The attentive and smart Hovawarts are rarely seen in most parts of the world, though they’re still a popular working dog in Germany and Scandinavia.
Their origins, it is said, go all the way back to the Middle Ages. As does their name. The word ‘Hova’ is a Middle High German word, meaning ‘yard’ or ‘farm’, while ‘wart’ means ‘watchman’. Perhaps appropriate then, that they were primarily used to guard over the flocks, castles, and farms of German barons.
Though highly valued throughout medieval times, the breed almost became extinct twice. The most recent was after World War II, where many were recruited and then lost to the war effort. Fortunately, some breed enthusiasts (and founders of the German Hovawart Club) managed to save their numbers. And us a lot of sadness.