Appearance of the New Zealand Heading Dog
|The New Zealand Heading Dog is a long-legged dog that is quick and very alert. They can vary in appearance, even between dogs of the same litter, and are bred for ease of work rather than simple looks. However, the New Zealand Heading Dog is an attractive dog with a gentle, friendly expression and a willingness to please nature. Their body is long and lean, with a deep chest and strong neck. Their face is long and pointed, with a neat muzzle and teeth that meet in a scissor bite. They have black noses and their ears are set high on their heads and hang close to their faces. Their coat is shorter to cope with local weather conditions. Colors are usually black and white, but these dogs can also be tan. Sometimes they have a bit of feathering around the neck, but again, this can vary between dogs. Built like an athlete, they are robust, intelligent dogs.
Temperament of the New Zealand Heading Dog
|New Zealand Heading Dogs can be trained to a high level, as they are highly intelligent and ready to please. They use their eyes and quick movements to control large flocks of sheep, and excel in endurance and high work ethic. Born to work, this dog has a ton of energy he needs to use, or he can get bored and into trouble. This dog can be quite sensitive in the wild and should be well socialized as a puppy. When young, they can be quite shy, so taking them to mix with other dogs and people will help break this tendency. The New Zealand Heading Dog needs a strong leader who is consistent in his management. As an intelligent dog, this puppy needs things to occupy his busy mind. Without a strong leader, this dog may try to take over. Therefore, they need to stay in line in a firm but fair manner. This dog is great with children, although too much noise can be stressful for the dog. But they love to play and certainly have the energy to play as many games as your family can imagine. This dog loves your company and thrives on human interaction. Other dogs are readily accepted, as is the family cat if they're raised alongside it. But other small animals won't be so well tolerated. Born in the herd, you may even catch them raising your children or strangers. Careful management and loving care will bring out the best in this unique and much-loved herding dog.
Needs and activities of the New Zealand Heading Dog
|The New Zealand Heading Dog is not a pet to consider if you have little time to spend with it, or if you live in a house with a small garden. These dogs are born to work, and even a walk each day won't exhaust their abundant energy. They are adapted to the country lifestyle, preferably a sheep farm or a farm where they can herd their flocks as they please. They make good racing companions and excel in agility and trial events. Intelligent, they need mental and physical stimulation to stay happy. Sleeping in the sun is unheard of in this dog's nature, and they're ready for action. They love to be with their family when they're not working, and always enjoy a game or two. Fast, able to change direction instantly, they are flexible and true athletes of the canine world. They have incredible stamina, so think carefully about their needs before acquiring one, as a bored New Zealand Heading Dog can become a problem.
Maintenance of the New Zealand Heading Dog
|Maintenance is relatively easy for the New Zealand Heading Dog, with just a good brushing required every week to remove any loose hairs. This dog only needs to be bathed about three times a year. We recommend using a mild dog shampoo to protect the natural oils in his coat. These oils help them to withstand the variety of weather conditions in which they work. Start by training puppies to get used to having their teeth brushed to facilitate dental care. They'll need to have their teeth brushed at least three times a week. Ears should also be checked to make sure there's no infection inside. If your dog smells bad around the ears, you can be sure that his ears are infected. Trim your dog's nails if necessary, and also check their coat for fleas and parasites if they spend a lot of time in the countryside. Apart from these basics, the New Zealand Heading Dog is ready for another round of work and play.