Dog trains man

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know

Updated October, 20

The complete series as it turned out with the the contributions of Africa, Jan Wolfe, Evelyn B., Peggy S., Yvonne B., Anna N., Katja K., Sascha L., Björn S., Loes K., Flora B., Verena S., Heini A., Dave H., Maria E., Judith L., Lone A., Mary A., Hester O., Ine C., Min I., Silvia I., Karina J., Ellen G.
Thank you so much!

A Hovawart's Guarding Instincts
A Hovawart has a huge guarding instinct. Like all dog breeds that were bred for a purpose, either herding, hunting, or guarding, it is that genetic baggage they take with them in our modern society.With the Hovawart, it is guarding instinct.

Not A Retriever, Still A Family Dog
Being part of a family is as essential for them as breathing air. Only being with you and your family can really make them thrive. You'll have to earn it first. They bond with anybody who will treat them fair and invests time and effort in play, exercise and fun training.

Whether your Hovawart's personality is to be the clown of the house, the placid matriarch, the work-a-holic, or the clever manipulator, they all have something in common when it comes down to Personality.

Traning and Exercise
Dog training and exercise are god's gift to Hovawart owners. Without it, things tend to explode in your face. But when you train and exercise, you are set up for success.

Socialization with Dogs
Puppies have a “critical period” that spans roughly from 8 – 16 weeks of age. This period marks the time when your puppy is most impressionable, and they learn best.

More Socialization
Next to dogs, we also need to socialize our puppy with all the things we do in our daily life, so they can become a full-fledged member of our family.

Before You Buy
You are officially armed to meet some real Hovawarts in real life, although .... be prepared to find out we hardly even scratched the surface!

Original post:

When I was invited by "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" to speak to the families that adopted the Hovawarts rescued from the puppy mill in March this year, I gladly accepted the invitation. The idea was to inform them as good as possible what they could expect, as many of them became first-time Hovawart owners.

It was a great way to meet new people - and Hovawarts of course - and it shouldn't be too difficult, as I could pick most of it from the blog I guessed. Browsing through the blog I realized it was not as easy as it seemed. I missed some very important topics - i.e only one piece on socialization and one, incomplete, on health. Other information was hard to find in the first place in the chronological format of the blog.

The presentation I gave went well nonetheless and was well received, but I promised myself to re-visit the blog at a later time. One of our main goals is exactly to be of help and interest for people familiarizing with the Hovawart, and I was doing a disservice to future Hovawart parents.

I am very aware a lot of you that read this blog, are already quite educated Hovawart parents, and I would really appreciate your help in selecting the subjects that need attention.

So. If it was up to you, what is the most important subject(s) to write and discuss about if you had to chose? What should every first-time Hovawart owner know?



  1. I think one of the most important factors is realizing and acknowledging that Hovawarts were originally guard dogs, and thus they still have a very strong guarding-instinct. It is both a good and bad thing; (I can always sleep in peace no matter if it's in my own apartment or in a ferry's lobby, thanks to my personal body guard :) But then I also have to deal with often unnecessary barking and suspicion).

    Also their stubborness is something I always talk a lot about to people interested in Hovvies. They are amazingly lovable dogs but they are not the easiest to train (compared with the likes of a Bordercollie who will jump through a fiery hoop for praise. Hovawarts are more likely to go "why should I when you aren't doing it either?" :)) and need someone who is kind but firm!

    1. Excellent subjects Africa. The guarding instinct is indeed probably the most important to hear more about. It sounds very romantic at first, but can can give many challenges in every-day life!

  2. I think their strength of will and character is something new owners should be aware of. It takes a lot to persuade a hovie to do something he or she doesn't want to do, so you need to find a way of helping them want to do it!

    The other thing that River has taught me is how essential it is to have them focus on you, first and foremost. You need that bond, or you are likely to have an out of control dog who has little interest in pleasing you or working for you.

    1. Absolutely right. Their strong personalities, so important to know and not to underestimate.

      And loved you comment about the need for contact. It is the red-line in everything you will do with your Hovie. No contact, no gain!


Blogger Template Created by pipdig