Huntaways Top 10 Facts

Today we will look at 10 interesting facts 
about Hunterways you need to know!
  Also known as the New Zealand Sheepdog 
or Heading Dog, the Hunterway is an agile   And powerfully built canine with exceptional 
herding abilities and incredible endurance,   Allowing them to run through the hills and 
mountains of New Zealand moving vast flocks   Of sheep and herds of cattle. Yet they are also 
an enthusiastic and lovable breed that is just   As keen to chill out on the sofa with you and 
watch TV as they are to run for hours outside.   These attractive creatures are still quite rare 
outside their home country, but their popularity   Is growing rapidly around the world, so if you 
keep a sharp eye out, you may spot one soon.
  Now on to the facts about these dogs that 
will surely leave you amazed!
  Fact number 1: They are a vital 
part of the farming system!
  These dogs were first bred for the unique 
farming conditions of New Zealand, which   Requires very hard-working dog breeds that have 
excellent stamina and plenty of self-discipline.   This is because New Zealand has the densest 
population of sheep in the whole world,   So sheepdogs have always been sought-after.   Hunterways were bred because it is often difficult 
to walk or ride in the hills and mountains of New   Zealand. This means that whistles and worded 
commands are used to communicate commands   With these dogs when they are at a distance.
What's more, traditional herding dogs such as   Border collies were often unsuited to the terrain 
due to their habit of belly crawling, which is   Challenging to do in rough pastures or scrubland. 
That's why when you see a Hunterway work, they use   A different approach and stand upright, eyeballing 
the animals, making it easier for the farmer and   The sheep or cattle to see them. Fact number 2: They're usually very healthy!
  Due to their mixed heritage New Zealand Huntaways 
are generally very healthy dogs. They have what is   Often referred to as 'crossbred vigor' and 
will live to around 12 to 14 years of age   And are fully capable of working that entire 
time. However, they're not completely immune   To hereditary diseases. Some of the most common 
ailments afflicting the breed include bone cancer   And hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also known 
to occasionally suffer from eye and ear issues.   Even so, they are far more robust than most 
breeds, even when compared to other working dogs,   So if you like the idea of avoiding vet bills, the 
Hunterway might be a breed to consider.   Fact number 3: They are natural athletes!
As we've mentioned, Hunterways are sturdy   Dogs bred to work the vast pastoral runs or 
"stations" in the high country of the South   Island. These rural areas required teams 
of dogs who could work at mustering sheep   Or cattle for many days on end and cover great 
distances on the very rough, steep country.   Moreover, these high country stations typically 
cover many thousands of acres and are often   Unfenced. This means farmers need a tough dog 
with the endurance to get up every day and run for  

Hours without tiring. This is one of the reasons 
they are so much larger than other herding breeds;   Their long legs and thick compact muscles 
allow them to just keep going. Their   Incredible stamina also means they make great 
companions for those with active lifestyles,   And they'll happily bound alongside you while 
up on the most demanding hiking trails.
  Fact number 4: They have an 
ambiguous breed history!
  They are essentially a crossbreed between Border 
Collies, German Shepherds, British sheepdogs,   Rough Scottish Collies, Labradors, and 
Rottweilers. However, there are likely a lot of   Other breeds in the mix, including some genes from 
the ancestral Polynesian dogs brought over by the   Māori people, the first settlers of New Zealand. While its exact origin is technically unknown,   The first known written record of the Huntaway 
appeared in 1870 in the region of Upper Waitaki,   Where a sheepdog trial was known 
to have its own Huntaway class.   What's more, in 1884, in the Otago 
Daily Times newspaper, there were   Also advertisements featuring the breed.
From this, we can conclude that the breed   Dates from about the late 19th century. Yet it 
is worth noting that Hunterways are distinguished   Only on their working ability. Much like 
Border Collies and Jack Russells, there is   Actually no prescribed appearance or lineage. In fact, only dogs that win at trials can even   Be registered by the New Zealand Sheep 
Dog Trial Association in their studbook.   And, it was not until 2013 that the New 
Zealand Kennel Club recognized the Huntaway.
  Furthermore, as they have no uniform 
appearance and breed standard,   Hunterways come in various colors, sizes, 
conformations, and coat types. Generally,   Though, the Hunterway is simply seen as a talented 
and robust breed known for its athletic body,   Hard-working personality, and beautiful 
black-brown fur, which sometimes has a white   Coat color and brindle. This means that while 
they are a distinct breed in their own right,   There is no standard look, but once you see them 
work, you will be sure you have a Hunterway on   Your hands!
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Fact number 5: They make pretty good pets too!
  The Huntaway is an incredibly intelligent, 
loyal, and easy-to-train breed, yet they do   Have a streak of independence that comes 
from their natural herding instinct.   They are very highly motivated and active 
dogs but are also friendly and quite gentle   By nature. Hunterways tend to be good with 
children and are both kind and protective.   While they can make ideal family pets, 
they tend to 'herd' their family members,  

Including other pets, to get them to do 
what they want. This tendency, though,   Can be overcome with proper socializing and 
training. They also make great companions for   Children and will tolerate rough play to a certain 
point. Eager to learn, the Huntaway is keen,   Responsive, loyal, and affectionate and can be 
a good fit for active households.
  Fact number 6: They are a low-maintenance breed!
Huntaways pretty much look after themselves,   Which is a handy trait, especially if they 
are farm dogs. They rarely need a bath or   Much in the way of grooming, although 
a good rub down with a soft, damp cloth   May be required to remove any dirt or dust.
If they do start to smell a bit, then it is time   For a wash or at least a good dip in the river. As with all dogs, it's important to ensure you   Protect the natural oil on the Huntaway's skin, so 
aggressive soaps are not advised. This oil is what   Gives this dog the ability to withstand harsh 
climate changes when they are out and about.
  Moreover, these dogs are healthy and tough. 
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 twice a week, and trim 
their nails if they haven't worn them down.   All in all, they're a very easy breed 
to care for, making them perfect   For a variety of households.
Fact number 7: They're big softies at heart!
  The New Zealand Huntaway may have been bred 
as an independent, capable working dog, but   That doesn't mean they're all work and no play. 
Underneath the hard-working exterior is a soft,   Gentle-natured dog who loves nothing more than 
cuddling up to their owner on the sofa. They'll   Typically bond with one family member in 
particular but will still have plenty of   Love left to give everyone else. Their gentle 
natures make them easy-going companions to   Both children and pets, although their herding 
instincts might make the family cat think twice   About making friends. Their friendliness with 
strangers makes them less than ideal guard dogs,   Although their deep bark will give most 
intruders pause for thought. Smart, hard-working,   And irrepressibly happy-go-lucky, they make 
excellent family dogs.
  Fact number 8: They are 
intelligent but willful!   Due to being bred for independence, Hunterways 
are very intelligent but can also be stubborn   And like to do their own thing. Whilst all 
puppies need to be trained, the Huntaway needs   It more than most. This breed is born to work and 
will need clear and firm guidance from day one.
  They are adorable puppies, but if you allow them 
to get away with certain things as youngsters,   They will be very hard to 
train as they get older.
  It is generally advised that their training 
begins immediately and if you are inexperienced,   They should go to classes as soon as 
they have had all their vaccinations;   This way, you will be able to set clear 
boundaries that will help them to thrive.

As we mentioned, they are very 
intelligent dogs and do respond well   To praise and treats. If you praise 
them when they get something right,   They will be keen to learn a 
new trick to get more praise.
  However, they do not respond well to negative 
affirmations and will often deliberately ignore   Or disobey you if you are too heavy-handed with 
them. But if you respect them, they will respect   You. The best training for Hunterways comes 
in short, sharp bursts and finishes on a high,   Leaving them wanting more. Whether you want 
to herd 2 thousand sheep, play at home,   Or enter an agility trial, the trainability of 
Hunterways makes them a great choice.   ===
What's your favorite fact about Hunterways?   Let us know in the comments, and share 
your thoughts with other enthusiasts!
Fact number 9:   They can bark with the best of them!
These dogs were mainly bred to use their loud,   Deep bark for sheep-herding tasks and 
to patrol the country's vast terrains.   We can say that the breeding goal was successful 
because even if the Huntaway is miles away,   The steady barking can still be heard. One of 
the primary aims of this powerful bark is to   Direct the herds. Remember that New Zealand is 
a land of mountains, rolling hills, and glacial   River valleys. There are very few small fenced 
fields, meaning sheep will often only be moved   Once or twice per year in their thousands. So the Hunterway needs to be able to control   As much of the flock at once as possible.
The ability to bark on command makes them   Invaluable, as they can completely stop hundreds 
of animals in their tracks with a single bark.
  Unlike many barking breeds, they will 
usually only bark when working; in fact,   It's perfectly possible that they may never 
bark at all if trained, and owners often have   Separate commands for home and herding use. The command "Speak Up" is most often used when   The farmer needs their Hunterway to bark and get 
sheep and cattle moving, change their direction,   Or prevent an animal from breaking away from 
the herd or flock. It's an incredibly useful   Ability and one that has long been prized 
by the farmers of New Zealand.   Fact number 10: There's a 
monument to their usefulness!
  In a small town on the south island of New 
Zealand, the people of Hunterville have long   Recognized that the handling of sheep and cattle 
on the farms in the district would be almost   Impossible in the early years without Huntaways. Picture high steep hills covered in burnt stumps   And logs and paddocks covering hundreds of 
acres or larger. In addition to mobs of sheep   Numbering in their thousands, which all had to 
be mustered for shearing. It was the shepherd   On a good horse and his team of dogs, most 
of them Huntaways, that got the job done.
  Success in droving these huge flocks was entirely 
dependent on the Huntaway and in many areas still  

Is. Most of today's Huntaways are an all-purpose 
dog on which farmers can depend. One shepherd with   A good team of dogs can do the work of several 
people without dogs. This means Hunterways, as a   Breed, have indirectly contributed to the wealth 
of their district over the past century or so.
  That is why the town decided to create 
what we think is a brilliant and very   Fitting tribute to the Farmers' best 
friend: the amazing New Zealand Huntaway!

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