The Hovawarts history begins in the large forested mountain range Schwarzwald, which might be more familiar to some people as the Black Forest. . They were originally bred as skilled guard dogs. Actually, its name, Hovawart, can be translated as estate guard dog.
One of the first documented Hovawart record is about a heroic act made by a brave Hovawart. In the beginning of the 13th century when a German castle was invaded and torched to the ground. Most of the castle inhabitants were killed, except for the infant son of the castle lord. This little kid was saved by a Hovawart that, despite being injured itself, dragged the child to a neighboring castle and to safety. The kid was Eike von Repgow, which was well known in Germany.
3) Almost extinct
After the medieval period, the popularity of Hovawarts started to decline. It was because newer breeds, such as German Shepherds or Rottweilers replaced Hovawarts as guards. Because of that, Hovawarts lost their purpose, but around 1915 a group of enthusiasts decided to try to save the breed. They found few Hovawarts on the farms of Black Forest and carefully crossed them with some other similar breeds, such as Leonbergers, GSDs, Bernese Mountain Dogs or Kuvazs. During the Second World War the breed almost went extinct as well, but enthusiasm for the breed remained and the breed was saved.
4) Sense of smell
The Hovawart is not only a great guard. They have amazing sense of smell and they do exceptionally well in tracking or search and rescue jobs. In the books from 1400s, the Hovawart has been mentioned as a dog capable of tracking thieves and bandits.
Thanks to its history and temperament, the Hovawart makes a great watchdog and protector. This is a very loyal, territorial and confident dog with high protective instinct. They are naturally suspicious with strangers.
6) Family companion
Today, majority of Hovawars are living the spoiled life of family companions. And they are great companions. It is an affectionate, very loyal and playful breed with easy going temperament. He loves playing games and enjoys interactive toys that make him think. It is a good choice for active people and families, since this is pretty lively dog that needs daily physical and mental stimulation.
One of the most distinctive Hovawart feature is definitely its longish, slightly wavy coat, that hangs close to the body. You can find the Hovawart in three color combinations, namely in black, black and gold, and blond.
This is a strong and athletic, medium to large sized dog breed with average height between 58-73 cm, which is 23-29 inch and weight between 30-50 kg, which is 66-110 pounds. The size difference between males and females is quite big.
The Hovawart is a low maintenance dog and only requires brushing once a week. They do shed, but it is nothing terrible. Regular brushing once or twice a week is enough to keep the coat tangle free and in good condition. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check their ears, eyes and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
Hovawarts are very healthy dogs with average lifespan between 10-14 years. Of course, just like all breeds, they can suffer from some health issues, like hip dysplasia, allergies or hypothyroidism.