The Hovawart is a very old working breed that originates in Germany. It is said to have been a re-creation of the great estate guarding dogs in the Middle Ages and descended from the German Shepherd Dog, the Newfoundland, Leonberger as well as possibly the Hungarian Kuvasz. Bearing a resemblance to the Golden Retriever, the Hovawart weighs between 55 to 90 pounds and stands at a height of 23 to 28 inches. It has a broad, rounded forehead, a well defined stop and its nose is black with well developed nostrils. The eyes are oval in shape and are dark to medium brown in colour. It has straight front legs, feet that are round, compact and strong and well arched toes. Its coat is dense and long-haried but lays flat to the body. There are longer hairs on the chest, belly, back of the legs and the underside of the tail. Typical coat colours include black and gold, black or blond.
The Hovawart is a versatile herding dog whose many talents include avalanche rescue, watch dog, search & rescue, tracking and schutzhund. It is also a pleasant family dog, loyal to the family and obedient and affectionate especially to its master. They deal well with children and remain playful and puppy-like even to their old age. Whilst it may appear calm and even-tempered when inside the house, it remains protective, alert and will protect its territory with great passion. This healthy breed has a life expectancy of up to 14 years.