The Hovawart is a large, strong dog that is even tempered and affectionate, despite its often intimidating size. Their strongest personality trait is their constant need to defend their territory and protect the beloved human members of their pack.
Although they are generally very calm dogs, their loud, deep barks will be enough to thwart any stranger who might seem like a threat. Needless to say, if you hear your Hovie barking, he probably has a legitimate reason for doing so, as he is by no means a “yappy” breed. They are usually quite skeptical and wary of strangers, but once they see their humans accepting this new person, they will gradually begin to let their guard down.
Training your Hovawart should begin immediately, as these dogs have very strong and stubborn personalities. They are not recommended for first time dog parents as they will need someone who is firm, consistent and acts as the pack leader. They can learn quickly due to their high intelligence, but their stubborn personality also makes them harder to train. These dogs are not for the faint hearted.
The Hovawart is a great companion for active singles and families. Your Hovawart will thrive best in a home with a large, fenced yard. They are not suited to apartment living and can become destructive due to the accumulated energy in a small space. Since they historically guarded farms and livestock, they will also do very well in more rural areas.
As with any dog, it is imperative that you socialize and expose your Hovawart to many different situations to get him used to other people, dogs, places, and noises. This will help shape your pup into a confident, well-adjusted dog.
When it comes to exercise, the Hovawart enjoys several physical exercises, but also needs mental stimulation games. They enjoy all types of outdoor activities such as jogging, hiking, and trips to the dog park once properly trained and socialized.