hovawart breed information

common health issues

In this condition, only some of the blood from the intestines passes through the liver, and the rest mixes with the general circulation, so dogs with a liver shunt have excess amount of toxins in their blood. Symptoms generally emerge by 6 months of age and include failure to gain weight, vomiting, and hepatic encephalopathy. Surgical correction is usually curative.

Clinical signs of hypothyroidism are caused by a decrease in normal thyroid activity. In congenital hypothyroidism, puppies will have stunted growth and other abnormalities. A blood test confirms the disease and treatment with thyroid hormone supplements is lifelong.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.

The Hovawart originated in the Middle Ages as a working dog in the Black Forest region of Germany. The breed’s name is from the Middle High German words “hova” (hof = yard/farm), and “wart” (wächter = watchman), which offers a clue as to her job. Due to the growing popularity of other breeds like the German Shepherd, as well as cross-breeding with German Shepherds, Leonbergers and Newfoundlands, Hovawart numbers declined as time passed. After World War II, when the breed’s numbers were at their lowest, a man named Otto Schramm formed a breeding club to save the dog. Today the Hovawart is officially recognized by the German Kennel Club (among others) as a working dog breed.

The Hovawart is an athletic, medium-sized dog who bears a striking resemblance to today’s retrievers. She can weigh between 65 to 100 lbs., and her long-haired coat can be black, black-and-gold, or blond. She needs plenty of exercise and does very well as a search and rescue dog, and in competitions such as agility, flyball and obedience trials.

Protective, strong-willed and intelligent, the Hovawart is the guard dog that she was bred to be. Because of this, however, she needs an experienced owner who can understand how to motivate her and help her learn appropriate obedience and socialization skills. She can be a challenge, so she is not recommended as a good pet for the first-time dog owner. But a well-trained Hovawart, with her even temper, patience with children and faithfulness to her family, makes a wonderful family dog.

Strong-willed nature aside, the Hovawart is prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect her health — not to mention your family’s vacation fund. Some of the conditions and illnesses Hovawarts are prone to include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism; neurological conditions such as degenerative myelopathy; liver problems such as portosystemic shunts; and hip problems such as hip dysplasia.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Hovawart inherits his dad’s bad hips or his mom’s thyroid problems, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)