Like other Molosser mountain type dogs, the Hovawart counts ancient breeds such as the Tibetan mastiff amongst its ancestors.
Both an historic and modern breed, the Hovawart originated in Germany, and has long been prized for its qualities as a guardian and protector. As its name suggests - Hova meaning "estate" and Wart "guardian" - the primary job of a Hovawart has traditionally been to protect its property, livestock and human family.
The Hovawart is a beautiful and unique dog that often peaks the curiosity of those who encounter one. “Hovi” owners are frequently asked what mix could possibly yield such a dog, and invariably our explanation of the purebred Hovawart is met with “a Hova-what?”
The Hovawart is a lively, dynamic and versatile dog. A natural guardian, he is extremely faithful and affectionate towards his master, family and home. His powerful bark and self-assured stance are enough to discourage even the bravest of intruders, and his resolve is not easily shaken.
Intelligent and tenacious, the Hovawart owes its prized qualities to its traditional role on the estate. As the sole guardian, the Hovawart was bred to solve daily problems and situations independently. As such, it is not out of pure stubbornness that the Hovawart looks to pursue his own goals, but because he has been bred to think for himself.
It is therefore up to his master to direct him with vigilance, determination and consistency. Establishing and maintaining a bond based on confidence and trust is a must to create the "pack leader" relationship that the Hovawart seeks from its owner.
Training must be done with kindness and patience as the Hovawart responds poorly to harsh or constraining methods. This is especially important when raising a Hovawart puppy as they mature at a slower pace than other breeds, both mentally and physically. It is only around the age of 3 that a Hovawart reaches full maturity. During this period, it is important to socialize him so that he flourishes and develops all the qualities that will make him an extraordinary companion of life, play and work.