The Hovawart is a very old breed of dog that can be traced back to the 1200s. It was primarily bred to guard large estates and land in its native Germany. Sadly the Hovawart is quite a rare sight in the UK.

Hovawart Dog Breed Group


Size of the Hovawart


Country of Origin


Hovawart breed introduction and overview

The Hovawart is a striking dog that resembles the Golden Retriever in appearance. This large dog has a thick,dense coat, with longer featherings on the chest, backs of legs, abdomen and tail.

The word Hovawart literally means "an estate guard dog" in German, which is what the Hovawart was primarily used for. The Hovawart is also known as the Hovie.

Hovawart temperament

The Hovawart is a confident, intelligent and obedient dog. They thrive on human companionship and enjoy being part of the family. Although, they were bred to guard, the Hovawart doesn’t display agressive traits but when pushed will defend his owners and property. They are generally good with children, but as always, youngsters should be supervised around dogs. With early socialisation and training the Hovawart may live happily with cats and other smaller pets in the family home.

The Hovawart is happiest working with his master, enjoying plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. The Hovawart excels in working dog activities including search and rescue and tracking.

As with all larger dog breeds, vigorous exercise and excessive jumping should be avoided in the first year to prevent damage to joints.The Hovawart also takes longer than most dogs to reach full maturity.

Colour Varieties of the Hovawart

The breed comes in just a handful of colours and markings:

  • Black
  • Black & Gold
  • Blonde

Size and weight of the Hovawart

Height bitch 57-66 cms

Height dog 63-73 cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 30-45kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 30-45kgs

Exercise requirements of the Hovawart

The Hovawart is a very athletic dog breed that requires around 2 hours of exercise every day.

Is the Hovawart a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes, but new owners should be aware of the high levels of exercise and mental stimulation this breed requires.

Hovawart coat length

The coat on the body is medium in length with longer featherings on the chest, backs of legs, abdomen and tail. The coat is water-resistant and the undercoat is sparse.

Grooming requirements of the Hovawart

The Hovawart requires a weekly brush with a soft slicker brush or good quality bristle brush to keep the coat tangle free. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly.


No. The Hovawart sheds throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog breed for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Hovawart

The Hovawart is generally healthy, but owners should consult their breeder about the following health issues that have been found in the breed:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Thyroid problems
  • Liver shunt

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Hovawart

A healthy Hovawart should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 10-14 years.

Hovawart pedigree puppy price

No current puppy price is available as litters of puppies are quite rare. Indeed, just 15 dogs were registered with the Kennel Club during the entire year of 2015. Register your interest with an assured breeder, so they can notify you of expected litters.

Estimating how much a Hovawart would need to be fed each day

A bitch or dog weighing 35kgs will require around 402gms of complete dry food daily. A bitch or dog weighing 35kgs will cost around £9.90 per week to feed. Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment