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Alternative names
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 2 Section 2 #3  
KC (UK): Working  
UKC: Guardian Dogs  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct
Also recognized by CKC in Herding group

Hovawart is a German dog breed. The name of the breed means "an estate guard dog," which is the original use for the breed. The breed originated in the Black Forest region and was first described in text and paintings in medieval times.


The Hovawart is a large dog. Dogs are 63-70 cm (24 3/4"-27 1/2") and bitches 58-65 cm (22 3/4"-25 1/2") at the withers. The weight is approximately 25-40 kg (55-90 pounds). It comes in blonde, black, or black and tan, the latter being most common.


The Hovawart is an outstanding watch dog and somewhat reserved towards strangers. They make excellent family dogs as they are totally devoted to their family. They are a working dog breed, and require a consistent and loving yet strict training and meaningful activity thoughout their lives.


In the early 20th century there was a project to create a German working dog, which resulted in the German Shepherd Dog. Some people, however, disagreed with how the ideal German working dog would be like and found some original Hovawart-type dogs and revived the breed. The breed standard was published and the breed was recognized by the German Kennel Club in 1937. The breed is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.


A Hovawart dog in a forest.

The Hovawart does expectionally well in search and rescue, tracking and working dog activities. The lighter females often love agility. In training and especially obedience work the trainer must keep positive reinforcement in mind all the time, as the Hovawart is not as eager to please as many other working dog breeds. The Hovawart may easily become reluctant if training is built only on punishments.

The owner of a Hovawart should have previous experience in owning and training a dog. The Hovawart is not suitable as a first dog.

External links

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