Pumi vs. Komondor: What’s the Difference?

Meet two of Hungary’s hairiest cuties: the Pumi and the Komondor. But what’s the difference? Read more below!

Dec 10, 2023By Colt Dodd
pumi vs.komondor what is the difference

At first mention, the Pumi and the Komondor may seem like two versions of the same breed. But they’re not! For instance, the Pumi is a playful, eager canine that sports soft corkscrew curls. The Komondor, however, is covered in hundreds of locks that look like white cords.

However, despite these obvious differences, both dogs hail from Hungary and have reputations for being great family pets. Those looking to add one of these cuties to their human pack can learn more here.

The Pumi and Komondor: Looks Are Everything

komondor on a rock
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Imagine a Pumi and a Komondor standing side-by-side. Initially, you’ll likely see two neutral-colored canines––with one giant mop towering over an eager, smiling pup. Which one’s the Pumi, and which one’s the Komondor?

Here are some fast facts:

  • Komondors are large dogs, with males tipping the scales at 130 pounds! While their cords account for a good portion of their body weight, underneath, Komondors are all muscle. This made them great protectors of livestock (as we’ll explain later).
  • Who’s the little guy in this doggy duo? Yep, it’s the Pumi. These medium-sized pals weigh anywhere from 18 to 33 pounds. Rather than donning dense dreadlocks like the Komondor, Pumi have a softer, shorter coat.
pumi jumping over obstacle
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

While these dogs look very different, ultimately, they would have occupied the fields of Hungary in their working days. Today is a different story. The Komondor is a fairly rare dog breed (ranking 175 out of the American Kennel Club’s 200 registered breeds), and they’re a rare sight on farms nowadays.

Pumik (that’s the plural for Pumi) on the other hand, are becoming slightly more popular and were accepted into the American Kennel Club’s ranks in 2016.

grey pumi dog
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Both Dogs Also Come in Different Colors

Go on Google Images right now and type in “Pumi.” In seconds, you’ll be greeted by dozens of sparkly-eyed, gray cuties––with the occasional cream-colored canine. While Pumik seem to only come in gray, a well-trained eye will actually see that they come in many varieties, including Born Gray, Silver Gray, and Gray.

Komondors are a different story. According to the breed standard, the ideal Komondor would only come in white. Being black and white, crème-colored, and even fawn could suggest that it’s not a purebred Komondor and instead mixed with something similar, like the Puli.

Both Have Different Grooming Requirements

The Pumi’s curly coat requires regular brushing to prevent tangles and mats. There are a lot of thin-toothed combs that are made just for this purpose. Many Pumi owners also regularly take their dogs to have their hair cut, again, to prevent matting and tangles.

pumi puppy at dog show
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

On the other hand, the Komondor's corded coat requires a unique grooming routine to maintain its cords, prevent matting, and keep its skin clean. Without a proper grooming regimen, the Komondor would run into common skin problems in dogs, leading to dry skin and hair loss.

Pumik and Komondors Were Bred for Different Purposes

painting of komonor with cattle
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

As suggested, both Pumik and Komondors were bred in Hungary to work on farms. However, both had very different jobs. Pumik were bred for herding. Their great agility worked to their benefit when herding livestock, such as sheep and cattle. Despite their playful, almost whimsical personalities, Pumik were renowned for being hard workers with seemingly endless energy.

Komondors, on the other hand, were guardians of the flock. Their appearance helped them blend with the sheep, and given their shaggy selves, understandably so! When they came head-to-head with a wolf or coyote, their thick dreadlocks would protect them from puncture wounds. Komondors are affectionate family members, known as the gentle giants of the dog world.

Pumik and Komondors Have Different Temperaments

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The nimble-footed Pumi is a happy little dog that craves being active with its owner. They’re ideal dog breeds for runners and athletes. A Pumi would enjoy being with its owner and going for long hikes on dog-friendly trails.

The dutiful, dignified Komondor is an entirely different story. These guardians of the flock enjoy regular exercise and roaming in fenced-in areas. Going on regular walks and learning a few easy dog tricks are enough to satisfy a Komondor’s energy needs.

While a Pumi would enjoy going to dog parks and burning off some steam, a Komondor would likely take charge and herd the other dogs––and this likely wouldn’t go over well!

Pumik vs. Komondors: What Are the Similarities?

pumi puppy yawning
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Alright, so let’s recap so far. Pumik and Komondors are both Hungarian dog breeds that got their start working on farms. Pumik are medium-sized dogs that herded sheep and other livestock. Komondors, being much larger, were protectors and guardians of the flock, and as such, they’re fiercely loyal to their human families.

Aside from these differences, however, these dogs both have quite a bit in common. Here’s what to know:

Both Breeds Need a Healthy Diet

Besides grooming and regular exercise, both breeds need a well-balanced diet. Here’s a fun idea that’s suitable for all breeds: these DIY dog meals. Using sweet potatoes, rice, and other dog-friendly ingredients, owners can ensure their pooches get the protein they need.

Both Breeds Need a Firm But Gentle Hand


Any dog, whether you’re training a senior dog or a puppy, needs patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. This involves:

  • Zeroing in on common dog behavioral problems. It’s a good idea to discourage a dog from undesirable behaviors (like barking at strangers) early on. While it’s not impossible to teach an old dog new tricks, it can prove challenging.
  • Managing separation anxiety. When leaving the house, leave the dog with some durable chew toys or puzzles. Keeping them engaged when you leave the house prevents boredom and anxiety.

Tail-End Thoughts: Wrapping Up the Komondor and Pumi

pumi on a mountain
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The histories and facts behind the Pumi and Komondor breeds weave a rich tapestry. Whether you are drawn to the energetic companionship of the Pumi or the steadfast loyalty of the Komondor, exploring these breeds is a delightful expedition into the diverse world of canine companions.

Colt Dodd
By Colt Dodd

Colt Dodd is a sighthound enthusiast with three years of freelance writing experience. He has an Italian greyhound/Shetland sheepdog mix named Homer. In his spare time, he enjoys going to dog parks and writing fiction.