Traits, characteristics, health of Hovawart Dog breed

"Did you know that the Hovawart, a German working dog, has been guarding farms and properties since the Middle Ages? This loyal breed's name translates to 'estate guard,' fitting their historical role perfectly."

Personality and Behavior of the Hovawart

The Hovawart is celebrated for its unwavering loyalty and protective nature. Known for being excellent watchdogs, these dogs are naturally vigilant and alert, making them ideal guardians for families and homes. Their devotion to their family members can make them reserved or wary of strangers, but with proper socialization, they can be friendly and well-mannered.

This breed is also highly intelligent and adaptable, thriving in various environments as long as they receive adequate mental and physical stimulation. Hovawarts are known for their strong will and independence, which can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness. However, with patient and consistent training, they show remarkable responsiveness and eagerness to please their owners.

Hovawarts are also deeply affectionate and form strong bonds with their family. They enjoy being involved in family activities and are known to be good with children, making them a great companion for active families. Their playful spirit and high energy levels mean they excel in activities such as hiking, running, and obedience training.

"One fascinating aspect of the Hovawart is their remarkable memory. These dogs can remember commands and training from their early puppyhood, reflecting their keen intelligence and strong attachment to their training."

Meanings, History and Origins of the name Hovawart

The name "Hovawart" is derived from the Old German words 'hova,' meaning 'farm,' and 'wart,' meaning 'watchman.' This name reflects the breed's traditional role as a farm protector and guardian of rural homesteads. The breed dates back to the Middle Ages and has been celebrated in German folklore and history for its reliability in protecting estates and livestock.

During the early 20th century, the Hovawart almost faced extinction, but thanks to dedicated breeders like Kurt Friedrich König, the breed was revived. König aimed to restore the Hovawart by crossbreeding with similar working dogs, leading to the resilient and versatile breed recognized today.

Hovawarts were officially recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1937, cementing their status as a distinct breed with a deep-rooted heritage. Their historical role as estate guardians is still reflected in their strong territorial instincts and protective behavior, even in modern settings.

Popularity of the Hovawart

The Hovawart enjoys a loyal following, especially in its native Germany. In German-speaking countries, the breed is well-regarded for its versatility, reliability, and strong protective instincts. It is often chosen by families looking for a dependable companion and watchdog.

In English-speaking countries, the popularity of the Hovawart is growing, albeit more slowly. Enthusiasts appreciate the breed's intelligence, loyalty, and suitability for active lifestyles. As more people learn about the Hovawart's remarkable qualities, its presence in dog shows, competitions, and family homes continues to rise.

Globally, the breed's numbers are modest but steadily increasing. Countries like Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands see a growing interest in the Hovawart, attributed to its excellent working abilities and robust health. Breed clubs and organizations worldwide are playing a significant role in promoting Hovawart characteristics and connecting potential owners with reputable breeders.

Health and Care of the Hovawart

Hovawarts are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain genetic health issues. Common health concerns include hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, and certain heart conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are essential in mitigating these risks.

Their thick, water-resistant coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and reduce shedding. Brushing a few times a week is usually sufficient, with more frequent grooming during seasonal shedding periods. Regular ear cleaning, nail trimming, and dental care are also important aspects of their routine.

Hovawarts need a well-balanced diet tailored to their size, age, and activity level. High-quality dog food that provides adequate protein, fat, and essential nutrients is key to maintaining their health and vitality. Fresh water should always be available, especially after exercise and during hot weather.

Training and Education of the Hovawart

Training a Hovawart can be a rewarding experience given their intelligence and eager-to-please attitude. However, their independent nature means that training should be firm, consistent, and involve positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise. Early socialization is crucial to help them grow into well-rounded adults who are comfortable in various environments and situations.

Hovawarts excel in obedience training and can perform complex tasks when properly motivated. They enjoy mental challenges and benefit from activities that engage their minds, such as puzzle toys, agility courses, and advanced obedience drills. Due to their background as working dogs, they thrive in roles where they have a job to do, whether it’s participating in search and rescue, therapy work, or competitive sports.

Consistency is key when training a Hovawart. Establishing clear rules and boundaries and maintaining a firm yet gentle hand in training can help manage their sometimes headstrong behavior. Enrolling in puppy classes or working with a professional dog trainer can be very beneficial, especially for first-time Hovawart owners.

Cultural or regional variations in the Hovawart's popularity may be influenced by local dog-keeping traditions and climate conditions. For instance, in colder regions, their thick coats and robust health make them more suited to outdoor activities and extended time outside.

In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness and appreciation of the Hovawart breed, partly due to their appearances in dog shows and exhibitions. This exposure has led to more people considering the Hovawart as a pet, especially those who lead active lives and are looking for a versatile and loyal companion.

Choosing the right dog involves considering several factors, including your lifestyle, living situation, and what you're looking for in a canine companion. The Hovawart's loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature make it an excellent choice for families seeking a steadfast guardian and affectionate family member.


The enduring significance of different dog breeds lies in their unique qualities and the joy they bring to their families. At KingPet, we see many Hovawarts participating in our contests, reflecting their remarkable attributes and popularity. Choosing a Hovawart offers a blend of intelligence, loyalty, and a rich historical background, making it a delightful addition to any home. Whether you're drawn to their protective instincts or their affectionate nature, the Hovawart is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Hovawarts participating in the contests:

    Eleanor May