Huntaway dog


Huntaway Dog: The Ultimate Sheepdog

For farmers and ranchers in New Zealand, the Huntaway dog is the ultimate sheepdog. This breed has been a trusted partner in farming for over a century, thanks to their intelligence, physical prowess, and impressive work ethic. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of the Huntaway dog, exploring their unique breed characteristics, intelligence, size, child-friendliness, exercise and grooming needs, and lifespan.

Huntaway Dog History

The Huntaway dog is a product of New Zealand’s harsh terrain and rugged landscape. These dogs were bred to manage large flocks of sheep that roam the country’s vast grassy plains. The breed was created by crossbreeding various dogs, including Scottish Collies, Border Collies, Collie-Welsh Sheepdogs, and Bearded Collies.

The objective was to create a breed that was tough, hardy, intelligent, and persistent – traits that are necessary in managing large flock sizes in rugged terrain. The breed’s success was immediate, and they continue to be an invaluable asset to New Zealand’s agriculture industry to this day.

Huntaway Dog Breed Characteristics

The Huntaway dog is a large and powerful breed, with a muscular and robust frame designed to tackle the rough terrain of New Zealand. They stand at 50-60 cm and can weigh between 25-45 kg. This breed often has a black and tan coat, although they can also come in various shades of brindle, grey-brown, and white.

Huntaway dogs are known for their distinctive bark, which is a deep and throaty tone that echoes throughout the valleys. This bark serves as a warning to sheep that they are being herded, and it is also useful in communicating with other dogs in the pack.

Huntaway Dog Intelligence

Huntaway dogs are highly intelligent and possess an excellent work ethic. They are independent thinkers and problem-solvers, which makes them perfect for managing large flocks without human supervision. In addition to their intelligence, they are also highly trainable and eager to learn new tasks.

Huntaway Dog Child Friendly

Huntaway dogs are generally very friendly and affectionate towards people, including children. They have gentle natures and are patient with children. However, as with all dog breeds, it is essential to supervise interactions between dogs and children to prevent accidents.

Huntaway Dog Health Needs

Huntaway dogs are a relatively healthy breed with no major health concerns. However, they are prone to hip dysplasia, a common condition that affects many large dog breeds. It is recommended that Huntaway dogs have regular health checks to detect any health issues, and owners should ensure that their dogs receive a healthy and balanced diet to maintain good health.

Huntaway Dog Grooming Needs

Huntaway dogs require minimal grooming. Their thick double coat sheds naturally, and regular brushing should be sufficient to keep their coat clean and healthy. It is recommended that their nails are regularly trimmed to prevent overgrowth.

Huntaway Dog Amount Of Shedding

Huntaway dogs have a thick double coat that naturally sheds throughout the year. They require seasonal grooming to help manage shedding and keep their coat healthy. Regular brushing can also help reduce shedding and keep their coat looking and feeling great.

Huntaway Dog Trainability

Huntaway dogs are highly trainable and eager to please. They are obedient and will learn commands quickly with proper training. Their intelligence and problem-solving skills also make them a suitable candidate for advanced training, such as agility and obedience trials.

Huntaway Dog Exercise Needs

Huntaway dogs are highly active and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy long walks, jogs, or hikes with their owners and require plenty of outdoor space to play and run around. They are also perfect for agility training or other tasks that require physical exertion.

Huntaway Dog Average Lifespan

Huntaway dogs have an average lifespan of 12-14 years, which is typical for a large dog breed. Owners should ensure their dogs receive regular veterinary check-ups and maintain a healthy lifestyle to maximize their lifespan.


In conclusion, Huntaway dogs are a fascinating breed that has contributed significantly to New Zealand’s farming industry. This breed is a perfect combination of intelligence, physical prowess, and hardworking character, making them an excellent choice for families and farms alike. They are highly trainable, child-friendly, and require minimal grooming. Overall, a Huntaway dog is a great addition to any home or farm, providing a loyal and hardworking companion for many years to come.