Skip to content

New Zealand Huntaway

New Zealand’s only recognised unique dog breed


The New Zealand Huntaway was first bred around the early 1900’s to work in NZ’s specific sheep farming terrain and climate. As New Zealand’s sheep population grew and the size of individual flocks increased, farmers soon realised that traditional working dogs like Border Collies were less able to cope with the mild, moist climate and the size of the farms. With the shepherd often far behind the dog, the silent working method of the collie made it difficult for the shepherd to manage the flock and keep track of the dog so they looked for a dog with a short haired coat, greater stamina and the ability to bark to control the flock. Other breeds were introduced to the collies and the desired traits in the offspring were bred on to produce the resulting Huntaway breed type. The New Zealand Huntaway is possibly the result of selective breeding between the Border Collie, Bearded Collie, Labrador, Rottweiler, Harrier, Gordon Setter and Smithfield Collie although the exact origins are unknown. The New Zealand Huntaway is first and foremost a working breed, selected solely for its ability to tirelessly work stock day in and day out, but are also much loved pets.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE

OTHER NAMES – New Zealand Sheepdog, Huntaway, NZ Huntaway


The New Zealand 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. 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. Eager to learn, the New Zealand Huntaway is keen and responsive, loyal and affectionate. These hardworking dogs like to be given a job to do which means they are better suited to people who lead active, outdoor lives and who need a loyal and devoted canine companion at their side.


This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources

PURPOSE BRED FORFlock Herding, Companion
TEMPERAMENTIntelligent, Loyal, Loving
EXERCISE NEEDED1-2 hours per day
HEIGHT – MALE61-66 cm / 24-26 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE56-61 cm / 22-24 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPEVarious – see breed standard link


  • They may try to ‘herd’ the family pet cat which will probably annoy kitty immensely, but it is harmless and just something this dog will do.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • New Zealand Huntaways are rarely seen outside of it’s native country.
  • NZ Huntaways coats vary but black and tan and tricolour are most popular.


This information is taken from the kennel club of New Zealand – Dogs New Zealand and other reliable sources. Click the button below to view more information on Dogs New Zealand website (then click on details on the right hand column of that page)


Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow


Here’s a video about New Zealand Huntaways, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed and subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:

Thanks for reading!

1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: