Hovawart is an old German working breed with a history that goes back to the 13th century, although it may be even older. This versatile farm dog could herd livestock, protect them from predators, and guard the farm against predators and trespassers.
The Hovawart stands between 22 and 28 inches tall. Her weight should be in proportion to her height. Males are larger and more robust than females. The Hovawart has a broad head, amber eyes, and dropped ears. Her body is slightly longer than tall at the shoulder, with a plumed tail. She has a double coat, with a light undercoat and a medium-length outer coat that includes feathering on the legs and tail, around the neck, and down the front of the chest. The coat may be blond, black, or black and tan. The coat should be brushed twice weekly to keep it clean and to prevent mats from forming, especially under the legs and behind the ears. For many centuries, this breed served as a working dog with many jobs to do, and even today, the breed retains that desire to be busy.
The Hovawart needs vigorous daily exercise and a chance to participate in daily activities. She will be happy to watch the kids, look for delivery drivers, and get the newspaper every morning. These dogs are watchful and protective, so early socialisation is very important. They also need early training that continues on into adulthood. Bred to work but also to think for themselves, they may have a stubborn streak, so training should be firm and structured but fun and challenging.
The Hovawart dog breed does well in many canine sports, including obedience, Schutzhund, search and rescue, tracking, and agility. The Hovawart needs an owner who will be her leader and will challenge her with training and activities. If left alone for too many hours each day, this dog will get into trouble. She is great with kids and livestock but might not tolerate strange dogs. Health concerns are few but include hip and elbow dysplasia.