Breed History

Picture from the website Kenzo the Hovawart
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The Hovawart, a court guard, is an ancient German breed that was used and bred by German barons as a watchdog, guard of cattle, castles and farms. The Hovawarts dogs are first mentioned in medieval German chronicles in 1274, when the year was mentioned as the "hofwart" as an aristocratic watchdog. Thus, the Hovawart is a very old type of dog, and the work of Kurt F. König, Alwin Busch, J.A. Beckers and Theo Grab is important for the development of the modern dog breed. K.F.König decided to confirm this breed on the basis of descriptions and drawings. After the First World War, he searched for dogs in Germany that resembled descriptions and, together with some other breeders, crossed them with German Shepherds, Hungarian Shepherds, Newfoundlands, Leonbergers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and African Hounds.

First litter was registered in 1922 in Germany. Hovawarts are very common in Germany and in Finland, they are also found elsewhere in Europe, America and Russia. 

The first hovawart was brought to Estonia from Finland in 1997 and the second in 2001. Between the years 2004 and 2019 twelve litters of puppies have been born in Estonia, and dogs have been imported from Finland, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Latvia and Slovakia. In July 2019 it was counted that 104 hovawarts reside in Estonia.