Specialty Show FAQ

Q. Why Should I Attend an HCNA Show?

A.  The HCNA strives to preserve and protect the hovawart by promoting the physical standard set by the F.C.I. while also promoting a temperament desired in the breed. Presenting your dog at an HCNA Show and participating in the temperament testing lets you, your dog’s breeder, and the club know how well a certain dog meets those standards. This information is, naturally, very important for future breedings. Even if you have no intention of breeding your pet, participation in the event will give the club and your breeder important information about your hovawart and its litter, which in turn helps us determine what we should consider for future breeding approvals. 

A proper hovawart is a well-balanced dog. It will have an appearance that matches our standard with the health and personality traits that we wish to promote. We want our dogs to be good pets, but we also want them to be true hovawarts. And while showing a dog may not be something you ever thought you would do, your breeder and their future puppy buyers will greatly appreciate your effort.

Additionally, attendance allows you to meet your fellow hovawart owners. We may be biased, but we think the HCNA has great members. It is likely you don’t have other hovawart owners located close to you. Getting to know club members and meeting their dogs is enjoyable. Trust us: great and long-term friendships have begun at these shows. 

Q. Does My Dog Need Any Special Training To Participate?

A. The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is maybe a little obedience training wouldn’t hurt. This is not Westminster. Nobody expects you or your dog to be experienced, much less expert, show-ring handlers. The HCNA goal is to promote the “whole dog” and there are no “show lines” in the HCNA. But you will be in a ring with other dogs and their owners, jogging in a circle, and allowing the judge to touch your dog – even its teeth. So it will help if some basic obedience and socialization is had. Everyone starts at the beginning, and everyone can do it.

Shows will have experienced members ready and willing to help you. Our judges, though highly experienced and qualified themselves, know they are here to judge the dog and not the owner.  

Q. Does it Matter if My Dog is Spayed or Neutered?

A. As another indication of the club’s goal to promote the overall health our dogs, we allow all our hovis to be shown. Some breed clubs don’t. Spayed or neutered, the results will help the club and breeder. And we know many of our members have pets without any intention of breeding them. We want you to participate fully, as well. That said, a spayed or neutered dog cannot compete for best in show. Your dog won’t care, though.  

Q. Is My Dog Too Young To Compete?

A. No. We have nine different classes divided by age. The puppy class is from three to six months of age and the veteran class is for dogs eight years or older. Although old dogs can learn new tricks, we definitely encourage you to start as soon as you can make it to a show. You and your dog will only grow more comfortable with the event. 

Q. What is the Appropriate Attire?

A. You should dress as comfortably as you want. Our shows almost always take place outside, and if jeans and sweatshirt feels right, then it is perfect. If you’re more comfortable in formal wear, we won’t turn you away, either.

The hovawart is a natural, working dog, and it should look that way in the ring. Certainly no special trimming is needed, but a good brushing is appropriate. Get those knots out, but keep the bows at home!

Q. One Last Pitch

A. We are an open and friendly group. If you think your dog will react to other dogs in the ring, let everyone know. If you think you can’t perform, trust us: you can. Win or lose, it is a fun opportunity to learn about the dog you love so much and meet new friends.