A medium to large size dog of German origin, the Hovawart was bred specifically to guard estates, which is why it was named as such. ‘Hof’ means estate, farm or homestead in Deutsch, while ‘wart’ means to guard. The Hovawart is an old breed, mentioned in German chronicles as far back as the medieval ages. It originated in the Black Forest region of Germany. The Hovawart is a powerful, long-haired dog that is slightly longer than tall. It is often described by owners as a kind dog with an even temperament, loyal to its master, confident, audacious, tolerant and composed, neither nervous nor aggressive. Physically, it is characterized by loosely hanging ears, brown pigmented eyes and a long, dense, weather-resistant coat that is either straight or slightly waved and close lying with thin undercoat. The coat is short on the head and front of legs but longer on the chest, belly, rear of front legs and the back of thighs and tail. Colour varieties are deep shiny black, blonde, and black/gold. Males are between 63cm to 70cm while females are between 58cm to 65cm in height. Males weight between 30kg to 40kg while females weigh between 25kg to 35kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Hovawart has its roots traced back as early as the 13th Century when it was first documented in 1210 when Germans were being besieged by Slavic invaders. It was also mentioned in 1274 in the Schwabenspiegel, a German code of law where it was stated that a Hovawart killed or stolen should be replaced and pay restitution for. It was described by Heinrich Mynsinger in 1473 as one of the “five noble breeds” where one of its supposed uses was to track robbers and other law breakers. At the turn of the 20th Century and with the rising popularity of other German guard and watch dogs, the Hovawart population slowly began to decline until it almost became extinct. However, thanks to a group of breed enthusiasts lead by zoologist Kurt Friedrich Koenig, a careful breeding program was established which slowly brought back the Hovawart numbers to a good level. The first Hovawart litter was registered in the German Breed Registry in 1922 and was officially recognised by the German Kennel Club in 1937.
Like the other working dogs, the Hovawart is a versatile companion and working breed. It is highly adaptable, devoted, confident, lively, and hard-wearing. Those who have owned a Hovawart described it as a kind dog with an even temperament, loyal to its master, confident, audacious, tolerant and composed, neither shy nor aggressive. It is an outstanding watch dog, somewhat reserved towards people it is not familiar with. It is an excellent family companion that is very devoted and loyal. However, the ideal owner of this breed should have prior experiences in owning and training a dog with similar temperament because the Hovawart is not suitable as a pet for first-time dog owners.
As one of Germany’s working breeds, the Hovawart is fairly easy to train. It does exceptionally well in tracking and working activities as well as in search and rescue operations. Training the Hovawart especially in obedience should be done in a firm and gentle manner with positive reinforcement to get the best out of the breed. It is not quite as easy to train compared to the other German working dogs because it is not as eager to please as the others, so proper motivation is highly recommended to get the dog to do what is commanded of him. It has the ability to think and act independently and its strong guarding instinct means that it doesn’t require any real training when it comes to this ability. It already runs in the blood because this is what it was developed for.
Hovawart is one of those dog breeds that is easy to take care of. Its main function as a working dog (as opposed to a show dog) means that it should not be excessively groomed. It has a medium-length coat that needs thorough combing or brushing once or two times a week. This breed has a very thin undercoat which makes the dog almost self-cleaning and which makes grooming so much easier. It sheds very little to none at all and the coat does not form mats. Combing helps remove loose dead hair and helps in proper blood circulation which makes the skin healthy and the coat shiny. Bathe the Hovawart only when necessary (i.e. when the coat becomes really dirty or smells unpleasant).
The following are known possible health issues that affect the Hovawart:
This breed is a very energetic dog which requires a considerable amount of exercise. Taking the dog for regular, long walks on a daily basis with an opportunity to run and play off-lead are the best exercise routines for the Hovawart which will keep the dog fit both physically and mentally. As a true working dog, it will also benefit the Hovawart if given the chance to go on hiking or backpacking in the wilderness or participating in dog sports such as agility, herding trials, Schutzhund, obedience training and tracking. Young puppies, however, should not be subjected to vigorous exercises because this may lead to injuries and bone and joint problems in the future.
The Hovawart is a loyal and devoted family pet, very affectionate with the whole family and is excellent with children. It is typically a one-person dog but this docile pet goes quite along well with everyone, including other dogs in the house. Its natural born instinct to guard makes it wonderful with children of any age. Early socialisation to as many experiences as possible as a young puppy is highly recommended in order to raise a well-balanced dog.