New Zealand Huntaway

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group:     Type: Pure Breed    Talent: ,


Size: Large     Weight: 40-85 lbs depending on size     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Black & Brown, Black & White, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled


Life Expectancy: 12-14 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The New Zealand Huntaway (also called New Zealand Sheepdog) is a large herding dog originating in New Zealand some 100 years back. This strongly built dog was developed in 20th century by crossing relatively quiet British Sheepdogs with Black Labradors, Hound, Border Collies and German Shepherds to develop barking trait when the dog herded the sheep. The resulting New Zealand Huntaways have loud, deep bark that they so effectively use to herd small to large flock of sheep. The need for a herding dog with a loud bark arose when the flock of sheep grew to massive sizes due to favorable conditions for sheep. As the flocks grew bigger and bigger, the imported English Sheepdogs began to tire in warm weather, lacked stamina and their silent nature meant that the shepherd never knew where its dogs were. So the need for a stronger dog with loud bark grew stronger. Thus the New Zealand Huntaway was born with lots of stamina, excellent herding skills and most importantly, a loud bark. This excellent herding dog has now become an integral part of New Zealand herding heritage.

Since it is bred for its herding skills and not for its appearance, this breed appears in varied sizes, shapes and colours. This dog stands between 20-24 inches and weighs between 40-85 lbs. It has orange-brown, blue, brown or one brown and one blue eye. Ears are half folded and set wide apart. Thick and long tail is held erect. There are two coat varieties, long haired is often referred to as "Beardies", the other is short haired that is more commonly seen. Any colour and pattern is acceptable for this dog.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC or any other major kennel club.


Though any coloring is acceptable, these dogs usually come in black or black and tan. Occasionally, though, there are some specimens of the New Zealand Huntaway that are brindle or white in color.


Their coats come in different textures; they can be smooth, rough, or grizzly


After gaining an important place as an exceptional herding dog in New Zealand and other countries, the New Zealand Huntaway is also being used as a family companion due to its even temperament and easy going nature. This intelligent dog is obedient, docile and very trainable without being stubborn. It is very gentle and playful with children and gets along very well with other dogs and pets in the family. Usually considered one man's dog, it is friendly with its family and even strangers. Its friendly nature makes it a poor watch and guard dog though. The New Zealand Huntaway is a hard working and tireless worker with high levels of energy. It can herd all types of flocks in all sorts of different conditions. The dog is bred to herd by barking and so training is a must to teach the dog not to bark when not herding the sheep. This excellent herding dog also makes an excellent family companion with its exceptional temperament.


This breed has an easy to maintain coat that requires only occasional brushing once or twice a week. The dog should be bathed when necessary.


The New Zealand Huntaway is among those dog breeds that are very easy to train. Despite a working dog back ground and high levels of intelligence, this very tractable dog can be taught to follow almost any command that its master has time to teach it. Though this breed is an excessive barker, it can be taught to use its bark only during working.


This highly energetic breed will need lots of exercise. This dog is used to working every day and has high energy levels that need to be taken care of. A daily long walk as well as plenty of playing time in a large open space is a must for this dog.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x