The Hovawart Club of Great Britain

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Breed Notes - 30 Aug 2020
It is well worth logging on to the Hovawart Club of Great Britain website…..if you are not already on it reading this….and clicking on to the link to the IHF video promoting the breed. It shows hovawarts undertaking lots of different activities, which may encourage you to give some of them a go. It is a truly international video, and includes several UK dogs and their owners……who will you spot? ….It is a cracking film, and my only regret about it is that it doesn’t include a section showing how wonderful the breed is pottering about at home with family, children and other animals. Recently our 5 have been enjoying Netflix and Amazon Prime while we take the chance of a bit of grooming and nail-clipping.

There has been a bit of discussion recently about the best way to start off a young dog at stud. Whenever I am faced with questions of this sort I go back to the book that has guided my path through 50 years of dog breeding, Hilary Harmer’s “Dogs and How to Breed Them”, and she, as usual, has advice germane to the conversation. Her view was that a potential stud dog should not be used before the age of 10 months, and that the first mating is very important because that is when he is taught what is expected of him, and he must be handled, whether necessary or not. He should not then be used again until he is about a year old, and ideally again at about 14 months. Thereafter a frequency of about once a month should be considered maximum. I have to say, with the limited number of matings and litters we have in this country, I don’t think that this maximum is likely to be much of an issue. We know from personal experience how hard it is for a dog to spend his first couple of years or so being told to “stop doing that” when he shows interest in the opposite sex, and then, all of a sudden, it is the very thing you want him to do. It certainly took our dear Dublin a good while to get enough confidence to mate when we tried him first at over two years old…he did learn, but it wasn’t easy, and our experiences with Remus were very much on the same lines. Of course, in our breed we do need to wait until the dog turns a year old so that he is old enough to have his hips scored, but I think the principle remains the same.

In these times of events not happening, it is good to hear about someone taking a positive approach. Lynne has just taken Torin on a week-long course with the UK College of Scent Dogs ….. who knew?...and has passed the first step towards a City & Guilds Detection Handler Award. She has three more two-day course covering searches of vehicles, buildings and routes, and can then go on to the instructor course. Torin just loves the work. So they are not left out, Liz and Lynne went to the first UK Scentwork Trial today, where Mist and Alize qualified at level one (Torin is already working at level two). This is in addition to taking part an an allbreedience team video competition, with four dogs involved, filming from their back garden.

It is a wonderful thing to get your dog involved in such activities, so if anyone else has been doing things that might inspire the rest of us to get stuck in, please let me know and I will tell the stories.

Keep well, keep safe

Elaine Sharpe
01743 891310
pineshovawarts@gmail.com
This article was posted on: 07-Sep-20