BREEDING GOALS

Health

We strive to breed Hovawarts with a healthy anatomy that promotes the breed standard. We use health data collected over decades by member clubs of the International Hovawart Federation to minimise risks of repeating any known problems in the lines of the selected parents. We aim to avoid exaggerated features and prefer using medium size, well-proportioned dogs.

Character

A big guarding breed needs to possess a stable character that can tolerate stress in today's society, be it a noisy environment or being left alone during sometimes lengthy working days. The temperament should also ensure that Hovawarts remain Hovawarts: a dog with the capacity to work and enjoy breed-typical sportive activities with a lively temperament.

Exterior

With a correct anatomy we also should get beautifully moving Hovawarts. Breed standard should guide us with the rest of the exterior too. Sometimes those interested in the breed have strong views about the colour of their future Hovawart which at the end of the day is secondary. Whatever the colour will be - you will still fall in love with your puppy!

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This video is published with the authorisation of the International Hovawart Federation  

Hovawart puppies feeding socialisation
Hovawart puppies eating
Hovawart show breeder's group

Criteria

The Belgian Hovawart Club, a member of the International Hovawart Federation, requires that the male and the female selected for breeding are/have:

  • at least two years old;

  • free of hip dysplasia (HD A or B);

  • eyes tested and exempted from hereditary eye diseases;

  • successfully passed character test by the Belgian Hovawart Club;

  • exterior in conformity with the FCI breed standard.

The female can have a maximum of three litters and line breeding is strictly controlled to keep the gene pool large for the future generations. The above criteria are naturally also the very starting point to all of our litters.

Our way

Our aim is to breed healthy Hovawarts with a stable character maintaining the original characteristics suited to tasks for which the breed was created. With the choice of males, we are looking carefully at the details of the character test results together with a good, strong exterior, health records being the obvious starting point. Even with the best of planning one should never forget that breeding is gambling with living genes where nothing is guaranteed.

Once puppies are born, we put time and effort into a thorough socialisation of the puppies. The different developmental phases are followed by a proper amount of stimuli to give puppies the optimum start for a good life. Puppies are raised at home and each puppy gets used to individual handling and daily contact with humans of ”all breeds” being part of our daily lives from day one. The mother is with the puppies until they are ready to leave for their new homes.

 

The owners’ wishes and lifestyle are matched, to the best of our abilities, with the characteristics of the puppies. This is helped by the puppy character test which is organised by the Belgian Hovawart Club around the age of seven weeks. The better the owner and the puppy suit one another, the happier the relationship will be. It has even happened that a family wishing for a black and gold male goes home with a blonde female! At the end of the day, it is the character that one shares one's life and home with for some good ten years to come! 

Follow-up

One of the fun things we organise is a puppy meeting when they are about six months old during which the new owners have a possibility to get together and share experiences. It gives us also an opportunity to evaluate how well the litter is meeting our expectations.

Between the age of one and two years, the puppies are called back for a character test for young dogs and later on for the test for adult dogs. The character tests provide useful and interesting information to the owners as well as to us for the future. We also invite the whole litter once or twice to participate in a dog show. We spend a pleasant day together and as a bonus, everyone gets a professional evaluation of his/her dog.

 

Over the years we have created strong contacts with the owners of our puppies, and it has become natural for them to turn to us in both good and bad times. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it together.