The Hovawart is a fairly old, German dog breed that has been around for about 800 years. Its name consists of two words “Hova” which can be translated as “yard” or “farm”, and “wart” which means “watcher”. It is a clear indication of what te Hovawarts initial purpose was.

These dogs are great and devoted family companions and guardians. They can be a handful and need a firm hand to guide and raise them. If you are looking for a dog breed that is active and great at guarding homes to be your only pet, then the Hovawart might just be the breed for you.



23-28 in (58-71 cm)



65-90 lb (30-41 kg)





Life Expectancy:

10-14 years

Breed History

These dogs originated in Germany where they were used for tracking but also as search and rescue dogs. This is a working dog breed and they were also used for guarding purposes.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

The Hovawart is a medium to large breed that has an elongated body shape. It has a beautiful long coat that protects them from harsh weather conditions and water. They are double-coated with the outer coat being longer and harsher. They have a soft, wooly undercoat that is not too thick.

The Hovawart has a black nose and a strong, well-developed muzzle. Their eyes are oval-shaped and are neither set too deep nor protruding. Their ears are wide apart, triangular, and loosely fitting. They have rounded tips and make the dog’s head look bigger. They have strong backs and deep chests. They are well-muscled and have long limbs that allow them to cover a lot of ground easily.

Hovawart standard


  • Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer Molossoid breeds- Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs), Section 2.2 (Molossoid breeds, Mountain type). With working trial.
  • height - males 25-27,5 in (63 - 70 cm), females 23-25,5 in (58 - 65 cm)
  • date of acceptance - 11/21/1955


  • height - 23-28 in (58-71 cm) both
  • weight- 65-90 lbs (30-41 kg) both
  • This breed is registered by the AKC Foundation Stock Service

hovawartPhoto by: Marlen Mansfeld


Hovawart have a soft coat that requires weekly brushing to keep the dog looking good. They are average shedders, and by regular brushing, you will keep the amount of hair under control:

Hovawart coat color:

  • Solid blonde
  • Solid black
  • Black and tan with gold markings

The rest is basic care; trim their nails when needed (if they don't wear them down naturally), brush their teeth weekly to prevent tartar buildup and bacteria development. Regularly check their ears for any sign of redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. You can wipe their ears with the cotton ball dipped into an ear cleaner. The key for your dog to get used to all things mentioned above is to start early with them. Make a positive experience for the dog, full of praises and rewards, and you can be sure that your dog will enjoy all these things when they grow up.


The Hovawart’s temperament is that of a typical working, guarding dog. These dogs are never aggressive without provocation nor are they overly shy. They are extremely confident and even-tempered. Their biggest life concern is their family’s safety.

They are very devoted and loyal, some owners have described them as incorruptible. They are careful and gentle around the children from their own families and are naturally suspicious around unfamiliar people. No matter what the breed in question is, the interaction between dogs and small children should always be supervised.

Hovawart training and socialization

Training a Hovawart can be a handful to train as they are prone to being a bit stubborn and strong-willed. Unlike many other working breeds, the Hovawart is less likely to follow orders blindly and are not too eager to please their owners. They are great working dogs but prefer working independently or in a partnership with its owner. If they are treated badly during training, they will only become more stubborn and you won’t get the desired results.

Hovawart’s socialization is an extremely important process. These dogs are suspicious towards strangers and were bred to be great watchdogs and guard dogs and that type of behavior can become problematic if they are not socialized from an early age. Start taking your Hovawart puppy to busy places and dog parks as soon as your vet allows and your dog receives all necessary shots. Expose your dog to strangers and teach them proper behavior. Make sure you involve a lot of treats in both training and socialization and you will achieve great results with your new Hovawart puppy.

Health problems

Hovawart are dogs with a life expectancy of 10-14 years. Like any other dog breed, they are prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. To be sure that you'll get the healthiest possible dog, never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or a pet store. Hovawart can suffer from

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.

Hovawart breeders

If you decide to get one of these dogs, make sure that you get yours from a reputable and respectable Hovawart breeder. Ask the breeder to show you health certificates from both of the puppy’s parents and if possible, try and visit the breeder’s house.

Make sure that the breeder’s breeding dogs are kept in good living conditions and keep an eye on how the breeding dogs are interacting with the breeder. If their dogs are afraid or wary of the breeder, it would be wiser to step away from the purchase. We are sure that you will get the best possible dog if you decide to go for a Hovawart.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at16.05.2021.