The Hovawart Club of Great Britain
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hovawarts

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hovawarts

Our club is dedicated to the Hovawart breed and this website is intended to help owners enjoy this beautiful breed. With official Hovawart standards, shows, information, activities, discussions, photos and a great deal more, we hope you find our site both informative and fun.

The Club Show 2017 was held at Oswestry Showground on Saturday 30th September

It was the 30th anniversary of the founding of the club, and we made a full weekend of it, with the breed show on the Saturday along with obedience and rally classes, a social event in the evening with a talk from our breed judge about the history of the hovawart, and a talk from Mark Harrison about his search and rescue work with Abbie. Sunday included a full breed seminar talk and other activities.

The judge for the Open Breed Show was Ans Schellekens, breed specialist from the Netherlands, and our club Patron.

Main results are posted, more detailed results and critiques to follow.

Breed Classes: Judge – Ans Schellekens
BEST IN SHOW 45 Driftingsky Mist (White, Lynda & Whitmore, Elizabeth)
RESERVE BEST IN SHOW 48 Driftingsky Arcus (Williams, Bettina & Andrew)
BEST OPPOSITE SEX 48 Driftingsky Arcus (Williams, Bettina & Andrew)
BEST DOG 48 Driftingsky Arcus (Williams, Bettina & Andrew)
RESERVE BEST DOG 16 Pines Wiggins (Harrison, Mark)
BEST VETERAN DOG 41 Fasskoley’s Mathan (Tyerman, Mark)
BEST BITCH 45 Driftingsky Mist (White, Lynda & Whitmore, Elizabeth)
RESERVE BEST BITCH 17 Fibi Srebrne Pole (Harrison, Mark)
BEST VETERAN BITCH 20 Minches Kees Killarney (Inches, Min)
BEST VETERAN 20 Minches Kees Killarney (Inches, Min)
RESERVE BEST VETERAN 41 Fasskoley’s Mathan (Tyerman, Mark)
BEST JUNIOR 26 Myka des Amis de Gaia (Payne, Heather)
BEST YEARLING 35 Annvad Lady Hazel (Stockton, Gill)

To see the full results including breed classes, special award classes, obedience, rally and good citizens please click here.

To read the Breed Show Critique by Ans Shellekens please click here

To read the Obedience Critique by Irene Balmforth please click here

Hovawart Club of Great Britain 2018 Calendar

The Calendar is ready - order your copy from John Sharpe (email or order with your show entry to collect on 30th September at the club show.

Price held at £7.50 per copy.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hovawarts



This is a new guide produced by the club, particularly useful for new hovawart owners, but also interesting for all hovawart enthusiasts.

Available from John Sharpe: email

Price £10, + £1 postage for UK, overseas postage please email for price.


The aim of Obreedience is to encourage more breeds to have a go at some of the exercises generally associated with obedience in a less formal but nonetheless competitive environment. Obreedience will be a team event and highlight the abilities of different breeds in a relaxed and fun display. - See more at:

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hovawarts

Show and event photos


The International Hovawart Federation held its annual conference in Sweden this year, and the UK was represented by Nick Boisseau and John Sharpe.
The weather was much better suited to the dogs this year than the heat of Slovakia in 2016, with strong winds, cool temperatures and some drizzle. The venue was on the Baltic sea coast, very recognizable as Wallender country (we thought we might be needing Mark Harrison and Abbie’s skills at any moment), quite spectacular.
The meeting itself was attended by 12 countries, with delegations from two of the German clubs, but sadly no -one from the old eastern Europe, and it was nice to renew some old friendships. The Friday session was largely taken up by procedural matters, and there was some debate about how much the IHF should support the competitions it runs (Show, IPO, Tracking and Obedience) financially. Our old friend Tapio from Finland was elected vice president. He is always good value at the conference, and can be relied on for a forthright view. The conference will be held in France next year, in Montpelier, and the following years in Belgium, Finland, provisionally Austria and then, for the centenary of the breed in 2022 Germany.
Saturday was taken up with what is called the breeding commission, with reports from each country (we were in a spot of bother over the lack of blond puppies we had in 2016) and some concern was expressed over the lack of control of breeding in countries not affiliated to the IHF and without organized breed clubs, but it was hoped that more would be coming on board in the future. There was again discussion on the way forward with DM, and the overall view was that the tests at the moment didn’t give enough certainty to warrant the IHF making them mandatory….watch this space!
The Italian delegation led the debate about the way forward for electronic data systems, and both the Austrians and Danes showed films of their character testing. There then followed a discussion on the Breed Standard, which of course is different to the one the Kennel Club here insist we use in UK. Because they have disqualifying faults, they do find some problems over defining the degree of those faults that should lead to disqualification, for example there was a long and quite heated argument about how much white and how many white spots are allowable on the chest. I have to say that in this case our systems is easier to work with.
On Sunday the show was held, with some 42 dogs entered, judged by Eva Preisinger from Germany. We Brits had a mixed day, with Nick & Helen’s Gaia and our Acorn at the tail end of their classes, but with Freya being awarded Best Veteran and our Poppy Best in Show, repeating her mother Freya’s triumph in Italy two years ago. It was a very happy band that went out for a celebratory dinner on the Sunday night.

Photo shows Poppy (Quincebois Tulipwood by Pines) with her BiS trophy and a couple of other prizes.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hovawarts

Club Facebook Group

The club now has a facebook group open to all paid-up members – go to facebook and search for Hovawart Club of Great Britain. This is for club information, and to help members keep in touch with club activities. We’d like to see more of you on there, so have a look and join the group.
Latest News
Tobias Trophy - November 2017
At the AGM in 2017 the Tobias Trophy (named in honour of the first show dog) was instituted. This is a Club trophy for Show Hovawart of the Year, which is different to the awards given by the dog papers, as their systems take no account of numbers present, and do not include our Club show.
It works on a points system, to be awarded for any Championship Show and Open Show that schedules breed classes.
Total entry present:
1-5 BOB 2 points BOS 1 point
6-10 BOB 3 points BOS 2 points
11-20 BOB 4 points BOS 3 points
21 + BOB 5 points BOS 4 points

The “Year” to runs from January 1st to December 31st.

I am very open to contradiction, but I think we have now reached the end of the season as regards qualifying shows.
There have been 14 Championship Shows scheduling hovawarts, and a further 5 Open Shows (National Working (Feb), Perth (May) Redditch (May) Dundee (June) and our Club Show.
After all these events, Pines Acorn CDex UDex has scored 10 points under the system agreed at the Club AGM, with Zwartbos Moonshine Whiskey the leading dog on 9.
As I say, if I have missed any shows, please let me know, with the entry numbers and results, as soon as possible. My email address is and my NEW landline number is 01743 891310

John Sharpe

Degenerative Myelopathy in Hovawarts – HCGB Committee Statement August 2017.
There has been a lot of discussion about Degenerative myelopathy recently on social media and elsewhere.
Degenerative myelopathy (DM) in dogs is a painless progressive neurological disease affecting the spinal cord, usually presenting after the age of 8, and characterised by unsteadiness, weakness of the hind limbs, which can progress to paralysis over a few months to 3 years.
It causes spinal cord lesions, and diagnosis can only be confirmed with certainty by a post-mortem.
Development of DM is thought to be related to a specific mutation in the SOD1 gene (also known as Exon2). This mutation is widespread in many breeds of dogs, including hovawarts.
Each dog will have 2 copies of the SOD1 gene. The dog could have 2 copies of an unmutated/normal gene, or one normal and one mutated/affected gene, or two mutated/affected genes. This is commonly shown as n/n (unaffected), n/DM (carrier), and DM/DM (at risk/affected), depending on the laboratory that carries out the test. It is thought that in hovawarts the percentage in the population of n/n is 50%, n/DM 40%, and DM/DM 10%.
Dogs with two normal copies of the gene are highly unlikely to develop DM, as are carriers. Even dogs with two mutated genes may not develop DM, as the gene is not completely penetrant, and the age at which a dog may develop DM may vary widely.
There is now a genetic test that will show the presence of the SOD1 mutation, available from at least 2 laboratories in the UK. This can be done by a buccal (mouth swab), or a blood test.
The HCGB Committee view is that in the presence of a readily available and relatively low cost genetic test it would be advisable for all breeders to test their dogs before breeding, and then breed with the aim of avoiding the production of dogs with a double copy of the mutated gene (DM/DM).
This would mean that carriers and affected dogs could still be used for breeding if they are bred to a dog with a clear result.
The committee specifically does not recommend breeding only with clear (n/n) dogs. To do so would reduce the gene pool unacceptably, and increase the risk of other genetic diseases which may be even more devastating becoming more prevalent. The hovawart gene pool, especially in the UK, is already small, and other health factors such as hip dysplasia and thyroid function should also be taken into account when breeding.
With this in mind the committee will bring a proposal to the AGM in 2018 for approval by the members to add this to the HCGB Code of Ethics.
1. Breed Distribution of SOD1 Alleles Previously Associated with Canine Degenerative Myelopathy, R. Zeng, J.R. Coates, G.C. Johnson, L. Hansen, T. Awano, A. Kolicheski, E. Ivansson, M. Perloski,K. Lindblad-Toh, D.P. O’Brien, J. Guo, M.L. Katz, and G.S. Johnson. J Vet Intern Med 2014;28:515–521