Hi, The other day I picked out a wonderful black and tan puppy dog from our county shelter. They have had listed as an Australian Shepherd type dog. In the past I have raised these dogs on the farm. They were descended from a big old Basque Sheep Dog that had escaped to our care after a savage beating from the sheep herder. These dogs were large for Aussies and I always wondered what they really were. Our new dog has all of the markings of turning out to be exactly like one of my farm dogs.
Long story short, while I am looking at my dog breeds book there is a picture of these dogs, but it says they are Hovawarts. So what kind of dog do I have? The farm dogs all weighed in at 45 lbs. for the bitches and around 65 lbs. for the dogs. This puppy is as large at 2 months as the farm dogs were at the same age. Is he going to be a big Aussie or is he a Hovawart.
Only white on his face is a small chin spot, and a few white hairs on the back of his collar area. There is a white chest cross but the rest of him is black and tan. A very striking puppy, a pure joy with a lot of moxie.
So how can I tell what he is? There isn't much to differentiate between the two breeds in both of the breed standards except the weight range and there is not to be white on the bridge of the nose of the Hovawart dogs.
I am not sure of what you are refering to as "farm dogs". Hovawarts are a relitivly rare breed, and although possible, I highly doubt one in the shelter. If the dog has a tail, it could also be a border collie mix. You really will never know exactly what kind of dog you have. You can only make educated guesses.