Dog trains man

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Hovawart That Won't Wart

After two busy weeks in which an army of workers, inspectors, real-estate agents and curious neighbors visited our house, I am now one hundred percent sure. Tilde will never display any behavior of a guarding dog. She officially now is the Hovawart, that won't "wart".

Not that she would have too. Although a breed predicts traits, the dogs are all first and foremost individuals. Instead of forming them into something they are not, I rather help them unfold and develop the characters they already have. I am merely a spectator, following Tilde through her life and cheering her on, fascinated to witness how Tilde continues to chose her own path, to see how she stands in this world as Tilde first and Hovawart second. No box could define her. She truly is a free spirit, not bound by ancestry or expectations.

The signs have always been there. She is happy for people, happy for strangers. Not weary of crowds, on the contrary. I always thought, maybe it comes with age, maybe it is different when it is on her own territory. Like with Kenzo, who developed his guarding instinct close to perfection over the years, without me in any way trying to push him down that road.

It required some adjustment from my side. Over the years I have developed a sixth sense for situations which could trigger their defense button and I always tried to avoid and manage these situations to prevent them from running into trouble. With Tilde, it is difficult to let go, but time and time again, my worries were unfounded.

It all culminated this week. Tilde welcomed every visitor that came through the door. It was on her territory. She is a matured lady now. And it wasn't just for the visitors I let in through the door. The plumber was opening the door for the carpenter. The real-estate agent let himself in through the open back door. Tilde celebrated. She became more and more happy for every new person she hadn't met before. No doubt she thought they all just came to see her and shower her with attention.

I still have to get used to I can start to relax a little bit with Tilde. It's odd isn't. I discovered the Hovawart when we were on the look-out for a family dog with a guarding instinct after we went through a home burglary. Today, I appreciated them for everything other than their ability to sound an alarm. We already bought a real burglar alarm years ago. The dogs became part of the family as soon as their first paw came through the door.


  1. You have a friend in Tilde, and she has learned how to take care of your family in this time and place. It may be different from where you were in your family's journey when you had Kenzo, or Kenzo had different gifts. They say that every child is born into a different family - a first child joins adults, but the second child joins a family of three, and so on. In some ways, a dog joins a different family too - you had expectations based on a previous experience. This is thought-provoking as we consider a second "Hovie" and our family dynamics are quite different.

    1. Wise words!
      Good luck with your decision on a second Hovie, I am sure it will not be taken lightly.

    2. I so agree with you. We had a guarding dog that was not part of his breeds and that I didn't encourage. It was just natural. He died last year and we are just starting to talk about another dog. When we got Brut we only had 2 dogs. He died with 5 dogs carrying on his legacy. I have no idea what the next dog we get will bring to this family, but it will be different circumstances than when we had Brut.

      I do believe that Kenzo was suppose to be Kenzo for you. That's what you got him for. And Tilde knows what you need as well and she will be there for you.

      Beautiful post.


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