New Zealand Heading Dog

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
New Zealand
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Maori Mastiff
Manukau Pit Bull

A brief presentation of the New Zealand Heading Dog

Alert, energetic and highly intelligent, New Zealand Heading Dogs are born to be workers and excel at controlling flocks of sheep. They are a handsome dog with a keen mind and stamina, as well as a sense of humor. They get on well with small children and other dogs and can get along with the family cat, although it helps if they've been raised with the feline. Other small animals may not be so lucky, as this dog will probably see them as prey. They can react to loud noises and are quite sensitive to noise, so a noisy family may not be the best solution for this dog. The New Zealand Heading Dog is both affectionate and a perfectionist. This dog loves to please. But they are very active and need more than just a walk a day. They need work, and lots of it, to keep them happy. Boredom will drive them to get creative and become escapist artists or develop other behavioral problems. A home with a large garden is ideal for this dog. They need a well-worked tail to be content to go home and rest. You can tell an annoyed New Zealand Heading Dog that it can start babysitting your children or strangers.

History of the New Zealand Heading Dog

The New Zealand Heading Dog is a vital part of the county's agricultural system. Farmers still use the dog with sheep and beef cattle to herd them across the vast expanses of high country and rugged terrain. At Lake Tekapo, a monument pays tribute to the working dog's contribution to the development of Mackenzie country. The New Zealand Heading Dog is descended from the Border Collie, imported from the Scottish Borders by the very first shepherds. Border Collies used to crawl while tracking sheep, but it was difficult for shepherds to see the dog. The terrain was covered with pasture and brush, making it difficult to control the dog. The New Zealand Heading Dog uses a different approach. They still look at the sheep, but they move and stand and are easier to see, both for the farmer and the sheep. They rarely bark and rely on lightning reactivity to chase sheep to safety. They are also adept at capturing and separating sheep without panicking them. The New Zealand Heading Dog has never been registered with the Kennel Club of New Zealand, which registers the pedigrees of the country's various dog breeds. However, since the breed's dogs do well in obedience tests, they have been allowed to register as spayed/neutered pedigree or working dogs since 1968. By allowing this movement, officials have managed to retain a gene record in breeding dogs. In most cases, farmers only care about the dog's ability, and the appearance of the New Zealand Heading Dog matters little.

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.

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