Species group: Unrecognized and Rare Breed dogs
Other name(s): Hovie
The Hovawart is a very old German working farm dog breed that has been redeveloped and restored since the 1920s. Its original purpose was to guard farms and estates, and it retains a strong instinct to guard. With proper training, it can also be a fine search and rescue animal. However, they do offer some challenges to the trainer, and they are recommended to experienced trainers, not to the general public.
In 1937, the Hovawart gained official recognition in Germany and the breed is recognized by the Federation Cynalogique Internationale (FCI). It has been recorded in the AKC's Foundation Stock Service since 2010, a first step on the road toward recognition of the breed in the US.
Appearance / health:
The Hovawart is a large, sturdy, powerful-looking dog with feathering on its chest, legs, undersides and tail. It has a body that is slightly longer than it is tall with a big chest and a broad, short, muscular neck.
The head is medium-sized bearing a rounded forehead with a short, pointed muzzle. The eyes are medium-sized, round and dark. The ears are big, low-set, triangular, and pendulous. The legs are muscular and strong, and the long tail is usually carried low.
The Hovawart is an average shedder. It requires regular brushing and combing.
Regular exercise in the form of walks, jogs, hikes, and play off the lead keeps the Hovawart healthy and happy.
The Hovawart is generally a healthy breed but is occasionally prone to hypothyroidism (an abnormal health condition caused by insufficient production of the thyroid hormone). In Germany, breeders claim that the prevalence of hip dysplasia (crippling of hips caused by dislocation of hip joints) has been reduced to a small percentage by using correct breeding practices.
Behavior / temperament:
According to the Hovawart Club of Great Britain, "Hovawarts are hardy dogs, inured to all weather, intrepid, watchful, agile, not nervous, affectionate, intelligent and naturally obedient they retain their lively good natured puppyhood until they are at least two years old. They have quick and enquiring minds and need the minimum of a garden to keep them occupied. Some form of mental exercise is recommended and socialisation in puppyhood is essential. Hovawarts enjoy obedience and agility training at an appropriate age, while the breed adapts well to all kinds of work an untrained Hovawart is likely to take over the household and is not always recommended for the first time dog owner."
"Their most important asset however is their stable temperament. They are and should remain a family dog or working companion and are certainly not suited to a kennel life. Not quarrelsome or possessive but of great courage and faithfulness, they are not easily excitable and are usually dignified in manner. However, if roused Hovawarts will defend themselves with all that they have. They can be wilful and dominant towards other dogs but are not easily provoked."
Training may be a challenge. However, the Howavart is eager to please and responds well to firm, consistent training. Traditional training methods may not work, as the Hovawart responds well to praise and positive reinforcement rather than harshness.
Hovawarts are not noisy and bark only to alert their owners when necessary.
family dogs, guarding dog, fun loving dog, Energetic Owner, handsome breed
energy level, behavioural issues, long hair
independent personality thrives, Schutzhund, regular agility lessons, medium size
Hovawart is a Perfect Fit for the Energetic Owner
I am very pleased with my Hovawart. He is incredibly energetic and wants to go on at least one, if not two, lengthy walks a day - even though he is well into the adult stage of his life. Chipper, loyal, and fun-loving, this would be a perfect fit for anyone who finds long walks, runs, or trips to the water therapeutic and exciting. Relatively easy to train, this German breed loves all kinds of activities in summer as well as winter and would be a great choice if you live in a locale where snow is a guarantee. I have two cats along with my Hovawart, but he has not been a problem for them in the slightest.
There might be some that find his energy level a little TOO high since, if he does not go on at least one thirty-minute walk in one or two days, he will become moody and impatient. This dog certainly has character and will let you know when he is not happy because of the lack of activity! Also, the long hair and medium size of this breed can make grooming a bit of an issue. Aggressiveness may be an issue with new owners, but experienced owners should have no major complications training this breed..
From peterhoezee Aug 5 2014 9:09PM
My Hovawart - Luke
The Hovawart is naturally a beautiful ancient working breed that for centuries served people, performing a variety of work applications. My friends have usually confused my dog with a golden retriever. The Hovawart is a terrific appearance, it has a balanced psyche, excellent health, great endurance, unpretentious, self-confident, has a strong protective instinct and a great sense of smell.
Hovawart is a faithful companion and friend of man. He needs constant close contact with the owner. Dogs of this breed in any situation should not be kept on a chain, otherwise they could get very aggressive. These dogs have a lightning-fast response and rapid movement. This dog responds well to training for patrol and guard duty. Hovawart gets along well with children and well with other animals.
Hovawarts' coat is long and they have a good undercoat, so this breed could easily live outside or in an enclosed environment. But in case of severe frosts this dog would need a warm doghouse. They do not require any sort of special foods and they are not prone to any diseases. In winter, once a month is necessary to clip out the hair on the legs between the fingers. This breed needs some serious exercise and ample room to live in.
The Hovawart is very patient and tolerant toward children. If children are too nervous about the Hovawart, then simply walk away. Children must be trained to properly handle with your four-legged companion. Many Hovawarts have protective instinct. But it may happen that a playful child takes a toy away from a dog and which might cause the dog to get aggressive, scaring the child away.
When Hovawarts are puppies they play wildly and could easily knock down any child. It's very important not to leave active children playing unattended since Hovawarts have a protective instinct and could protect their children from your guests. Never leave children under the age of 8, and possibly up to 12 years old unattended with a dog, even if you think it's safe! Even with the most wonderful and obedient dog. Do not allow a child to walk this dog on a leash. Because the dog must not only obey the child, but the child must be able to hold her back in any circumstance. Even a 15-year-old would not be able to cope with it.
I strongly recommend adopting a Hovawart from a shelter. I know we all have our hearts set on a little puppy. But one has to consider what I went through to housebreak my Luke. The way puppies behave could be very unpleasant. Even if you believe your puppy is the most behaved puppy, they could still destroy and tear up almost anything around the home.
The personality Hovawart has when they are a puppy and when they are an adult are extremely different. With puppies you won't know the personality for quite some time. With an adult Hovwart, what you see at the time of adoption is how they'd behave at home. When you adopt you will instantly have a friend for life. Believe me when I tell you that housebreaking this little puppy is not fun and they are much more themselves when they are an adult rather than a puppy.
Please spread the word in rescuing pets from a shelter. Adult Doggie Adoption is truly like saving a life!.
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