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Huntaway Home country: New Zealand

Original Name: New Zealand Sheepdog
Huntaway adult - coat 30
The New Zealand Huntaway or New Zealand Collie is a rustic and hardworking dog, intelligent and dynamic, but still very obedient. It is a really lovable working dog, but it cannot be considered to be a pet dog, because it needs to work in order to feel fulfilled: it is generally used to watch over herds of sheep.



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Huntaway adult - coat 30

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The Huntaway, also known as the New Zealand Sheepdog, is a large, strong and well-built breed of dog used mainly for sheep herding in New Zealand, where the breed originates. The Huntaway breed earned its name because it is mainly used for driving sheep away from the shepherd. The breed also had special events developed for these dogs at sheep-herding trials, which were also referred to as ‘Huntaways’, which played a part also in giving the breed its name.

There are more sheep per human in New Zealand, about 45 million. Having so many sheep required a special type of dog to control them, which is why the Huntaway breed was developed. It is said to have been developed by cross-breeding the Border Collie with other breeds, including the Irish Setter, English Hound, Old English Sheepdog and Labrador over the last 100 years.

Huntaways are bigger than the traditional Border collie, and they aren’t always considered pretty or attractive, as they were bred to be working dogs rather than show dogs. Their coats are mostly black and tan with some white. Their coats can also come in varying textures such as smooth, grizzly or rough, and most Huntaway dogs have floppy ears.

The Huntaway breed is extraordinarily smart, therefore being a very trainable dog. It learns to gather the herd and follows behind it. They can also be trained when to back and when not to bark, which is not a difficult thing to do due to the dog being very smart. Owners using the Huntaway to herd sheep generally train the Huntaway to only bark when working. Some have even developed commands to herd with barking or to herd without barking.

According to breeders, Huntaways will whelp around 6-12 puppies in a litter. Puppies with different coat textures can be found in the same litter. Unfortunately, the Huntaway is not registered with the New Zealand Kennel Club. There is also no formal pedigree system in operation.

Huntaways are considered working dogs rather than house pet, as they can be a noisy breed. However, some people have been known to own a Huntaway or semi-huntaway breed as a house pet, although unfortunately it is because the dog has been abandoned or is unable to perform herding abilities.
This text was written by IchiRuki
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