Huntaway

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55-77 lbs
22-24"
New Zealand
New Zealand Sheepdog

The Huntaway has been bred to be a working dog, and are known for their herding ability. This breed is suited perfectly to the New Zealand farming conditions, which requires a dog to have great stamina and plenty of self discipline. The Huntaway is very intelligent, loyal and easy to train, although they do have a streak of independence that comes with the herding instinct. They are a highly motivated and active dog but are friendly and gentle by nature. Good with children, they are kind and protective. Although they make ideal family pets, they do tend to 'herd' their family members including other non canine pets to get them to do what they want them to do. This tendency, though, can be overcome with proper socialising and training. A gorgeous black and tan coat and floppy ears give this dog instant appeal. Combine that with soft dark eyes and happy nature and the Huntaway is hard to resist. They are a hardy breed with few health problems but have a lot of energy. Therefore, they require quite a bit of exercising. A good run each day and plenty of family games will benefit this dog. They make great buddies for children and will tolerate rough play to a certain point. Like any dog, it pays not to push your luck, or you will be rebuked. Eager to learn, the Huntaway is keen and responsive, loyal and affectionate.

Purpose
Working, Hunting, Companion
Date of Origin
1900's
Ancestry
Collies, English Hound, Old English Sheepdogs, Labrador

Huntaway Health

Average Size
Male Huntaway size stats
Height: 24-26 inches Weight: 65-88 lbs
Female Huntaway size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 55-77 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Bone Cancer
Minor Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Ear Health and Infection
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Full Physical Examination

Huntaway Breed History

The Huntaway was bred during the early 1900's with a specific goal in mind - to produce a strong, agile dog capable of rounding up massive flocks of sheep in the farm terrain of New Zealand. Many farms were large and the farmer often lagged behind his dogs, so the quiet method of communicating with your dog didn't work. The Huntaway was bred to have a loud deep bark that, combined with the dog's herding skills, controlled the flock and directed them to where they needed to go. The bark of the dog could be heard miles away, enabling the farmer to know where the flock was and what was happening.  There were several breeds used to produce this new breed, some of which included the Border Collies who found the mild, moist climate of New Zealand and the size of the farm too much to handle. Selective breeding with a range of dog breeds resulted in a large, strong dog who could handle working in a pack or on their own, in wild tracts of land with varying climate extremes. A temperate climate ensured there was always plenty of green grass, and sheep flocks grew considerably during the 1900's. The Huntaway proved they were the dog for the job and became part of the heritage of the country. Special day events were developed to showcase the Huntaway at sheep-herding trials; these events were known as 'huntaways', which gave the dog their name. The Huntaway is recognised by The New Zealand  Kennel Club (2013) yet is still waiting for recognition from the American Kennel Club as a 'true breed'. The dog varies in size and coat type (long hair and short haired), but they never vary in unique voice and ability to control and move livestock with occasional commands from the master via whistles or verbal commands.

Huntaway Breed Appearance

The Huntaway dog  is an attractive pooch, adorable as a puppy, and a solid, muscular dog when mature. They stand about 24 inches in height and can vary in weight depending on their region. Most dogs have well proportioned bodies that are longer than they are in height. Their legs are medium in length, ending in tough, well padded paws that cope admirably with the rugged terrain of New Zealand. A deep chest gives them the stamina they need, while the dense muscled, yet elegant body allows them to run, change direction and control a large flock of animals. Their tails are long and held at mid height unless when working when they may hold it low to let the sheep know who the boss is! The head is blocky in shape, with a long muzzle and black nose. Their ears are long and fold over although they hold them out from their head when alert. The eyes are round and deep in color, but with a lively, inquisitive look. The Huntaway is usually black and tan but can vary with the addition of white, or can be brindle in color. Short, dense fur with some fringing around the chest and on the tail, is often seen. A vision to behold, the Huntaway is in a class of their own.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Huntaway eyes
Brown
amber Huntaway eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Huntaway nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
brown Huntaway coat
Brown
black Huntaway coat
Black
pied Huntaway coat
Pied
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Huntaway wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Huntaway Breed Maintenance

The Huntaway almost looks after themselves, especially if they are a farm dog. They rarely need a bath, although a good rub down with a soft damp cloth will remove any dirt or dust. If they do start to smell a bit 'doggie', then it is time for a wash. Ensure you use special dog shampoo and soaps to protect the natural oil on the Huntaway's skin. This oil is what gives this dog the ability to withstand the climate changes when they are out and about. These dogs are healthy tough dogs who don't seem to have many health issues. Usually any health problem is caused by work. But like most dogs, it is advisable to check out those folded ears for any infection, brush their teeth two or three times per week, and trim their nails if they haven't worn them down themselves. A good weekly brushing will take care of any shedding, and in summer months they may shed quite a lot. Usually this is one dog that needs little attention in the maintenance department, although they thrive on affection and a cuddle and once their energy is spent, they will love to snuggle up with you.

Brushes for Huntaway
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Huntaway requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Huntaway Temperament

While the Huntaway dog does have an independent streak which is needed when out on the farm and controlling sheep, they do have a soft gentle nature around the family and home. Your kids will always have a buddy to play their games, and the Huntaway gets on with non canine pets. They may try to 'herd' the cat which will probably annoy kitty immensely, but it is harmless and just something this dog will do. The Huntaway responds well to training, always eager to please their master. They do tend to bond closely with one member of the family, often their master, but they are still friendly and affectionate with other members. Gentle and happy by nature, they are also smart and hard working. Kind and friendly with strangers, they are not the greatest guard dog, although that loud deep bark alone would frighten away most intruders. Their voice is a great asset when roaming the meadows and slopes, directing their charges and keeping in contact with their master. At home they are well behaved and quiet, only giving a few warning barks if someone approaches. The Huntaway is a lovely natured and good looking dog, who deserves their place in the history of New Zealand.

Huntaway Activity Requirements

If your Huntaway is a companion dog, they will need a walk or two each day to keep them a happy dog, as they have a lot of energy. They have been bred to work, so games that challenge their abilities are welcomed. The Huntaway does well in an active family, and the children will always have someone to join in their games. While training will not eradicate that deep penetrating voice, the dog will respond to 'stop barking on command' orders. The Huntaway responds well to training and enjoys the challenge of learning something new. This dog is best for a family with a large fenced yard, but ideally, a country setting is preferred. Apartments are not really for the Huntaway; they have too much energy and need a good deal of space to be happy. Once they are tired, they will happily accept an invitation to snuggle and bond.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
80 minutes

Huntaway Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Huntaway Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Huntaway size stats at six months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 16 lbs
Female Huntaway size stats at six months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 12 lbs
12 Months
Male Huntaway size stats at 12 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 30 lbs
Female Huntaway size stats at 12 months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 25 lbs
18 Months
Male Huntaway size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 77 lbs
Female Huntaway size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 66 lbs

Huntaway Owner Experiences

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