Are you considering getting a Hovawart as a pet? If so, you may be interested to know that this breed is known for its loyalty, intelligence, and versatility. Originally bred in Germany as a working dog, the Hovawart is a medium to large-sized dog that is well-suited for families who enjoy an active lifestyle. While they require some training and socialization, Hovawarts make excellent companions and are known for their protective nature. In this article, we will explore the characteristics and needs of the Hovawart breed to help you determine if it is the right fit for you and your family.

Breed Category: Working
Country of Origin: Germany
Average Size:63-70 cm (male), 58-65 cm (female)
Average Weight:30-45 kg (male), 25-40 kg (female)
Average Life Span: 10-14 years
Grooming Requirements: Moderate
Exercise Requirements:High

History and Origin

The Hovawart is a large, powerful breed of dog that originated in Germany. The breed’s name comes from the German words “hova” meaning farmyard and “wart” meaning watchman. This name reflects the breed’s original purpose as a guard dog for farms and estates.

The Hovawart is believed to have descended from ancient breeds of working dogs, such as the Molossus and the Mastiff. The breed was first mentioned in written records in the 13th century, when it was described as a fierce and loyal guard dog.

During the Middle Ages, the Hovawart was widely used as a watchdog for castles and estates. The breed was highly valued for its strength, intelligence, and loyalty. Hovawarts were also used for hunting, particularly for tracking and retrieving game.

In the 19th century, the Hovawart nearly became extinct due to the rise of industrialization and the decline of traditional farming practices. However, a group of breed enthusiasts worked to revive the breed, and by the early 20th century, the Hovawart was once again a popular working dog in Germany.

During World War II, the Hovawart was used by the German military as a messenger and guard dog. After the war, the breed’s numbers declined again, but it was once again revived by dedicated breeders. Today, the Hovawart is still used as a working dog, but it is also a popular companion animal in many parts of the world.

The Hovawart is a large, muscular dog with a thick, double coat that can be black, blonde, or a combination of the two. The breed is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. Hovawarts are typically good with children and other pets, but they can be wary of strangers and may require early socialization and training.

In conclusion, the Hovawart is a fascinating breed with a rich history and a strong working heritage. Despite nearly becoming extinct on multiple occasions, the breed has persevered thanks to the dedication of breed enthusiasts. Today, the Hovawart is a beloved companion animal and a valued working dog.

Hovawart Dog

Size and Breed Category

The Hovawart is a large breed of dog that falls under the category of working dogs. They are known for their impressive size and strength, with males typically weighing between 34-44 kg and standing at a height of 63-70 cm at the shoulder. Females are slightly smaller, weighing between 25-35 kg and standing at a height of 58-65 cm at the shoulder. Their muscular build and sturdy frame make them well-suited for tasks such as guarding, tracking, and search and rescue.

In addition to their physical prowess, Hovawarts are also known for their intelligence and loyalty. They are highly trainable and excel in obedience and agility competitions. Their thick, double coat provides protection from the elements and comes in a range of colours, including black, blonde, and black and gold. Overall, the Hovawart is a versatile and capable breed that requires an experienced owner who can provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Fur Length and Colour

The fur of a Hovawart is typically medium to long in length, with a dense undercoat and a slightly wavy outer coat. The fur on the head and ears is shorter and smoother, while the fur on the neck, chest, and legs is longer and more abundant. The fur on the tail is also longer and bushier, giving the Hovawart a distinctive appearance. The fur can come in a range of colours, including black, blonde, and black and tan. Some Hovawarts may also have white markings on their chest and feet. The fur is generally easy to maintain with regular brushing and occasional grooming.

The colour of a Hovawart’s fur can vary depending on the individual dog. Black Hovawarts have a solid black coat, while blonde Hovawarts have a range of shades from light cream to dark gold. Black and tan Hovawarts have a black coat with tan markings on their legs, chest, and face. The fur is typically shiny and lustrous, adding to the breed’s overall appearance. The colour of the fur can also change slightly as the dog ages, with some Hovawarts developing more grey or white hairs as they get older. Overall, the fur of a Hovawart is an important characteristic of the breed, adding to their beauty and charm.

Hovawart Dog three different colours

Termperament and Trainability

The Hovawart is a breed of dog that is known for its calm and steady temperament. They are typically very loyal and affectionate towards their owners, and are often described as being very gentle and patient with children. Despite their size, Hovawarts are not typically aggressive or dominant, and are generally very easy to train. They are also known for their intelligence and their ability to learn quickly, which makes them a popular choice for obedience training and other types of dog sports. Overall, the Hovawart is a very well-rounded breed that is well-suited to a variety of different lifestyles and living situations.

When it comes to trainability, the Hovawart is a breed that is known for its intelligence and its willingness to learn. They are typically very responsive to positive reinforcement training methods, and are often able to pick up new commands and tricks very quickly. However, they can also be quite stubborn at times, and may require a firm and consistent hand when it comes to training. Additionally, Hovawarts are a very active breed, and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation in order to stay happy and healthy. This means that they are best suited to owners who are able to provide them with plenty of opportunities to run, play, and explore. Overall, the Hovawart is a highly trainable breed that is well-suited to a variety of different training methods and lifestyles.

Hovawart Dog Geared up and prepared for the upcoming training session

Known Health Conditions

Hovawarts are prone to certain health conditions that owners should be aware of. One of the most common issues is hip dysplasia, which is a genetic condition that affects the hip joint. This can cause pain, lameness, and arthritis in the affected joint. Hovawarts can also develop elbow dysplasia, which is a similar condition affecting the elbow joint. This can cause similar symptoms and may require surgery to correct. Additionally, Hovawarts may be prone to eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness. Regular eye exams are recommended to catch these conditions early.

Another health concern for Hovawarts is bloat, also known as gastric torsion or twisted stomach. This is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood flow. Symptoms include restlessness, drooling, and a distended abdomen. Immediate veterinary attention is necessary to save the dog’s life. Hovawarts may also be prone to allergies, which can cause skin irritation, itching, and hair loss. These can be managed with medication and a hypoallergenic diet. Finally, Hovawarts may be at risk for certain types of cancer, including lymphoma and osteosarcoma. Regular check-ups and early detection are important for managing these conditions.

Hovawart Dog Inhaling clean air enhances overall health

Openness to Strangers

Hovawarts have a reputation for being friendly and welcoming to strangers. They are known to be sociable dogs who enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. This openness to strangers is a trait that is highly valued by many dog owners, as it makes the Hovawart an excellent companion for those who enjoy socializing and spending time with others. Additionally, this friendly nature can make the Hovawart an excellent choice for families with children, as they are generally patient and gentle with young ones.

Despite their friendly nature, Hovawarts can also be protective of their owners and their home. They are known to be loyal and devoted dogs who will do whatever it takes to keep their family safe. This protective instinct can sometimes manifest as suspicion or wariness towards strangers, particularly if they feel that their family is being threatened. However, with proper socialization and training, most Hovawarts can learn to distinguish between friend and foe, and will happily welcome visitors into their home. Overall, the Hovawart’s combination of friendliness and protectiveness makes them a popular choice for many dog owners.

Playfulness Level

The Hovawart is a highly playful breed of dog that loves to engage in various activities with their owners. They are known for their energetic and lively nature, which makes them perfect for families with children. The Hovawart is always up for a game of fetch or a run in the park, and they are also great at learning new tricks and commands. Their playful nature makes them a joy to be around, and they are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Despite their playful nature, the Hovawart is also a very intelligent breed of dog. They are quick learners and are always eager to please their owners. This makes them great candidates for obedience training and other activities that require mental stimulation. The Hovawart’s playful and intelligent nature makes them a great addition to any household, and they are sure to provide endless hours of entertainment and companionship.

Suitability as a Pet for Children

Hovawarts have a friendly and loyal nature, making them great companions for children. They are intelligent and easy to train, which is ideal for families with young children who may want to participate in their pet’s training. Hovawarts are also protective of their family, which can provide a sense of security for children. However, they do require regular exercise and mental stimulation, so families should be prepared to provide plenty of opportunities for play and activity. Overall, Hovawarts can make wonderful pets for families with children who are willing to put in the time and effort to properly care for them.

Exercise Needs

Hovawarts require a significant amount of exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. As a medium to large breed, they need at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day. This can include long walks, runs, hikes, or even swimming. Hovawarts also enjoy playing games such as fetch or agility training, which can provide both physical and mental stimulation. It is important to note that Hovawarts have a strong prey drive and should always be kept on a leash or in a secure area when exercising to prevent them from chasing after small animals.

In addition to physical exercise, Hovawarts also require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. This can be achieved through training sessions, interactive toys, and puzzle games. Hovawarts are intelligent dogs and enjoy learning new things, so training sessions can be a great way to bond with them while also providing mental stimulation. It is important to provide a variety of activities to prevent them from becoming bored with their routine. Overall, Hovawarts require a dedicated owner who is willing to provide them with the exercise and mental stimulation they need to thrive.

Hovawart Dog running exercise

Suitability for a Multi-Pet Family

Hovawarts have been known to coexist peacefully with other pets in the household. They are generally friendly and sociable animals, and can often be seen playing and interacting with other animals. However, as with any breed of dog, it is important to introduce them to other pets slowly and carefully, and to supervise their interactions until you are confident that they are getting along well. Additionally, it is important to remember that each individual animal is unique, and some Hovawarts may be more or less tolerant of other pets than others.

Housing Requirements

Hovawarts require a living space that is large enough to accommodate their active and energetic nature. They need a minimum of 30 square meters of living space, which should be well-ventilated and have access to natural light. The living space should also be equipped with a comfortable bed, toys, and other accessories that will keep them entertained and engaged. Additionally, Hovawarts require a secure outdoor space where they can run and play. The outdoor space should be at least 100 square meters and should be enclosed with a fence that is at least 1.5 meters high. This will prevent them from escaping and ensure their safety while they play and exercise.

Hovawarts also require a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. They need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat, as well as one that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is important to feed them a diet that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Hovawarts also require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. They need at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, which can include walks, runs, and playtime in the backyard. Regular exercise will help them maintain a healthy weight, prevent boredom, and reduce the risk of behavioral problems.


Hovawarts make great pets for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They are loyal and protective of their owners, making them great watchdogs. However, they can be stubborn and require consistent training and socialization from a young age. Overall, Hovawarts are a great choice for experienced dog owners who are willing to put in the time and effort to properly care for them.


Hovawart Dog FAQS

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Hovawarts are intelligent and eager to please, but can be stubborn at times. Consistent and positive training methods are recommended.

Yes, Hovawarts were originally bred as guard dogs and have a natural protective instinct. Proper socialization and training can help them become well-rounded family pets.

Yes, Hovawarts are known for being great family dogs and are generally good with children. However, as with any dog, supervision is always recommended.

Hovawarts are a large breed and require space to move around. They are better suited for homes with a yard or access to outdoor space.

Like all breeds, Hovawarts can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help prevent or manage these issues.

Yes, Hovawarts have a thick double coat and shed moderately throughout the year. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding.


Hovawarts can grow up to 70 cm (27.5 inches) tall and weigh up to 40 kg (88 pounds).

Hovawarts have a lifespan of around 10-12 years. Proper care and regular vet check-ups can help ensure a long and healthy life.

Hovawarts are an active breed and require daily exercise such as long walks or runs. They also enjoy mental stimulation through training and play.

A Hovawart is a large breed of dog that originated in Germany.