Hovawart Breed description: Character & Co

Hovawart Breed description: Character & Co

What is the origin of the Hovawart?

For many centuries, the Hovawart has been fulfilling its task as a guard of house and yard brilliantly. The fact that the Germanic people already appreciated this breed is proven by the fact that they dedicated a whole article in the law book Lex Baiuvariorum to these animals. At that time, they were called "Houvavart". In those days this dog was considered a very valuable animal: it was passed on for a prize of three shillings. That was a considerable amount at the time: after all, a horse cost only half a shilling on average. The proper breeding of this dog began in 1922: Pioneer in this area was the dog trainer and zoologist Kurt Friedrich König, who together with his father began to mate animals with outstanding character traits. As his breeding goal he defined an intelligent and affectionate companion, who is able to make independent decisions. In the same year the first breed association was founded with the 'Hovawart Verein für Deutsche Schutzhunde e.V. Thale'. In the beginning, König crossed in other breeds like the Kuvasz, the Leonberg, Newfoundland and German Shepherd. Since 1937, the Hovawart has been recognised as an independent breed.

What are the breed characteristics of the Hovawart?

Already by looking at the meaning of the word "Hovawart" you can assume their perfect suitability as protection dogs. After all, the name is derived from Hova (farm) and wart (guard). Whenever a stranger approaches your home, your four-legged friend will announce their arrival loudly. Typical for the breed, apart from their distinctive protective instinct, are their intelligence and independence. Another typical characteristic of the Hovawart is its great urge to move: It needs daily exercise and likes to challenged by doing dog sports.

Hovawart dogs are often confused with Golden Retrievers. Especially as puppies they look very similar to Goldies - but when they are grown up you can see a big difference, because the Hovawart is much bigger.

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Alternate Name -
Origin Germany
Life expectancy 12 - 17 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Molossian type
AKC group Foundation Stock Service
KC group working group

What are the typical character traits of the Hovawart?

With a Hovawart you bring a confident personality into your house. It needs an owner that states clear rules. It is best to start training them consistently already at puppy age. This includes, for example, getting the animal used to the leash and familiarising them with basic obedience rules. It pays off to remain consistent, otherwise your four-legged friend will happily take the lead. Once you are accepted as the pack leader, the Hovawart will prove to be a loyal and affectionate companion. Even the breed standard defined in the international dog association FCI speaks of a breed that sees a family as their substitute pack. Its strong willingness to learn is another typical characteristic of the Hovawart. This makes it is also an ideal rescue and companion dog. However, you should know that the breed has a protective instinct by nature. As a guard of house and yard the animal is very suitable. As long as the animal is well-behaved, it is also well suited as a playmate for children.


  • active
  • balanced
  • family-friendly
  • dedicated
  • reserved
  • vigilant


  • Watchdog
  • Working Dog
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What are typical diseases of Hovawarts?

Since Howavart breeding has to follow strict criteria, hereditary diseases are rare. Hip joint dysplasia, which is common in other large breeds, is also comparatively rare.

What has to be considered when breeding the Hovawart?

If you would like to buy a Hovawart, it is best to ask renowned breeders about their next litters. If a breeder offers a puppy at a bargain price, better stay away from them, since in this case it is possible that the ancestors of the dog suffered from hereditary diseases. Here are some tips on how to find your new family member:

  • Inform yourself at the Austrian Club of Hovawart friends about the Hovawart breeding
  • Make yourself familiar with the breed at a dog show
  • Let the breeder show you the parents
  • Take a look at the pedigree
  • Make sure that the fur of your puppies is healthy and has a shine to it

A Hovawart puppy can cost up to 1500 Euros. Please do not make your decision based upon 100 Euros less or more spent - but to the breeding itself. You can find many tips for buying a puppy in our magazine.

Hovawart puppy breed description

The Hovawart is relatively slim for its large and strong build. When it starts to move, there is an elegance in its space-consuming walk. Additionally, your four-legged friend has medium-long, slightly wavy fur. Despite the considerable length of its fur, the Hovawart is easy to care for. Since they only have a thin undercoat to warm them, it is enough to regularly brush their coat. Only during the change of coat which happens twice a year, daily grooming is advisable and worth it: This way your home and clothes will stay clean. If you want to buy a Hovawart, you have the choice between three colour shades. In the type with black markings the base fur colour is black and stands out with an especially beautiful shine to it. Medium blond markings lead from the area below the bridge of the nose to the throat. Also typical are the small bright spots above the eyes and the markings below the tail. Furthermore there are black Hovawart, which partly have small markings on the chest or the toes. With semi-blond breed representatives white spots are also permitted according to the breed standard.

What is the average size of the Hovawart?

Males reach 63 to 70 centimetres, bitches 58 to 65 centimetres.

How much does a Hovawart weigh?

While males sometimes weigh a stately 40 kilograms, bitches are about 10 kilograms lighter.

What is the average age of a Hovawart?

The breed can reach an age of up to 12 years.

Fur length medium
Fur wavy
Ear shape Triangle
Tail lang
Anatomy rugged
Size ♀ 58 - 65 cm
Weight ♀ 25 - 40 kg
Size ♂ 64 - 70 cm
Weight ♂ 25 - 40 kg
Suitable For


black blonde
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  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    The hip dysplasia or hip joint dysplasia of the dog (HD) is a maldevelopment of the hip joint.

  • Purely visually, of course, a Golden Retriever fits very well with the Hovawart. However, they are two very different characters. Make sure that you choose an active second dog for the Hovawart.

  • A Hovawart needs an average amount of exercise. Less than 2 hours of exercise per day is not appropriate for the species. In addition, he needs mental workload.

  • A Hovawart puppy can cost up to 1500 Euro. Please do not pay attention to 100 Euro from or to - but to the breeding itself. Many tips for buying a puppy can be found in our magazine.

  • It can live up to 12 years, depending on health, genetics, diet and exercise.

Other large dogs

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