miniature sheepdog. It typically only reaches 17 inches as a male and 16 inches as a female. The breed usually weighs 25 to 30 pounds and has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Pulik dogs are also part of the herding group in the AKC but act more like lapdogs. These dogs require just as much care and maintenance as Mop Dogs do. Some find that they are harder to care for due to their small size. You need to exercise caution when letting one sleep in your bed or run around your house.
As a purebred, Komondor puppies are more expensive than dog mixes. The mother dog will give birth to a litter that can have as few as three puppies up to 10 puppies. Breeders often charge prices of $800 to $1,200 for these puppies. To make sure that the puppy is comfortable with your family, you need to socialize it from a young age. This can also keep the dog from shying away from strangers in the future. You may want to introduce it to other puppies and older dogs too.
Mop Dog puppies typically grow during their first years and reach maturity by the age of three. A puppy of three months will weigh between 32 and 43 pounds and reach a weight of 47 to 57 by six months of age. By the time the dog reaches its first birthday, it can weigh as much as 72 pounds. Your vet can keep you updated on your new dog’s health and make sure that it reaches all the necessary milestones.
The Temperament of Mop Dogs
As we mentioned before, Mop Dogs are very loyal dogs. They are extremely protective of their families and homes and quite affectionate around humans. Originally bred to protect sheep from wild animals, they can be good watchdogs today. Unlike other guards dogs that are aggressive and can attack strangers, Hungarian Sheepdogs typically let their humans know of danger but will not attack. It is very rare to hear of a Mop Dog biting a person.
If you live in a rural area with a lot of wild animals outside, you don’t need to worry about the dog chasing after squirrels and rabbits. They do not have the hunting instinct that other breeds do. While you might see your dog chase a wild animal off your property, you’ll usually find that it returns to you after making sure that the animal is gone. The main issue you might have is that the dog cannot differentiate between a threatening and non-threatening problem. It might view the neighbor’s cat as a threat. That is why you need to work on training the dog from a young age and make sure that you socialize the pup with other animals.
The protective nature of this breed makes it popular with families. This type of dog will cuddle up to you and feel like a member of your family, but it can also view anyone who knocks on your door as a potential threat. If you have less experience with dogs, you might have a hard time controlling an adult Mop Dog due to its size and nature. This is especially common when you take the dogs on walks. That dog might ignore your request and try to go its own way. Training the dog to walk on a leash and with a harness can help.
As a new Mop Dog owner, you must set boundaries with the dog, especially if you have other pets or kids. If you bring home a new puppy and have small children at home, you need to make sure that the dog and the kids have set boundaries. Experts often recommend this dog for homes with older kids or teenagers because they already know how to act and won’t try to climb on the dog or pull on its coat.
Another common issue you might face is with the dog’s perceived territory. Mop Dogs tend to feel territorial over their spaces and dislike anyone or anything that enters those spaces. They do not do well in homes with other dogs because they like to be the alpha. Mop Dogs can sometimes do well in homes with small animals such as cats or birds.
Mop Dog Grooming
Mop Dogs are almost impossible to groom at home due to both their size and coat. An adult can weigh as much as 100 pounds or more and reach a height of slightly more than 27 inches. Females tend to be slightly smaller but can still weigh 80 pounds. Keeping that dog in a specific position to groom it is very difficult. It’s also hard to see its eyes as they are usually hidden by their coats.
These dogs come in just a few colors, namely white and ivory. Some of them may have dark brown or black coats too, but the dogs always have a dark muzzle and some dark hair around their eyes. Their hair can also appear slightly curly, which is due to the undercoat that they have. This undercoat will often shed and cause some of the curly hairs to peek out through the top coat, which is coarser. As the cords keep growing, the dogs develop their trademark dreadlocks look.
Though Mop Dogs do not shed as much as other breeds do, they still need some regular grooming and maintenance. You need to brush the dogs daily to make sure that the dreadlocks do not mat or stick together. Brushing also helps remove the dirt and dust that can stick to the coat. Komondor puppies require regular brushing too, especially as their cords grow. Up until the cords stop developing around the age of two, any debris can interfere with the development of their coats.
Professional groomers can help with the maintenance of Mop Dogs. They can trim the outer coat with damaging the undercoat and help clean their ears and clip their nails. Groomers can also brush the dog’s teeth for you. You may want to do this at home though as this breed needs its teeth brushed two times every week. Professional groomers can also make sure that your dog is fully dry before it comes home, which can take an hour or longer.
Feeding Your Mop Dog
As the Hungarian Komondor is a large breed, it needs more dog food than others do. Experts recommend feeding this breed up to 2,000 calories every day, which comes to five cups of dry dog food. Good dry food will contain animal protein as its first ingredient along with minerals and vitamins. To avoid bloat, you’ll want to separate the food into two equal portions and feed your pup twice a day. It’s helpful to feed the dog in the morning and then when you get home from work. Mop Dogs can digest their food in 30 to 60 minutes and then be ready for a walk.
Exercising a Mop Dog is important because it can reduce the risk of the dog putting on excess weight and developing his dysplasia. Hip dysplasia can significantly impair the dog’s ability to walk and run. You can look for food designed for large breeds, which contain more nutrients for larger dogs. If your Mop Dog has problems walking, you might want to add supplements to its diet.
Mop Dogs need around 60 minutes of exercise every day, but you don’t need to walk for an hour at a time. You can take the dog on two to four shorter walks throughout the day. Playing at home or in your yard can compensate for a shorter walk too. If your dog does not get enough exercise, it can put on weight and begin acting out. Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to avoid off-leash dog parks with this breed. Not only can they view other dogs in the park as a threat, but they can also escape behind the fence.
As the Komondor is an unpredictable breed, even those with years of experience can have problems training them. They don’t always listen and tend to wander off in the middle of a session. The key to proper training is with short sessions of just a few minutes to compensate for their short attention spans. You’ll also want to include training that uses their natural intelligence and instincts. As soon as you bring home a Mop Dog puppy, take it outside for walks to introduce it to the world. This can help the dog learn the neighborhood layout and keep it from viewing animals and humans as potential threats.
The two common health factors that can affect Mop Dogs are bloat and hip dysplasia. With hip dysplasia, the hip joint begins grinding and doesn’t move as smoothly as it did before. This condition will only worsen without proper treatment. It can cause stiffness and pain in the joints and limit the range of motion that your dog has. This condition can also interfere with the dog’s activity level.
Bloat can affect large breed dogs when they eat too much or too fast. Your dog may pace frequently after a meal and vomit to try to vomit. These are signs of twisting in the dog’s stomach. A condition called entropion can also occur, which causes the eyelashes to grown towards the eye after the lid twists. You can speak to your vet about these conditions and attend regular check-ups.
Mop Dogs are popular breeds that you’ll often see in television commercials and when you check out images on Instagram and other social media sites. Many people bring home these dogs because they think that the breed is easy to care for or because they look at photos without thinking about what the dogs need. Looking at how to care for a Mop Dog is one of the ways you can make sure that your home is ready for this breed. These Hungarian dogs have thick coats that look like dreadlocks and require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy. They also need 60 minutes of exercise every day and special care during their puppy years. As long as you can commit to long walks and don’t mind living in a home with just one dog, a Mop Dog might be right for you.