hovawart breed information
common health issues
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.