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 Photo of Hovawart
Photo: Tobias van het Spinhuis, imported from Holland. Courtesy of Min Inches

Hovawart Books

Group: Working - Breed Standard


This is a recreation of a very old breed, which took its name from the early German words for farm (hof) and watch (wart), indicating that it was a farm watchdog. The name was lost for many years until Kurt Konig, a geneticist with the Zoo Technic Station, Germany, became curious about old German writings that mentioned the 'hofawart'. He set about trying to find some in the farms in the Oldenburg - Magdiburg areas. To his amazement there were lots of the correct type of dog around. The farmers just called them the farm dog. He bought quite a few and began breeding, again he was surprised as they bred 'true' with very few exceptions. That was the start of our 'NEW' Hovawart breed. The breed was first recognised by The Kennel Club in 1980.


Height: dogs: 63-70 cms (25-27½ ins); bitches: 58-65 cms (23-25½ ins). Weight: dogs: 30-40 kgs (66-88 lbs); bitches: 25-35 kgs (55-77 lbs).

A large impressive dog that is neither heavy nor exaggerated in any way. The ears are triangular in shape, large and hanging. Coat is long with a light, soft undercoat. Colours are black and gold, blond and black. A small white spot on the chest and a few white hairs at the point of tail are allowed. Their pigment is according to their coat colour, and blonds can have a brown nose that is darker than the colour of the coat.


The Hovawart is a fun loving, energetic dog who loves to be with his owner and is devoted to his family. Although an easy going dog, the ability to guard is still there.

Breed Health

The breed in general is very healthy. Under active thyroid, cancer and some hip dysplasia has been seen within the breed.

Breed Care

Their coat is easy to care for, and a good brush once a week will keep it in good condition. The hair on their feet and behind their ears is longer and will matt if not regularly combed.


An energetic dog, the Hovawart will take as much exercise as you want to give. Two miles a day is the minimum to keep him in sound mind and body.


An intelligent dog that is willing dog and good at obedience, agility and any scent work. They tend to be responsive, patient and reliable, with a playful streak even as an adult. Being intelligent, training should not be too repetitive as they can easily become bored. See our books on training

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Last link added: 24 Nov, 2006