Dog trains man

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know: Not a Retriever, Still a Family Dog

This is a series of blogs about "What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know", in which each subject is selected - and contributed to - by Hovawart owners.

Not A Retriever, Still A Family Dog

Now we know the Hovawart is nothing like a retriever due to its guarding instincts, you might wonder if they actually are family dogs.

They most certainly are.

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.

And it doesn't have to stay at that. With the proper socialization they can also bond with people outside your immediate family. Just not on a first date, when they would still act as your "bodyguard".

They are quite picky though, who they would like to have as a family:
Judith L. "They love to work in a team with you but you have to deserve this team"
Mary A. "They are not happy in a kennel or garden with no company and need to be part of your family and all of their activities. Children in the family must be taught to be gentle with the dog and not pester him or her too much. Also, all members of the family should respect that if the dog retreats from them, they need to respect that."
Min I.: "They do not like change in families and when re-homed it can take a long time to settle, even more difficult when the dog was kept in a kennel though, as they have never formed an attachment to a 'family'."
Silvia I.: "They love to be part of a family, and have a clear role inside it, they need a guide and they have to understand why you are asking them to do something, they don't obey only because you are "the chief". If you are able to build a relationship of mutual respect and comprehension, they will be happy and there will be no conflicts among you."
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.


Coming up next: Personality!

A big thanks to 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., for your contributions in selecting and contributing to the subjects.



  1. Hovawarts sound like they have a lot in common with Dobermans. They need to be with their people, they shouldn't just be "outside dogs", etc. Always interesting to see how similar and different dog breeds are.

    1. Think they do too, although I don't know as much as you about Dobermans, I grew up with one, and see many similarities too.


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