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New Zealand Huntaway – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 40 - 65 pounds
Height: 20 - 24 inches
Longevity: 14
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a New Zealand Huntaway, Dog Breed Guide


The New Zealand Huntaway is a dog breed with no official set of standards and comes in various colors, sizes, hair-coats and shapes. Breeders of this dog breed do not find all these variables important as they go for the New Zealand Huntaway dog’s ability to efficiently work.

Official Name

New Zealand Huntaway
Outside New Zealand, this dog breed is also called as the New Zealand Sheepdog.


Date – 1900s
Country – New Zealand
Family / Group – Herding, Working

Recognized By:
Dog Registry of America, Inc
New Zealand Kennel Club


The New Zealand Huntaway is a herding dog breed that originates from New Zealand and was first developed sometime during the 1900’s. Before the breed’s development, the sheepdogs that were put to work in New Zealand, all of which were imported from Britain, were all silent workers. A few of these dogs used were vocal and the locals were both intrigued and impressed with these voice-driving shepherd dogs.

An effort to selectively breed these voice-driving sheepdogs was initiated, crossing the barking sheepdogs with various breed to get the desired trait. These included hound breeds, Border Collies, Black Labradors and German Shepherds to name a few. After several years and various other crosses, the breeding development was deemed a success, producing the modern day New Zealand Huntaway dog breed that drives its flock forward using its vocal chords.

Today, they are still being bred as vocal sheep herding dogs. This breed is now being exported to the United Kingdom where it is trained to participate in various sheepdog field trials and competitions. This breeding is also gaining popularity as companion dogs.


The New Zealand Huntaway is a sheepherding dog that uses its voice to drive sheep. It is the only sheepherding dog breed that does this. They are excellent herders but will also be good with children. These are dogs that will be obedient and considered to be easy to train. The New Zealand sheepdog breed is also intelligent but it is not known to be in good terms with other non-canine pets in the family. They are herding dogs and not meant to be guard or watchdogs, displaying very friendly traits towards strangers. Naturally, they are very vocal, this breed should be trained when and when not to bark. This is easy to do as their intelligence can grasp this command.

Bred For

The New Zealand Huntaway dog breed was specifically created and selectively bred to be voice-driving sheepdogs.


The New Zealand Huntaway is one of few sheepdog breeds that can be good to have as apartment pets as long as they are sufficiently exercised by their owners.


New Zealand Huntaway requires regular grooming attention. Brushing and combing their coats should be done every day or at least three times a week. These are dogs that shed hair in average amounts.


The New Zealand Huntaway is very easy to train especially for obedience. They are also capable of being trained when and when not to back.


The New Zealand Huntaway dog breed is considered to be a fairly healthy breed.


New Zealand Huntaway dogs are naturally active and should be put to work. These are dogs that should be taken out for long and brisk walks every day.