Number of FCI: 190
Utilization: Working Dog
Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer type-Molossian and Swiss Mountain-
and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossian, Mountain type. With working
The Hovawart is a very old German working dog breed. The name's
origin stems from Middle High German (an old form of German); Hova
= Hof (= yard, farm) and wart = Wächter (= watchman). Since 1922
the breeding of this breed, by using dogs similar in type still
found on farms, has been restored. Apart from this, in the early
years of breeding, crosses with German Shepherd Dogs, Newfoundlands,
Leonbergers and other breeds were admitted. Due to the strict measurements
taken in selecting the breeding stock the original working type
was attained again. In the country of origin very great importance
is attached to the health of the Hovawart. Especially the presence
of hip dysplasia has been reduced to a small percentage by selecting,
for decades, breeding stock free from dysplasia. It is to be expected
that all other Hovawart breed clubs will aim for this exemplary
The Hovawart is a powerful, medium size, slightly elongated, long-haired
working dog. Difference between sexes is clearly recognizable, specially
in shape of head and build of body.
Length of body comprises at least 110 to 115 % of height at withers.
Recognized working dog with versatile usage. Kind and even disposition.
Has protective instinct, fighting instinct, self-confidence and
ability to take stress; of medium temperament; combined with a very
good nose. His balanced body proportions and special devotion to
his family make him an outstanding companion, watch, guard, tracking
and rescue dog.
nasal bridge is straight and parallel to the skull. Muzzle and skull
are of about the same length. The skin of the head fits tightly.
The powerful head has a broad, rounded forehead.
* Stop: Well visible.
* Nose: Nostrils
well developed. In black/gold and black dogs pigmentation is black.
In blond dogs it is black; "snow nose" (temporary loss
of pigmentation) accepted.
* Muzzle: Strong, tapering only slightly when seen
from above and in profile.
* Lips: Fit tightly.
* Jaws/Teeth: Strong complete scissor bite with
42 teeth according to tooth formula. Teeth set square to the jaws.
Pincer bite accepted.
* Eyes: Oval, neither protruding nor deep set.
Color: dark to medium brown. Eyelids fit tightly.
* Ears: The loosely fitting triangular drop ears
are set on high and wide apart, thus giving the optical illusion
of broadening the skull. They reach in length to the corners of
the mouth (labial commisure). Their tip is slightly rounded. When
the dog is at ease they are kept hanging flat, when alert they may
be carried directed slightly forward. Their front edge lies approximately
halfway between eye and occiput.
of medium length. Skin tightly fitting.
* Loin: Strong, slightly longer than rump.
* Croup: Medium long and slightly sloping.
* Chest: Broad, deep and strong.
reaching to below the hocks, but not to the ground. According to
the dog's mood it is carried high and curved over the back or hanging
* Forequarters: Forelegs strong, straight and vertical,
seen from the front and side.
* Shoulders: Very well muscled. Shoulder-blade
long and well laid back.
* Upper arm: Long, closely fitting to body.
* Elbows: Fitting well to chest.
* Pastern Joint: Strong.
* Pastern: Moderately sloping.
* Hindquarters: Hindlegs strong and vertical when
seen from behind. Hindquarters are well angulated.
* Upper and Lower Thigh: Very well muscled.
* Hock Joint: Strong, well let down.
* Feet: Roundish, strong and compact. Toes arched
and tight. Dewclaws to be removed except in those countries where
this is prohibited by law. Nails with black pigmentation in black/gold
and black dogs; in blond dogs there may be less pigmentation.
Gait / Movement:
In all gaits the movement of the Hovawart is on a straight line
and covering the ground well. The trot is very extended, with powerful
drive from the hindquarters.
* Skin: Tightly fitting all over. With a bluish
sheen in black/gold and black dogs, with a mostly pink sheen in
* Hair: The strong long-haired coat is lightly
waved and lying close, with only little undercoat. It is longer
on chest, belly, rearside of forelegs, rearside of thighs and tail.
It is short on head and at the front side of the fore- and hindlegs.
The coat is dense.
There are 3 color varieties: black/gold, black, and blond.
* Black/gold:The coat is black and shiny, the color
of the markings medium blond. On the head the markings begin below
the nasal bridge and extend round the corners of the mouth into
the marking of the throat. The point-shaped markings above the eyes
are clearly visible. The chest markings consist of two adjacent
patches which may be connected. On the forelegs, the marking, seen
from the side, extends from the toes to about the pastern and tapers
off on the rearside at about elbow level. On the hindlegs, seen
from the side, the marking below the hock is seen as a broad stripe,
above the hock only as a narrow stripe which extends on the front
side of the hindleg up to the level of the belly. A marking is also
present beneath the set on of the tail. The markings are distinct
in outline everywhere. Single small white spots on the chest as
well as some single white hairs on toes and tip of tail are permissible.
Black pigmentation on eyelids, lips and pads.
* Black: The coat is black and shiny. Some single
white spots on the chest as well as some single white hairs on toes
and tip of tail are permissible. Black pigmentation on eyelids,
lips and pads.
* Blond: The coat is medium blond, shiny and becomes
lighter towards legs and belly. Single small white spots on the
chest as well as some single white hairs on toes and tip of tail
are permissible. Black pigmentation on eyelids, lips and pads.
Height at the withers:
For males: 63 - 70 cm (24.8 - 27.6 inches).
For females: 58 - 65 cm (22.8 - 25.6 inches).
departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault
and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should
be in exact proportion to its degree.
* Dogs which do not conform to the impression of original breed
* Distinctly "masculine" females.
* Distinctly "feminine" males.
Distinctly differing body proportions than those quoted in the standard.
Behavior / Temperament:
Aggressive, anxious, gun-shy or lethargic dogs.
* Lacking stop.
* Blue eye or wall eye.
* Erect tipped ears, rose ear; off-standing ears.
* Undershot, overshot or wry mouth.
* Absence of more than 2 of the 4 PM1 or the 2 M3, or absence of
any other tooth.
dewlap or very throaty.
* Pronounced sway or roach
* Narrow or barrel shaped chest.
* Abnormal tail; tail much too short; pronounced ring tail.
too high in hindquarters (overbuilt)
Coat: Predominantly curly coat (ring curls).
* All colors not conforming
to the standard, e.g. blue-gray, deer color, brown, white, patched,
blond with smutty touch or predominantly banded hair.
* White patches. Single white hairs on the inside of the upper thighs
are not a disqualifying fault.
* Black/gold dogs:
* Gray or brown patches other than the correct markings.
* Undercoat predominantly of another color than black.
* Predominantly gray or whitish markings.
* Black dogs:
* Gray or brown patches.
* Undercoat predominantly of another color than black.
* Blond dogs:
* Some single white hairs on the nasal bridge are not a disqualifying
* Red-blond color throughout without getting lighter.
* Whitish-blond color, also on ears.
* Distinctly white markings.
* Dark patches or dark mask.
* Oversize by more than 3 cm (1.2 inches).