The Heading dog is a medium to large sized dog breed with long legs and athletic body. They were never bred for appearance, which means they can vary quite a bit in their looks, but it is generally very atractive dog breed with long body, strong neck and deep chest.
The face should be pointed with ears that are set high on the head and hangs down, black muzzle and brown or amber colored eyes with gentle and alert expression.
The Heading dog has relatively short, straight and smooth coat and they most commonly come in black and white color, but they may also be tan colored.
And what about the size? Well, the height is typically between 20-24 inch, which is 50-60 cm and weight between 55-66 lbs, which is 24-30 kg. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
I guess it will not be surprising, that these dogs are energetic workaholics. Their personality is mostly influenced by their purpose, which is to control large flocks of sheeps in rugged terrain of New Zealand. And indeed, they are just perfect for this utilization. The Heading Dog is very quick, but also endurant, they can work all day long. They are specifically bred to work on farms to circle sheeps and other cattle. They control the livestock with a strong eye, nipping, barking and by their movement.
These dogs are adaptable, independent and very very intelligent, which is extremely important to be good at their job. They have high work ethic and they are absolutely determined when they are working.
But of course, just like every single dog breed in the world, even the New Zealand Heading dog can make amazing companion. Of course, they are suitable only for active people and families, for those who can deal with their energy. They need daily outdoor walks, hikes, jogs and vigorous playtime to stay healthy and happy.
But if they are provided with enough exercise, than the Heading dog is very playful, loving and affectionate dog breed. This breed is definitely fun to be around. They are pretty sensitive in nature and they thrive for attention from their owners. They can live with other dogs or pets if socialized together from the puppyhood and they are also okay playful partners for older kids.
Of course, it is much much better for them to live in47 a house with big yard, as they were never intended to be household indoor pets. So yes, these dogs can definitely make good companions, but they are not for everyone.
The New Zealand Heading dog is a direct descendant of scottish Border Collies, brought to New Zealand by early settlers. These Border Collies were crossed with various, mostly shorter haired dog breed of New Zealand, that were better suited for working in local environment. One of the dogs that was possibly crossed with the Border Collie is Huntaway.
Health and grooming
The Heading dog is pretty easy to groom and easy to take care of dog breed. They do shed and it is always good idea to regularly brush the coat to remove all the dead and loose hair and to redistribute natural oils all over the coat, but no other grooming is necessary. Just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
There are no scientific studies about the breeds health, but it should be very healthy and hardy dog breed. But of course they can suffer from the typical doggy health problems, like ear infections, eye problems or some allergies. The average lifespan is around 13 or 14 years.
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