Bred in Germany as a working breed, the Hovawart is a big and strong guard dog. Representatives of this breed almost went extinct, but they were restored during the 20s of the 20th century. German Hovawarts are very popular in their native land but are little known abroad. Moreover, the Hovawart is rather uncommon in the United States.

Height: 25-29 inches  Weight: 66-110 pounds  Lifespan: 10-14 years


The Hovawart is a hardy dog, very similar to a Golden Retriever. While males are very muscular and powerfully looking, bitches are slightly smaller in size and much more elegant. This breed is versatile, well-balanced and very confident. Comparable Breeds: The Golden Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog.


The Hovawart is not recommended for inexperienced owners or those who are used to a sedentary lifestyle. Hovawarts are extremely devoted animals, which get extremely tied to only one family member. This breed has a well-developed guarding instinct and tends to seize dominance. Nonetheless, it is very kind and gets on well with the children, provided that they grew up together in the same household. Sometimes, the Hovawart can be aggressive toward dogs of the same sex, but he peacefully coexists with other pets within the family. This dogs treats a stranger with great distrust of and is always ready to defend his family, property and territory.

Coat / Care:

Hovawarts are covered with a two-layered coat. The outer layer is long, slightly wavy, dense and close-fitting to the dog’s body. The chest, feet, belly and tail are adorned with somewhat longer strands. The undercoat is fine and very pleasant to the touch. The Hovawart’s coat comes in black and gold, black or blond. To prevent the hair from tangling, it is recommended to regularly clean and comb the dog. Only if necessary, you can bathe your pet. Dogs of this breed are relatively healthy, although they can be prone to thyroid failure. Canine hip dysplasia is rare but can occur.


This is a very intelligent breed, which particularly excels in Schutzhund (German for ‘protection dog’). Early socialization and the general course of obedience are a must for Hovawarts. Make sure not to use too harsh or heavy-handed training methods. Hence, training should be based on firmness, fairness, patience and consistency.


Dogs of this breed are not very suitable for living in a city apartment. On the contrary, the Hovawart thrives best in rural habitats, such as a big house or a farm, where he can move freely and explore the surroundings. Since this is a working breed, it must have certain responsibilities and a job to do. In any other way, it becomes bored and unmanageable. Hovawarts stand out in search and rescue, tracking, protection, In addition, they are excellent companions for hiking.

Photo credit: Timmy_L/Flickr

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