The Hovawart is a medium to large size German dog breed. The name of the breed means “farm watcher”, from the Middle High German words Hova = Hof (= yard, farm) and wart = Wächter (= watchman) . The Hovawart is a medium-temperament working dog with versatile usage and has a very good nose. He is kind, has an even disposition and protective instinct, is self-confident and has the ability to take stress. His balanced body proportions and special devotion to his family make him an outstanding companion, watch, guard, tracking and rescue-dog. Obedience training and proper socialization are a must.
The Hovawart is a medium-large dog. Male Hovawarts are 63–73 centimetres (25–29 in) and females 58–65 centimetres (23–26 in) at the withers. The weight is approximately 30–50 kilograms (66–110 lb). The correct color descriptions are black, black and gold, and blond.
Hovawart is an outstanding watch dog and somewhat reserved towards strangers. They make excellent family dogs as they are completely devoted to their family. They are a working dog breed, and require a consistent and loving yet strict training and meaningful activity throughout their lives.
Basic: Further outstanding characteristics of our Hovawart are creativity and persistence when it comes to pursuing independently its aims and ideas in life. The Hovawart needs to have a “job”. After all, the owner must remember constantly, and respect patiently and sensitively, the unique heritage that Hovawart made decisions and worked alone for centuries to watch and guard property. This is not a matter of obstinate stubbornness, but intelligent thinking. It is up to the Hovawart owner to be more alert, intentional, directive, and consistent than his dog. The Hovawart needs a leader it can trust. The Hovawart does not respond positively at all to harsh methods of training; it is much more important to create and sustain the fundamental trust that it wants to feel toward its pack leader.
It is important to note that the Hovawart tends to test from time to time who is the real boss. Never compromise. Also, refrain from anti-authoritarian methods because they do not work with dogs.
Puppy to Adulthood: Patience is required to raise a Hovawart puppy because it matures very slowly, both mentally and physically, in comparison to other breeds. It takes 2 to 4 years until your Hovawart companion is fully matured and considered an adult dog. Some dogs take 3.5 years to develop a perfect coat. Markings take time to develop, too. Positive reinforcement is essential for successful training and obedience work. Because the Hovawart has been bred for centuries to think and work independently, there are 2 important training considerations. Consistency is needed every day from day one. Also, the Hovawart is not as eager to please as any other working dog breeds because it is confident to work independently. It is important to realize that the Hovawart will enjoy working with you and not for you. Obedience training is strongly recommended. The trade off is a stable, confident, dog, able to act independently and make decisions. A properly trained and socialized dog makes better decisions. Be mindful that no ones knows what any animal is thinking and prudent judgement demands you be responsible for all outcomes. Leaving a 9 month old puppy along in your house for 12 hours a day only will bring a poor outcome. Poor training and poor socialization can equal poor decisions by the dog.
- Source – International Hovawart Federation (IHF)