The German origins of the name for this breed of dog can be broken into two distinct words: "Hova" meaning "yard" or "farm", and "wart" meaning "watchman". Put together you get "farm-watchman", which refers to the origins of where these dogs began life.
The Hovawart was bred in the medieval period to protect livestock, castles and (you've guessed it) farms for their owners and were described by some as one of the "five noble breeds". As well as being excellent guard dogs they had the attribute of being great trackers. As one of the oldest breeds of dog these ancient hounds sadly died out over time and it wasn't until after World War 1 that the Zoologist Dr Konig decided to revive the Hovawart by breeding similar dogs from the regions that they were originally found.
In 1937 the breed was officially recognized again but there is an ongoing debate as the whether Konig actually helped to keep the Hovawart from dying out or if he simply bred similar dogs until the currently accepted Hovawart was created because it looked so similar to the original.
The Hovawart are incredibly intelligent animals and fairly easy to train due to their naturally obedient nature. They are very loving and loyal to their owners and they keep their puppy-like nature up to 2 years or older making them fun and playful. Their energy translates across into their inquisitive nature and they like to be kept active whether through exercise or obedience training. They just love to be involved! However, this does mean that they need at least 2 hours of play and exercise a day.
As a result of their history they of course make excellent guard or watchdogs and can be fiercely protective of friends and family. But before this, make sure to socialize this breed early on so they are used to other people and dogs and won't become protective against absolutely anyone when they are older.
A Hovawart usually lives 10 - 14 years but they can suffer from mobility problems such as hip dysplasia and also an underactive thyroid gland. You can help them by making sure they have a good balance of minerals and vitamins in their diets.
These large dogs are fairly easy to maintain with their beautiful long coats only needing brushing regularly 2-3 times a week to keep it soft and tangle-free as their shedding is light.
The Hovawart is a gorgeous breed of dog that will form strong bonds with your family and be loyal from the first day to the last.
|Guardian Dog (UKC)
|Medium to Large
|23 - 28 inches (58 - 70 cm)
|55 - 90 pounds (25 - 51 kg)
|Average $1000 - $1200 USD