The Hovawart is a large, robust, but not heavy dog, looking somewhat like a Golden Retriever. This breed makes a fine watchdog, it is an excellent family companion, and excels in search & rescue and tracking. It is determined, obedient, and affectionate especially towards its master.
Hovawart dogs are versatile, intelligent, and highly trainable, it learns quickly. This breed is popular in Germany, but virtually unknown in the USA; there are currently only about 100 Hovawarts in the USA.
It comes in blonde, black, or black & tan, with certain markings specified in the standard; the color of the eyes, nose, and nails are harmonious with the coat.
Single, dense, long-haired, wavy coat lies flat. It is easy to groom. An occasional brushing and combing, taking extra care in the places where tangles might form, is all this breed needs. It is an average shedder.
This is a very healthy breed. However an under active thyroid is wide spread in European lines; hip dysplasia is present in the breed; however, stringent breeding practices have kept this debilitating disease to a minimum.
The Hovawart is loyal to the family but with the tendency to become strictly devoted to one person. It is excellent with children when it is well socialized with them at an early age. Remaining playful and puppy-like in its old age. It is good-natured, even-tempered and demanding of itself.
It is reserved with strangers. It makes a good watchdog; it is brave, protective, and alert. It will protect your property against intruders with great passion. This breed needs an experienced master; you can reach the best results with extremely consistent, loving and well-balanced training. It may be aggressive with same sex dogs but does well with non-canine pets in the household if it is socialized with them from puppyhood. Some strains are prone to fear biting, and others may be rather timid. It is calm at home, but energetic outdoors.
The Hovawart is ideally suited for tracking, avalanche rescue, watchdogging, and defense situations. It has the ability to run easily over difficult terrain. It likes to hike and go backpacking. This breed is highly devoted and has a strong sense of territory and will not readily desert your property.
This breed is not recommended for apartment life. It will do best with at least an average-sized yard. It prefers cool climates and can sleep outdoors. It is an outstanding watchdog, especially for stables, fields, and country houses.