By Dr. Watuwa JamesDr. James Watuwa Last updated: 27th November 2023


Bred to guard its master’s property against animal or human intrusions, the Hovawart is a large-sized working dog, which originated during the Medieval Period in the Black Forest mountain range. It has a powerful, well-balanced body with a clean head, moderately broad skull, deep muzzle, clearly defined stop, oval shaped eyes, triangular, drooping ears, medium-sized neck, straight front legs, round, and compact feet.

Hovawart Pictures

Quick Information

CoatDense, slightly wavy, close lying, straight, sparse undercoat
ColorBlack, blonde, black and gold
Breed TypePurebred
CategoryWorking, Guardian, Molosser, Mountain Dog
Lifespan10-14 years
Weight66-110 lbs
HeightFemale: 23-26 inches
Male: 25-29 inches
Size of Litter6-8 puppies
TemperamentKind, loyal, courageous, self-assured, protective, alert
Good with ChildrenYes
Country Originated inGermany
Competitive Registration/Qualification InformationACR, KCGB, CKC, FCI, NKC, NAPR, ACA, AKC/FSS, DRA, APRI

Hovawart Dog Training Video


13th century: The noblemen of Germany raised the Hovawarts, an old breed of watching and guarding dogs, during the Middle Ages. The German administrator Eike von Repgow mentioned about the “Hofewart” in his law book Sachsenspiegel.

15th century: In 1473, Heinrich Mynsinger considered it as a Noble Breed and illustrated its usefulness in tracking robbers and bandits. It was a popular breed, and people held it in high regard.

20th century: With the development of other working and guard dogs, including the German Shepherd, the Hovawart’s popularity started declining until it was on the verge of extinction in the early 1900s. Shortly after the WWI, zoologist K. Konig revived their population by searching for Hovawart type dogs in the Black Forest region and crossing them with the Newfoundlands, Leonbergers, African Hunting Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, and Kuvaszok.

Breed Recognition

The Hovawart gained official recognition from the German Kennel Club in 1937 and the Foundation Stock Service in 2010. Established in 1995, the HCNA (Hovawart Club of North America) promotes its responsible breeding in the US.

Temperament and Behavior

Hovawarts are affectionate, intelligent, and obedient dogs that remain a working companion, be it guarding the property, indulging in rescue work, or engaged in agility trials. Because of their lively and enquiring nature, they need some form of activity to keep them occupied. Doing any work with their master is something they enjoy the most.

They are not possessive but show great faithfulness and bravery. Although dignified in behavior, these dogs will not hesitate to defend themselves if roused into a state of excitement. They may display aggressive behavior towards other dogs in the household and are wary of strangers. However, when raised with children and other pets, they remain true friends.



Being an energetic breed, it needs daily activities such as long walks, hikes, jogs, and runs. Make sure that you let your dog play off-leash in a safe place once a day.


The Hovawart’s coat requires frequent brushing to prevent the formation of tangles. Occasional bathing helps keep its coat clean and look its best. Brush its teeth regularly and trim its fast-growing nails using a nail clipper.

Health Problems

The Hovawart may be affected by arthritis, chronic kidney failure, osteosarcoma, dilated cardiomyopathy, urethral obstruction, or heart failure.


Owing to its stubborn and dominant nature, training a Hovawart is a difficult task for the first-time dog owners.

Socialization: Invite peaceful and assertive people along with their calm and balanced dogs so that your dog can interact safely without becoming nervous. Ensure that your Hovawart gets used to people and their dogs by going on walks with them.

Obedience Training: Teach your pet to respond to basic commands such as “come,” “heel,” “sit,” “stay,” and “lie down.” Start training these commands in a quiet area free from distractions.


Hovawarts being a working dog need a balanced diet consisting of a moderate amount of carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fats. Aside from quality dry foods, you can provide them chicken mixed with fish, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

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