Dog trains man

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Four Books About the Hovawart in Four Languages

I have been reading up on my Hovawart book list. Before you continue reading, first a disclaimer: picking up one of these books in your language might very well be your very first step towards your first Hovawart, so beware before you order or borrow. You have been warned.

Let's start with the must-read. Susanne Kerl's "Der Hovawart", in the new 2012 edition. Unfortunately only available in German. But that shouldn't stop you, more about that later.

Susanne's tale of the Hovawart really stands out. Of course Susanne covers the basics - like raising a puppy, health, grooming, training, etc. - but she also goes beyond. Susanne spends a great deal of care in describing what distinguishes the Hovawart from other breeds, and prepares the reader how to tackle and deal with the special "behaviors" that follow with it. Something every first-time Hovawart owner should know, like their independent character, the urge to guard and protect, barking, socializing with other dogs, etc.

The book is so abundant with full-color illustrations, in quantity as well as quality, it is a must-look as well as a must-read. Don't let the German language scare you away. It contains the richest and most entertaining set of photo's about the Hovawart I have ever seen, unmatched even by the Internet and Google Images.

The second book is in English, so it will appeal to a larger audience. "Hovawart", by Francis Dedier and Viviana Pavan. The authors never dive deep into the Hovawart itself. With only 2 pages in the chapter "Characteristics of the Hovawart" dedicated to this subject, they hardly even scratch the surface.The more technical subjects like care, health, etc. are covered, together with information about the breed standard and showing of your Hovawart.

After I finished reading the book, it felt like the true nature and meaning of the Hovawart never came out. The book covers a lot of facts though. Maybe not Hovawart specific, but it does hold a lot of useful facts that will apply for dogs in general. And that makes it a good read for people that are first-time dog owners as well.

The next book is probably available to the smallest of audiences, as it is in Danish. Which is unfortunate, because it holds some real good information for readers that are interested in how the Hovawart came about and the concept of genetics in dog breeding. Sascha Bonde-Henriksen's "Hovawarten, et venskab værd" - The Hovawart, worthy of a Friendship.

Sascha's description of the Hovawart's history is very accurate and well-researched, and she stays far away from the one-in-a-dosin romanticized descriptions you can find all over the Internet and breeder websites. The book does an honest and succeeded attempt to get to know the Hovawart better. A lot of attention is given on how to become a breeder and here Sascha excels even more by giving a crash-course in the meaning and usability of genetics in dog breeding. A very good introduction what responsible breeding entails as well.

The last book is in Dutch. Kees van Gorp's "Het grote Hovawart boek" - The Big Hovawart Book.

The book is very complete and I don't think there is a subject that remains untouched. It contains a lot of factual information and checklists. Not a book that you read and enjoy as a novel and could arouse your interest for the breed. But more a vessel of knowledge that can be used as an excellent reference for existing Hovawart owners. A must-have for every, Dutch speaking, Hovawart enthusiast.


Are you still here? And I thought I was a Hovawart nerd.


  1. The photos on the cover alone of Der Hovawart make me wonder if I should seek it out. It's probably a far more enjoyable way for me to try to recover some of my college German than to read a boring old textbook. :)

    1. I can't think of a book better and more entertaining to brush off some rusty German skills. He, I did too :)

  2. 4 books in 4 languages? And here I was thinking Hovawarts were a little known breed!

    1. Only the four languages I can master, let me know when you find something in (Brazilian) Portuguese :)


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