The Hovawart breed: analysis of various characteristics of dogs in a home environment in Italy
The aim of this survey was to investigate the characteristics of the Hovawart breed in a sample of dogs bred in Italy. A questionnaire was developed and piloted on Hovawart owners. The questionnaire included general information about the owners and the dogs, with more detailed questions on the behaviours exhibited by the dogs. One hundred questionnaires were received and processed, including 59 female and 41 male dogs. The results revealed that the main activities for Hovawart dogs were shows (57%), followed by rescue, utility, and defence. No dogs showed aggressive behaviour towards their owners, however 50% and 48% showed aggressive behaviour towards other animals due to competition or hierarchical reasons and towards unfamiliar people in self-defence. Only 28% of the dogs ever showed wariness, however a large number of owners did not refer to any nuisance behaviour in relation to their dog.
The majority of owners did not mention any health problems. Cancer and hip dysplasia were the problems most complained.