On the first sight, the blond Hovawart looks exactly like Golden Retriever and it is easy to confuse one to another. But these two are completely separate purebred dogs with different ancestry and history and with big differences in their personality, but also in their appearance.
Lets start with the appearance comparsion. Of course, the main difference in appearance is the color. While the Golden Retriever is, well, always in some shade of a golden color, the Hovawart can be either black, golden or in black and golden color. Both breeds have long doublecoat, but the Golden Retriever has more feathering.
But if the Hovawart is in golden color, than it becomes extremely hard to tell these two breeds apart. The Hovawart is typically the larger, taller and heavier of those two breeds. You can see the size comparsion of both breeds on the screen right now.
The Hovawart also has larger hips, while the Golden Retriever has tendency to slope downward. There are also little differences in the head shape, The Hovawart has more triangular head shape than the rounder shape of Golden Retriever.
And what about their temperament? Well, there are definitely more differences in temperament, than there are in the apeparance.
Both breeds make excellent loyal and loving companions. The Golden Retriever is known to be friendly towards absolutely everyone, to be very playful, trustful, gentle and intelligent.
The Hovawart also loves its family, but they are alert and not so trustful towards strangers. They make superb watchdogs and most of them will not be that welcoming towards strangers as Golden Retrievers. It is a working breed, mostly used for guarding property. And even their name is a combination of German words Hof and Wart, which means yard-watcher, or farm-watcher.
So if you are looking for a companion that will also watch over your house, than the Hovawart is definitely the better option. The Golden Retriever would most likely happily welcome a burglar into your home.
But if you are looking forva typical gentle and active family companion, you will not go wrong with the Golden Retriever. They have the reputaion for being one of the best and one of the most popular companion dogs in the world, especially for families with kids.
But of course, the temperament is vastly influenced by early socialization and training.
Both breeds are also very active. They love being outdoors in almost any kind of a weather and they will love long walks, jogs, hikes, swims, playtime and fun training sessions. These dogs are no coach potates and they are best suited for active people and families.
The other important difference is a prey drive. Some Golden Retrievers still posses high prey drive and chasing instinct, which is because they were used for a long time by hunters to retrieve the game. Not all Goldens have it, but some, especially if trained for it, will chase and try to hunt other animals.
The Hovawart was never bred and used for hunting and they should never have high prey drive.
So now you know that both breeds were bred and used as working dogs. The Hovawart mainly for guarding, the Golden Retriever for hunting and retrieving. But what is the ancestry. They look so similarly, so they just must have a common ancestor, right?
The modern day Hovawart was developed from local Black Forest farm dogs crossed with Kuvasz, Newfoundland, German Shepherd, Leonberger, Bernese Mountain dog and African hunting dog. On the other hand, the ancestors of Golden Retriever are Tweed Water Spaniel and St. Johns Water dog. Later, a small infusion of Red Setter, Labrador Retriever and Bloodhound was added into the breed by breeders.
The Hovawart is considered to be German breed, while the Golden Retriever a Scottish breed. So indeed, there is no link between them and there are no common ancestors.