The Hovawart is an incredibly charming and intelligent dog that became famous for its use as a watchdog. Despite its good-natured appearance, this breed was one of the most famous guard dogs in Germany in the 13th century. According to the breed standard, the Hovawart has three colors. However, after a good walk in rainy weather, they will all be the same color.
Representatives of this species are distinguished by a stable psyche, poise, endurance and endless devotion. From birth, such a dog has a highly developed instinct of a defender, guard, watchdog.
Hovawart’s homeland is Germany. The breed was officially recognized in 1932. This species took a very long time to reach this recognition, because the first information about the Hovawarts dates back to 1274.
At first, the breed was formed without human help. At the beginning of the twentieth century, German zoological professionals Kurt and Bertram Koenig took seriously the breeding of these animals. Father and son pursued the following goals during breeding work:
Mental balance, adequacy.
Strong health, strong immunity.
Improvement in appearance.
Excellent working qualities that have been steadfastly passed on from generation to generation.
High degree of socialization.
The breeding work was divided by the Koenig family into three stages:
- At the start of selection in 1915, the genetic nucleus of the Hovawart breed was created. For this, the strongest, hardiest dogs from the peasant settlements were used.
- Breeds participated in breeding work: Newfoundland, Leonberger, Kuvasz. In 1922 the first purebred Hovawart nursery was established.
- In 1937, the male Castor was born, who was rightfully called the model of the Hovawart breed standard. By this time, more than a hundred litters of purebred representatives of the species had already been registered.
It would seem that the formation of the Hovawart is completely completed and the population of the species is not threatened. But World War II changed everything. During the hostilities, the number of purebred Howawarts was practically reduced to zero.
The restoration of the breed was started only in 1949. Ten years later, the livestock was restored, the disappearance of the Hovawart was no longer threatened.
Physical characteristics of the Hovawart dog
The Hovawart is an energetic, hardy, strong, working dog. The physique is elongated. The size is average.
The growth of adults is 59-70 cm, the weight of the Hovawart is 36-46 kg.
A powerful head rests on a not too long neck. The length of the skull should be equal to the length of the muzzle.
Drop ears in the shape of a triangle, directed forward, set wide apart.
The forehead is wide. The eyes are brown, the size is medium, the eyelids are not pendulous, close fitting. The nose is not too large, black or brown (depending on the color of the coat). Jaws strong, scissor bite.
The croup is medium in length, with a slight downward slope. The back is strong, even, the loin does not bend. The ribcage is strong, wide and deep.
The limbs are parallel, even, with strongly developed muscles. Paws are compact, round.
The step is a sweeping trot, the movements are straightforward.
The tail is of medium length, not docked. Strongly pubescent.
Hovawart’s coat is long and thick. The guard hair is smooth, with slight waviness. Medium-hard to the touch. There is not a large undercoat.
The skin is pink.
Color according to the standard is allowed as follows:
- Black and tan.
Personality and character traits
Hovawart is devoted to his family. Equally applies to all household members, it does not matter if it is a child or an adult. This dog has established itself as an ideal watchdog, reliable guard and loyal friend and companion.
Hovawart is dominant. He takes his leadership in relation to other pets and pets as a self-evident phenomenon that does not require confirmation.
In one house, yard, apartment with a Hovawart, you can keep not only cats, but also small rodents, birds….
Conflicts and disputes, up to fights, often arise among representatives of the breed with their own kind, that is, with dogs. Especially if same-sex individuals live together. Therefore, it is recommended to keep only one Hovawart or a pair (male and female).
Hovawart is on excellent terms with children, but there are some nuances. Puppies, young, not yet formed dogs are not recommended to be left alone with small children.
Without malicious intent, simply through negligence, an overly energetic dog can harm the child, for example, by pushing or waving his paw. An adult Hovawart is a reliable, loyal and tender friend of children. In any situation, the dog will fearlessly protect and protect the little ward.
He is distrustful of strangers, tries not for a minute to let the stranger out of sight if he is on the territory of the Hovawart. He does not allow familiarity, so without the permission and approval of the owner, you should not try to pet a guard dog.
The average life span of the Hovawart dog is 12-14 years. If the owner has provided the pet with proper care, balanced nutrition, then the dog can live for the maximum number of years.
Representatives of the breed, even at an old age, remain active and healthy.
The indisputable plus of Hovawart is that this species was formed naturally. That is why the Hovawart dogs do not have hereditary diseases.
Hovawart is distinguished by its resistance to disease and strong immune defenses of the body. No wonder he is included in the list of the healthiest and strongest breeds that exist on earth.
Despite the advantages listed above, health problems do occur in Hovawarts. The most common are listed below:
- Infections due to late vaccination and lack of treatment for skin parasites.
- Worms due to lack of deworming. In advanced cases, the dog may die.
- Injuries, dislocations.
- Allergic reactions to food or hygiene products.
In order to detect a health problem in time and begin to deal with it at the initial stage, it is recommended to undergo preventive examinations with Hovawart in a veterinary clinic 1-2 times a year with an X-ray examination and tests.
The Hovawart breed is prized for its unpretentiousness and ability to quickly adapt to any conditions. Representatives of this species are quite calm about the lack of comfort, but this does not mean that you can not take care of them or take care of them somehow.
Hovawart can be kept both in a private country house and in an apartment. In any case, the owner must provide the freedom-loving pet with space and freedom of movement. That is why it is not recommended to keep him on a chain or not to let him out of the enclosure for a long time.
It is important to equip the aviary not in a draft or in the sun. The dog needs a place in the shade in summer and a warm booth, shelter in winter. Although the cold is not terrible for the breed.
When keeping an apartment with a Hovawart, it is imperative to walk for a long time every day. Quite high physical activity is important for such a dog. An adult dog happily accompanies the owner on walks, even over very long distances.
With puppies and young dogs, you should walk closer to home, looking for places where the animals can frolic freely, without a leash.
If you want the Hovawart to develop correctly physically, walk it twice every day. Each walk should last at least 1.5-2 hours.
If you keep such a dog in your garden, at least 1-2 times a week, take walks outside the fenced area, in nature.
It is important to take proper care of the dog and follow the procedures below on time:
- Although the Hovawart’s coat is quite long and thick, it is not possible to comb it every day, except during periods of seasonal shedding. Three brushes a week will be enough to maintain the beauty of the coat. During molting, it is advisable to comb out every day so that mats do not appear.
- No haircut required, hair is only cut in the toes.
- Scheduled bathing is carried out 2 times a year in the spring and summer. The rest of the time after walking, I wash my paws and wipe the wool with a damp natural cloth.
- We cut off the claws as they grow. You need to use a clipper designed for large breeds.
- Rub the eyes as needed to remove nighttime discharge. If there are dried crusts, we soak them with a disinfecting solution and only then remove them.
- We examine the ears daily, clean them using cotton pads, oil or special solutions purchased from a veterinary pharmacy. If you find inflammation, damage or excessive accumulation of secretions, we turn to your veterinarian for help.
We compose the diet for the Hovawart based on the age, physical condition, and physiological characteristics of the pet. One of the main rules is balance and variety.
When feeding dry food and canned food for dogs, buy only a quality product from trusted sellers. The food must be of extra class, premium class.
With natural feeding, high quality products are also important. The basis of the diet in this case is meat, offal, cereals.
Be sure to feed vegetables, fruits, eggs, low-fat fermented milk products. On the advice of a veterinarian, we select vitamin and mineral supplements.
It is forbidden to simultaneously use artificial and natural methods of feeding. In other words, dry food and, for example, porridge with meat, should not be given to Hovawart on the same day.
The hovawart is a large and energetic dog that needs two hours of exercise a day, or even more. He loves long walks, tracking and also gets excellent results in work tests and obedience.
Training and education
The Hovawart gets used to the rules of conduct, both in the house and in public places, very quickly. The puppy gets used even faster and becomes strongly attached to the owner, so there will be no problems during training, the main thing is not to use harsh punishments, to exclude violence.
Hovawarts are among the best working breeds. The abilities of this intelligent dog can be effectively used in rescue, security services. Depending on the purpose, a training course is selected, which must be completed after the obligatory OKD at the age of 7-12 months.
Play uniform is recommended when learning new commands. Training, repetition of the lessons learned is best done in nature. Hovawarts love to swim, this fact is also worth using during training. The pet will be happy to get the things thrown by the owner out of the water and save the allegedly “drowning” person.
If you have no experience in training service dogs, use the services of a dog handler. Under the guidance of an experienced specialist, you will be able to raise an excellent guard dog, obedient, with a balanced psyche and adequate behavior.
Hovawart Fun Facts
In documents dating from the thirteenth century, the first mentions of dogs are noted, which in appearance are very similar to modern Hovawarts. Hovawart dogs were then called Hofwarts or Hovewarts. Translated from German it sounds like “guardian of the yard”.
During the Middle Ages, the Hovawart dog was valued primarily as a pet, capable of independently making the right decisions in dangerous situations, because of this it was considered an elite dog.
In 1210, during the siege of the Ordensritterburg fortress, the owners entrusted the life of their little heir to their pet. A Hovawart dog, together with a child attached to it, was able to get out of the besieged territory. She saved the baby and returned to the owners with help.
Hovawart belongs to a few breeds. While there are about 30 thousand Hovawarts in Germany, only a few dozen is registered on the territory of the former Soviet Union.
Hovawart Dog Breed Highlights
With proper care and education, Hovawart will never cause inconvenience and trouble to the owners. This is a loyal dog and one of the most skillful guards. If you decide to buy a puppy of the indicated breed, check out the main advantages and disadvantages of the Hovawart.
- The Hovawart dog is known to be a loyal and loving companion.
- This dog is very smart and in good hands, easy to train.
- It makes an excellent watchdog.
- It is naturally an “obedient” dog.
- Balanced character, adequacy, absence of unjustified aggression.
- The Hovawart is curious and likes to be given something to do.
- It enjoys participating in canine activities such as agility and obedience.
- Get along well with children.
- It has easy maintenance and a low loss coat.
- Good health, endurance.
- The Hovawart is a good choice for novice dog owners who want an energetic and intelligent dog by their side.
- This dog needs a lot of daily physical exercise and mental stimulation.
- It can be stubborn when the mood takes it.
- In the bad environment, a Hovawart can begin to show a more dominant side of its nature.
- Finding a well-behaved Hovawart puppy can be difficult and it tends to be expensive with long waiting lists.
- Poorly tolerates loneliness, separation from the owner, overexposure is extremely undesirable.
- It is better suited to households with well-secured and secure rear gardens.
- The tendency to dominate.