A large, powerful dog with a medium/long coat, the Hovawart is a little longer that he is tall. Dogs are noticeably masculine and females feminine. Adult males stand at 63-70cm and weigh 30-40kg and females are 58-65cm tall and weigh 25-35kg. The weather-resistant coat comes in black, blonde or black and gold.
This German breed was bred to guard livestock, farms and even castles in the Middle Ages. Sadly, the Hovawart dog breed died out but was recreated by a zoologist called Dr Konig after World War One. He found Hovawart-like dogs in the Harz and Black Forest areas where the breed was originally found and bred them to the German Shepherd, the Hungarian Kuvasz, Newfoundland, Leonberger and other similar breeds, until the breed matched that found in old drawings.
A confident, brave and versatile dog, the Hovawart is a loyal, devoted companion dog. He has strong guarding tendencies and is protective of his home and family, so early socialisation is essential, but he is generally a tolerant, even-tempered character.
As with many breeds, the Hovawart can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) occurs more commonly in the breed.
A large, energetic dog, the Hovawart needs two hours or more of daily exercise. He enjoys long walks and tracking, and can also be trained to high levels in obedience and working trials.
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs.
The undercoat is sparse and the top coat is moderately long and thick. The hair is thicker on the chest, tummy, backs of the legs and on the tail. The coat needs grooming two or three times a week to keep it tangle-free.