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From a hairless breed, to the hairiest of all

    Now that we’ve met one of the world’s least hairy dogs, the Peruvian hairless dog, it’s time to meet the hairiest — the Komondor, a rare breed that, thanks to Kyra, a Komondor in the UK, has seen its numbers increase by nearly 25 percent.
    Known for their white fur that grows in long dreadlocks — giving them the appearance of a motorized mop — Komondors had seen their numbers in Britain drop to 40.

Kyra’s record litter of nine fluffy pups, brought it up to 49.

The pups’ owners dabbed a different color on each of their tails, so they could tell them apart. The colors also serves as their names — Red, Blue, Purple, Green, Silver, Brown, Pink, White and Tiny, who didn’t need a color for a name because he was slightly smaller than the others.

Owners Gareth and Debi Young, of Newquay, Cornwall, said they were “stunned” when Kyra produced nine pups, according to the London Telegraph.

“We were amazed when she produced a litter of nine – a typical litter is around four. I’ve never heard of such a high number. Komondors are fantastic animals – very loyal and sociable. They are quite a handful though,” Mrs. Young said.

“They’re all doing well though and are an adorable little rabble. Looking after them is a full-time job at the moment. I think the dogs are so rare because they are very hard to breed, and are also quite a lot of work,” she added. “You have to maintain their coats, which grow as a mass of matted dreadlocks. I think generally people are often put off by all the effort.”

(As of this writing, none of the Komondor pups have been offered to President-elect Obama.)

Komondors, which can weigh up to 80 pounds and stand up to 30 inches, are known as “the ultimate sheep-dog” and come from Hungary where they were traditionally used to protect sheep and cattle.

Their kennel name – Pusztamagus Havas Szulak – means ‘a snowy flower’ in Hungary where they originated. Once the puppies are between six and nine months old, their fluffy coat will change into the mass of dreadlocks seen on the adults.

Once widespread, many Komondors were killed during World War II when Germans invaded Hungary and had to kill the loyal dog before they could capture a farm or home. There are now only several thousand of the dogs worldwide with the majority in the United States.

(Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club)


Comment from szabo
Time December 17, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Hungary was a German ally during WW2, so it was the Soviets who invaded the country. The Germans did ,however, install a puppet regime in Budapest in 1944 when the legitimate government showed signs of wanting to pull out of the war.