Huntaway

fast facts

About Huntaway

Weight
40-80 lb
Lifespan
12-14 years
Group
not applicable
Temperament
independent, hard-working, intelligent, gentle
Best Suited For
active singles, active families, house with a yard, farms
Comparable Breeds
Rottweiler, Collie
Height
22-26 inches
Huntaway Basics


When you think of black-and-tan dog breeds you probably picture the Rottweiler, the Doberman Pinscher, and even the Dachshund. But there is another breed you may not know about that is equally worthy of consideration – the Huntaway. Also known as the New Zealand Sheepdog, the Huntaway is a talented herding breed known for its loud bark, its hard-working personality, and its lovely black-and-tan coat.


Also known as the New Zealand Sheepdog, the Huntaway is a talented herding breed.


Origin


The Huntaway dog breed is also known as the New Zealand Sheepdog and it is widely known for its herding ability. This breed was developed specifically for the unique farming conditions in New Zealand which required a hard-working dog breed with excellent stamina and plenty of self-discipline. This breed was developed through the crossing of various British Sheepdogs with other herding breeds such as the Collie, especially breeds that were known for their barking traits. This particular trait was deemed important in the rocky terrain of New Zealand where herding by sight alone was not always possible or practical. The breed was officially recognized by the New Zealand Kennel Club (NZKC) just a few years ago in 2013 and it has yet to be recognized by the AKC.


Pedigree

The Huntaway breed, also known as the New Zealand Sheepdog, was developed from British Sheepdogs crossed with Collies and other herding breeds that possessed a barking trait.


Food/Diet


As a herding dog breed, the Huntaway should be fed a high-quality commercial dog food diet formulated for active or working breeds. If you do not plan to train your Huntaway for herding, a medium breed formula may be adequate.


The Huntaway breed is extremely intelligent that lends itself to easy training.


Training


As is true for most sheepdogs and collies, the Huntaway breed is extremely intelligent that lends itself to easy training. It is important to remember, however, that many herding breeds have a tendency toward independence, but these dogs are by no means stubborn or difficult to work with. This breed is friendly and gentle with strangers and some dogs can be used as watch dogs, though they generally don’t make good guard dogs. In order to keep these dogs under control they need an owner who is firm and consistent with training, setting rules and sticking to them.


Weight


The size of the Huntaway breed is variable because more emphasis is placed on the dog’s working ability than its physical appearance. Still, the average height is 22 to 26 inches and most specimens of the breed weigh 40 to 80 pounds at maturity.


Temperament/Behavior

The Huntaway breed was developed for herding sheep in the New Zealand outback. This being the case, these dogs definitely have a bit of an independent streak and they are highly self-motivated. These dogs are intelligent and trainable, though they can develop problem behaviors if they don’t get enough daily exercise to meet their needs. These dogs are friendly and gentle by nature, plus they get along extremely well with children. Huntaway dogs are good with non-canine pets, though they may attempt to herd cats and other household pets. In general, this dog is a smart and hard-working breed with excellent herding skills.


Common Health Problems


Having been developed from British Sheepdogs and Collies, it should come as no surprise that the Huntaway is largely a healthy breed. There are, however, a few inheritable conditions known to affect these dogs such as hip dysplasia and cancer. The most common problems affecting this breed, however, are work-related injuries.


Life Expectancy


The average lifespan for the Huntaway breed is 12 to 14 years.


Exercise Requirements


Because the Huntaway was developed as a herding breed, these dogs have high stamina and endurance. It has high energy levels and therefore high needs for exercise. These dogs are best for active singles or families as well as homes with a large yard or plenty of outdoor space.


The Huntaway is a small to medium-sized dog breed known for its black-and-tan coat.


AKC


The Huntaway dog breed was only recognized by the New Zealand Kennel Club (NZKC) just a few years ago in 2013 and it has yet to be recognized by the AKC.


Coat


The Huntaway is a small to medium-sized dog breed known for its black-and-tan coat. These dogs are deep-chested with well-developed muscles and a rugged appearance. They can exhibit coats of varying texture ranging from smooth and straight to rough and grizzly. Black and tan is the most common color combination, though some dogs are all-black, white, or even brindle patterned.


Puppies


The average litter size for the Huntaway breed is 5 to 7 puppies. Because these dogs are highly intelligent and trainable, it is a good idea to start them with training and socialization as early as possible to help curb the development of problem behaviors. These puppies are eager to learn and they respond well to a firm owner.


Photo credit: S Curtis/Shutterstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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