Dog trains man

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wizards Susanne and Frederik, and their Hovawarts, Mammoet and Rico

I am very excited to introduce you to our latest Hovawart Wizards, Susanne and Frederik!

Susanne shares great photo's and daily tidbits on Facebook of her journey with a very special Hovawart, that truly is a "gentle giant". And not just because of his name.

Thank you for participating in the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardry!

Hovawart Wizards: We are Susanne and Frederik. I, Susanne, was born in the suburbs of Hamburg, Germany. Frederik was born in Maartensdijk, near Utrecht, the Netherlands. We are living in Rotterdam at the moment. Frederik is finishing up his master of mechanical engineering and I, Susanne, am running my own doggy day care center at our house. It’s not very big. I only take care of 4 dogs total at once, including my own. Me and the boys really love it, we’re having doggy friends over almost every day.

Hovawarts: I’m the proud owner of 2 beautiful Hovawart boys. Mammoet ("Mammoth"), a black male of 3 years and Rico, a charming young boy of just 12 weeks. We bought both of our Hovies from a breeder. Mammoet comes from a breeder in Gouderak, a small village nearby. Rico we bought a few weeks ago from "Hovawarte aus der Zauberkuhle" in Burscheid, near Cologne, Germany.

First love Kessie (left) - Anton (right)
When I was about 13 years old I began to walk some dogs in the neighbourhood. One day, when I went by a house right next to the park where I always went a women called me and asked if I would like to walk her dogs as well. She had a gorgeous Hovawart girl and a black Terrier mix. I had seen those dogs quite often and always wanted to walk them but never dared to ask, because I figured that they wouldn’t let a “little” girl like me walk those big dogs. So I happily said yes, and that was the beginning of my Hovawart obsession.

I was deeply in love with Kessie, the Hovawart girl. She was my best friend and felt what I felt. I walked her for 6-7 years, until I moved to the Netherlands.

First after I had gotten married, had finished my animal care studies and was working at a dog walking service, we finally were in the position to get a Hovawart of our own. When we visited a breeder a puppy got on my lap and I was asking him: “are you Mammoet?” and he looked up right in my eyes like he was saying: “sure I am! Can’t you see?!” And that was the beginning of my second big Hovawart crush. Since then Mammoet and me are inseparable. He feels what I feel and I feel what he feels.

When we, at the end of last year, decided to have a look for a second puppy, I wanted the second Hovie to be more mellow than Mammoet, because he has quite some energy and temperament, and we found "Corvin aus der Zauberkuhle", now called Rico.

As I said, I work at home so I have a lot of time to enjoy my lovely boys. Except of the three mornings per week when I help other people with their household. In the morning we usually go to the park or to the forrest so they can run and play. Mammoet has a rubber ball on a cord which he loves. I throw the ball for Mammoet and little Rico jumps along with him when he comes nearby. So Mammoet gets his exercise and little Rico can’t overdo it.

On Saturday mornings I take the boys to the dog school. Rico just started his puppy class and Mammoet now started his third course of Agility, which he loves. Every now and then me and the dogs visit my sister, who lives in Amersfoort. She has 2 Bernese mountain dog girls. One of almost 2 years and one of 4 months, so they are great playmates for my boys. Rico’s sister lives nearby in Zeeland, so occasionally we go and visit her.

I love about my boys that they love doing things with me. Mammoet is very smart and able to learn new things and tricks very quickly, and he loves doing it. He is doing so well that we were offered a spot in the competition group of the dog dance class in the dog school. Although we never practiced dog dancing before. I’m so proud of my little champion.

Mammoet is just my best friend, I can take him everywhere and wherever we go I get compliments about him, how beautiful and how well behaved he is. He’s just a great guy and such a big help to me. He helps with the day care dogs that come here.

We have a coffee table right at tail wagging hight. So we taught him to clean up his own mess. When ever he wags something off the table like a remote control he instantly turns around, picks it up and gives it to me. He can even pick up playing cards and give them to me without any damage to it. He also brings me kiwis every now and then when my husband gives them to him in the kitchen and tells him to bring them to me. I can also send him to get my husband when he’s sitting in his room studying. He just stands whining in front of his door and hitting it with his paws until Frederik comes out and then he takes him to me.

Rico is of course still small, so he can’t do as many great things as Mammoet. But he’s getting there. He already listens very well for a 12 week old puppy and mimics Mammoet at a lot of things. When Mammoet sits at the edge of the sidewalk before crossing the street, Rico goes and sits as well. The same when we came in from a walk. He already lies quietly at Mammoet's side in a restaurant until we leave again. He’s really a great guy, he’s smart, and is already trying to outsmart us. We try not to let him. He’s a thinker. Quite often you’ll just see him sitting there looking, thinking. With new stuff he needs his time. He first wants to look at it and sniff it thoroughly before he trusts it. And he’s very strong headed.

Both my boys are great with people. Rico still has to learn not to walk up to everybody we meet. Mammoet is also really good with children, even though he didn’t grow up with them. He’s very careful and nurturing. I think he just senses that they’re fragile and you have to be careful around them. Rico also loves children. A little too much at the moment. He loves jumping up against them very happily. We’re still working on that.

Mammoet likes to sneak up on dogs. Sheep herding dog style. Until we’re close to them, then he walks normal again. I would like him to stop that, but how to try and convince him. He loves Labradors. You could even say he’s obsessed with them. He runs after them whining and squealing and licking their you know what when he gets the chance. Doesn’t matter if they’re male or female. Silly dog!

Because of all the dogs that come into our house, also dominant intact males sometimes, Mammoet learned not to start trouble with other dogs, but to ignore it. So he would never start a fight with another dog. He’ll just defend himself if necessary. Rico is great with all dogs. Just a little too enthousiastic sometimes. But well, he’s still a puppy. They’re supposed to be that way.

If you want to get a Hovawart of your own, make sure that you know as much as you can about training strong dogs, the nature of dogs and why they do certain things. If you are able to understand your Hovawart very well you will be able to train him better and you’ll have a great friend for the rest of your life that wants to spent time with you and will help and protect you in any way he can.


Hovawart Wizards, like Susanne and Frederik, try to provide real life information for Muggles - those not yet touched by the Hovawart's magic - to learn more about Hovawarts in the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. A place where Muggles can read how we play, what kind of training and activities we undertake. What makes Hovawarts special to us, and how they made us into Wizards. The role they came to play in our lives. And the hard times we shared. Helping Muggles to make the best choice possible if a Hovawart could be the Magical Creature for them, or at least what to expect.


  1. Lovely! And so familiar - some of it was as though you were writing about Tussock! They really are great dogs, aren't they. I loved the story about Kessie - I wish I had met the breed when I was 13!

    1. Susanne van BoetzelaerFebruary 15, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      Yes, they're the greatest breed of dogs i've ever met! Kessie was a fantastic dog! Too bad Mammoet never could meet her. They would have been great friends!! :)


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