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The Difference Between A Golden Retriever And A Hovawart

Updated on September 25, 2012

At first glance, a blond Hovawart looks like a Golden Retriever. I was curious about the similarities and the differences, so I looked-up specific information about the two breeds. I was especially interested since I've helped raise two female golden retrievers.

In my research I found out that not all hovawarts are yellow or golden. They also can be black or black and gold. They are a German breed and very popular in Germany. Other europeans also raise hovawarts. However, there are only a few of them in the United States.

Hovawarts are stubborn and free-willed. They can be hard to handle. And, training is often time-consuming and difficult. Golden Retrievers are easy to handle and relatively easy to train.

They both have similar exercise needs, such as long walks and being able to run outdoors. Exercise is needed for a hovawart or they may become destructive. A golden retriever can become destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

A hovawart loves its family and wants to please them. This is also important for a golden retriever. However, I think a golden retriever just wants to please, period. With a hovawart strangers will be accepted if the owner accepts the visitor. A visitor that is not accepted will be barked at and possibly attacked. A golden retriever will bark loudly, but they usually won't attack someone.

Dominance makes a hovawart difficult to socialize with other dogs. They don't do well with other dogs. They get along with smaller animals well. A golden retriever likes everyone and everything, it seems.

Apartment life is not suitable for a hovawart. However, a golden retriever can live in an apartment as long as it gets enough exercise.

A hovawart stands about 23 to 28 inches and is usually 55 to 90 pounds. A golden retriever is 20 to 24 inches and is usually 55 to 80 pounds. A golden retrievers life expectancy is usually 10 to 12 years. A hovawart usually lives between 10 and 14 years. So a hovawart can be a pretty big sized dog and they also may live longer.

Golden Retrievers were first bred in Britain. They've been around since the late 1860s, and hovawarts were being bred about 100 years ago.

The three colors of hovawarts.
The three colors of hovawarts. | Source
Golden retrievers vary widely in shade.
Golden retrievers vary widely in shade. | Source


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      Jesse 2 years ago

      I think you meant they've (Hovies) been bred for "1000" years not 100.

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      Jp 4 years ago

      I have had a swartzmarken hovawart (black & tan) for just over nine years. They stand a bit taller than golden retrievers. Hovawarts are not for first time dog owners but when raised correctly they are amazing dogs, they fetch and swim as good as and retriever, are fast an agile, are great guard dogs, he would not trust strangers until a formal introduction.

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      mours sshields 5 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      For a long time I didn't know about the hovawart. It is an interesting breed and so is the golden retriever. Especially when you compare the two!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      There are so many breeds of dogs and you have just introduced me to one that I had never known...the Hovawart. They do look a bit like the golden retrievers of which I am very familiar. Up and interesting votes!