komondor kŏm´əndôr˝ [key] (pl. komondorok), breed of large, powerful working dog recognized as a distinct breed in Hungary since the 9th cent. It stands from 23 1⁄2 to 31 1⁄2 in. (60–80 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 75 to 90 lb (34.0–40.8 kg). Its long, smooth, dense coat is white and shaggy, tending to tangle. The ancestral home of the komondor is stated by many authorities to be the Tibet region of China, although others have traced its origin to the Russian Steppes, from whence it was thought to have been brought into Europe with the migration of Huns. Recently, however, evidence has come to light that strongly suggests that the komondor was the guard dog used by Sumerian shepherds in the Tigris-Euphrates valley 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. Whatever its origins, it is one of the oldest European breeds of dogs, the guardian of herds and homes for centuries. Today it is raised for show competition and as a watchdog and pet. See dog .
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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