The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

Hovawart Pictures

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A large breed, thick coated, black dog sitting down in green grass looking happy with this pink tongue showing

Leo the Hovawart is a happy and sweet boy as well as protective.

Other Dog Breed Names
  • Hovie
A large breed, thick coated, black dog running across green grass with a tennis ball in his mouth

Leo the Hovawart playing ball.

A black and tan happy-looking dog with ears that hang to the sides standing

Jinkies the Hovawart at 6 years old—"I adopted Jinkies as a puppy from a local shelter after her original owners have moved from somewhere in the Northern US down to the coastal area. She was raised around many different cats and dogs, and seems to think they are all destined to be her friends. She is very loyal and kind, but also very loving and looks to me for guidance when meeting new people. She watches my body language closely, and seems to key her reactions off of me when meeting new people, going new places, etc. She has spent time with me living in Mississippi, Kansas, and Florida both with access to outdoor playing area, and lacking it without issue. She has become destructive when overly bored and lacking a job to do, but absolutely LOVED playing in the snow while I was in Kansas. She seemed determined to eat every snowflake she could see and snap at, as well as jump in every bit of soft snow she could get to. I think her favorite pastimes are lazing about the house, and playing with any sort of ball I can find for her. A few kicks of her latest ball are typically enough to make her quite happy and satisfied, however she is prone to attempting to continue the game until she becomes too physically exhausted to continue if I will let her. I have had Shelties in the past, an Irish Setter, a Golden Retriever, and various mutts growing up, but Jinkies is by far the sweetest, lowest maintenance, easiest to get along with, and most generally enjoyable dog I have ever met! Visitors often tell me that she is the best dog they have ever seen as well (in terms of temperament, and general appeal to be around). She is still a very happy go-lucky dog, even now that she is nearly seven years old, and gets along very well with my wife's Italian Greyhound/Basenji mix. She prefers to be in the room with her masters, but infrequently seems interested in direct attention except for playing and mooching for food. She has always been ever watchful, although very passively monitoring. I noticed it especially with my wife when she was pregnant. Jinkies would even frequently stray from my side for the last few months to remain closer to my wife instead. It became common for Jinkies to come to alert and fetch me when my wife would become troubled or distressed in any way. Since my little one was born, Jinkies has resumed her general watchfulness by choosing to remain in the room and seeming to loosely keep tabs on everyone. She learned quickly not to get too close to our little one, because my wife insists that she stay at least a few feet away, but she has been very attentive to his rustlings and fussing, including being certain to try and get our attention if our little one begins fussing with a legitimate issue; Jinkies will consistently check with one or the other of us to ensure we are aware."

A black with tan Hovawart is sitting in a pile of dried fallen brown leaves. Its mouth is open and tongue is out and it is looking happy.

Hovawart Art ze Stareho dvora

A black with tan Hovawart is laying in grass with a tree behind it. Its mouth is open and its tongue is out

Hovawart Art ze Stareho dvora

Close Up - The right side of a black and tan Hovawart dogs face

Hovawart Art ze Stareho dvora

Side view - A black with tan and white Hovawart is sitting on a wooden porch

"This is a picture of our Angel. I have an unusual story of how we met that I would like to share. When I was a young girl, we had a Golden Retriever / Lab mix; we called him Zeke. My younger brother owned him first, as a puppy. My older brother had a yellow Lab; he was a Champion of Champions, hunting on the field, in the water and at the field trials. Zeke and the yellow were very good friends. My father and little brother tried to teach Zeke to retrieve, but they were not successful. After some time, I asked if I could have Zeke for my own. I could train him. They let me keep him. I taught Zeke to be a well-mannered dog in the house. I taught him obedience and good citizenship, without knowing there was even a word for it. I wanted to prove that Zeke was a good dog; that he could learn other things, although not wanting to retrieve."

"About a year later, my little brother got an American champion bloodline black Labrador; he was a young puppy. Zeke and the puppy had to share a kennel and dog house, and the puppy proved to be too much for Zeke. He would get mad at the puppy and be pretty aggressive toward him. My dad and younger brother were afraid Zeke would hurt the pup. So I was forced to give him away. My heart was broken, but I did it. I found a wonderful young family that lived on a farm in the country. Zeke loved this young couple right away. I knew Zeke went to an excellent home, but my heart remained broken for a long time. I loved Zeke and missed him very much.

"I grew up, married, had children, and realized that my children seemed to be afraid of dogs. Well, the best way to fix that is to get one. We lived in an area that would not allow large dogs, so a friend gave us one of his litter of Lhasa Apso puppies. Not big at all. Four children grew up loving that little "Tinker Jingle." During this time, I had become an avid collector of Angels. The little Lhasa died of cancer 11 years later. The kids and I loved that silly little guy very much and missed him. We moved to a larger house with a big fenced yard. I was still collecting Angels.

"I was wanting another dog. I wanted something different; we always had males, I wanted a female. I decided I wanted a large dog again. I wanted a challenge, too, but not a hunting dog. I was trying to narrow my choices and make a decision. I studied the non-hunting large breeds and tried to match the breed to my family and environment. We have a large cat with an attitude. I had to consider her needs in a large canine friend. I wanted ???? I just didn't know. After calling about a Border Collie that sounded very promising, I asked if the dog would be willing to share a sunny spot in my living room with a sassy cat? "No! This dog is a cat killer!"

"So I continued to scan the local paper. One day, I came across an ad for "Hovawart" puppies. I thought that was a funny name. So I called the number; it was about a two-hour drive from our home. Our daughter attended college at this same town, so we were accustomed to the drive. As I spoke to the lady, I discovered we shared the same first name, and she was very nice. I asked her what she did for a living and when she told me, I was stunned, because I had a passion for that nonprofit type of work. She did not seem "pushy" that I take a puppy, in fact, just the opposite. She told me to look up the breed on the web. She had the mother and father at home with her. She asked if we were experienced dog handlers. I was.... I discussed this with my husband and we went to the computer. The first picture that I saw was my Zeke. I burst into tears. It was actually a blonde Hovawart. I had to see the puppies.

"My husband was starting to get cold feet over the whole thing. He never really grew up with dogs. He considered himself a cat person. But I managed to change his mind. When we arrived at this home out in the country, we received a warm welcome. The children opened the door to the puppy room. Out came this beautiful black and tan Hovawart mother. She was a love. She came over to me and we bonded right away. Then came the puppies! There were six little balls of bellies and bladders! Three were black and tan and three were blonde, like their father. I eventually asked to the see the father, too. They scooted the mom back into the puppy room. The blonde father came into the house. He was magnificent. He approached each of us with the intent to greet us. He was beautiful. Daddy was extremely careful not to step on the babies. I was so impressed with his massive gentleness with the pups. The father went back outside, and the mother came gingerly back into the room, inspecting her babies. They were all very fine. I announced that we should like to have a female. There were only two females, both black and tan. The one female's name was Angel. My heart literally leapt, when I heard that; this seemed to be such a list of coincidences that seemed to keep growing. But upon observing the puppies, I noted that Angel was a little sassy pants. The other female was more docile; she paid attention to us. Angel ran under the dining room table and squatted. Then she was off to tackle a big brother. Which she did! My mind turned from Angel to the other female. We decided to take the quieter female.

"As we sat across the room from each other, the lady asked if we were related to the (Family Name) from northern Minnesota. We were stunned...yes, that is my husband's grandfather! The lady announced her maiden name to us. She remembered sitting next to my husband at the picnic table, in the yard of his grandfather's farm, back in 1978! They were cousins! What a sequence of coincidences! Certainly, we were getting a Hovawart!

We brought a little pink collar for our Hovi Girl. They were still too young to leave their sweet momma. So we decided in two weeks we would be back. During the following week, there was an older couple from several hundreds of miles away that had stopped in to get a female puppy. It was a little early, but since they traveled so far, it was decided to allow them their puppy. They wanted to take a group picture of the little family, so they gathered all the puppies, including the one they had secluded from their choice, our little Hovi Girl. In the rush of gathering the little ones for the picture and the little bladders starting to let go...the older lady gathered up little Hovi Girl in her blanket, while her husband paid the set price. The owners were busy cleaning up puppy poo and getting the little rascals back into their play area. Two hours later, they realized the mistake. They waited until the older couple had stopped for the night, still on the road, and were able to reach them. But they had traveled many, many miles and would not be turning around. Their little Hovi Girl and they had bonded. She went on to Montana to live her life on a big ranch. I know she is resting on their front porch, watching over the livestock and her beloved family. Hovi Girl did go to a wonderful home.

"Our newly found cousin called me when there was no other choice to break the news to me. They tried their best to offer the older couple a drive halfway for a puppy exchange. But they loved their little girl and would not be doing that.... So I received my phone call.... I was shocked, as you might have guessed. She explained everything to me, but I was still devastated. My husband and I talked. I explained to him, how my heart had literally leapt, upon hearing the name of Angel, but my mind deciding otherwise. They told me that Angel was their favorite puppy. She was the first to greet them at the puppy door; she was the first to the water dish, when they were learning to drink from a dish. They told me she was the smartest of all the other puppies. I said, I know...Angel is the alpha. She is the most challenging, too. But then a small, still voice said to my heart, "but you asked for a challenge." I believe at that moment, Angel noticed us, she noticed me. We began to bond.

A black with tan and white Hovawart is laying under a white wicker chair on a tan carpet looking at a gray rabbit.

"That was four years ago. I believe we were meant for each other. We visit Angel's first family from time to time, and she enjoys the visits. She shares a sunny spot in the living room with Little Miss Attitude. She has learned to lie very still; our pet bunny will run right over her (to the cat, the bunny loves Little Miss Attitude!) Angel is the most devoted and loving dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Angel is highly intelligent. She is the dog that, if you are lucky, you chance once in a lifetime. I believe she is a friend from Heaven. One day, we will know the whole story.... I believe in miracles...

A black and tan with white Hovawart wearing a red bandana is laying on a tan carpet next to a long-haired tiger cat.

Until then, if you pass by our yard, you will see Angel flag her tail and trot along with you, with her nose in the air, on the other side of the fence. If you happen to notice, my husband will be throwing a football, and yes, Angel retrieves."

A large black with tan Hovawart dog is laying in dirt.

Deubel von Ascona, photo courtesy of LaVillaRoy's Hovawart

A black with tan Hovawart dog is standing in snow on a rope toy. There is snow all over its face.

Lucy the black and tan Hovawart at 8 months old out in the snow

A black with tan Hovawart dog is in deep snow swinging around a rope toy that is in is mouth

Lucy the black and tan Hovawart at 8 months old out in the snow playing with a rope

A black with tan Hovawart dog is sitting on a patio in front of a white house.

Vincent II dei Guardiani della Foresta Nera the young Hovawart from Valenza, Italy

A black with tan Hovawart is laying on a step next to a black metal bannister with a rubber white squeaky newspaper toy in its mouth.

Vincent II dei Guardiani della Foresta Nera the young Hovawart from Valenza, Italy

A black with tan Hovawart is standing in a flag stone driveway and there is a gate behind it

Vincent II dei Guardiani della Foresta Nera the young Hovawart from Valenza, Italy

A black with tan and white Hovawart wearing a red bandana is standing in a yard and it has a football in its mouth

Angel the Hovawart with a football in her mouth

Right Profile - A black with tan Hovawart dog is standing in brown medium sized grass

Hofmeester Hovawarts presents Trustenberg Ube de Hofmeester

Two black with tan Hovawarts are laying in a field of yellow flowers looking forward.

This is Crezidahof Lord Longfellow (born March 26, 1997) and Nordwart Yacco (born August 31, 1990) from Vantaa, Finland. Photo courtesy of Suski's Hovawart Site

A black with tan Hovawart is standing in grass with a  person in a blue dress behind it.

This is a blond Hovawart named Bonnie. She is a 4year-old female Hovawart. She is 29.5" tall (75 cm) and weighs about 120 pounds (54 kg).

A panting black with tan Hovawart is standing in dirt and patchy grass.

"It started out so simply. I had come across the breed in a book years ago and thought they sounded perfect for our farm. I also pushed the thought of owning one out of my mind since they aren't very common in the United States. That being said, fate or chance decided otherwise. When the decision was made for our 14-year-old Shepherd mix to be put down, my mother and I decided to adopt a rescue dog and give someone a home who needed one. On a whim I looked up the Hovawart on Petfinder, just for grins. I didn't expect to find anything but three came up. One of them was a beautiful 10-month-old purebred female Hovawart named Joy. Joy had been abandoned by her owners while on vacation in Idaho spring of '06. The former owners told the shelter they weren't coming back out for her and to do whatever they had to; they didn't want her. She had been given to them by their kids as an unwanted surprise. She had three days left in that shelter before being put to sleep. One of the employees there had a friend with a 2-acre kennel who would take dogs in from kill shelters and find them either non-kill shelters or homes. Bonnie was this kind lady's name and she had put Joy on Petfinder. The emails started going back and forth. Through a lot of trial and trouble (She was in Wyoming and I am in Wisconsin), I had adopted her October '06. Two of my closest friends took my car (it had the best gas mileage) and drove to South Dakota to meet someone from the rescue halfway to pick her up. I could not go because it was too short of notice for my boss to schedule me off. She settled in and was able to be loose with our other dogs by about mid-December. We all really liked her—even my dad who is a farmer and doesn't usually get attached to animals. True to her name, she was a joy to have around and was a very "joyful," happy dog. I found out she loved playing fetch—which was great because it gave me a way to wear her out. Walks didn't work; I was the only one who came back tired. She even got to be "pals" with Swiffer, one of the cats. February she started running off and so we built a large kennel for her safety when no one was outside with the animals. Since someone was outside most of the time she didn't have to be in it much. Very, very sadly, Joy got out of her kennel while I was at work and was hit by a car. She had been running through the surrounding fields and was coming home along the road—judging from her footprints. She was less than 30 yards from the edge of our property and she had all her tags on but they never stopped and they never called. What upsets me the most was she was almost home and looking at her footprints in the dirt alongside the road they almost had to be trying to hit her. My pal Ryan, one of the two who went out to get her, helped me bury her out in front of the barn where she and my other dog Zeke liked to lie in the sun. Ryan said, he brought her to this farm, he just thought it was right that he help finish getting her where she was going. Joy is going to be very missed, much loved, and not forgotten."