The Hovawart Club of Great Britain

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The latest news and information from our club. If you know of any interesting news that you think should be included on this page then please Let Us Know.

Posted: 17-Nov-17
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

Posted: 26-Aug-17
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