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.
- Category size: Large
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Moderate
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Working
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: Medium
- Stability as a guard: High
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.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information