South Russian Ovcharka vs Huntaway - Breed Comparison

South Russian Ovcharka is originated from Russia but Huntaway is originated from New Zealand. Both South Russian Ovcharka and Huntaway are of same height. South Russian Ovcharka may weigh 6 kg / 14 pounds more than Huntaway. South Russian Ovcharka may live 3 years less than Huntaway. Both South Russian Ovcharka and Huntaway has almost same litter size. South Russian Ovcharka requires Moderate maintenance. But Huntaway requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Origin:
Russia
New Zealand
Height Male:
62 - 66 cm
24 - 26 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
62 - 66 cm
24 - 26 inches
52 - 62 cm
20 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
46 - 52 kg
101 - 115 pounds
25 - 46 kg
55 - 102 pounds
Weight Female:
46 - 52 kg
101 - 115 pounds
20 - 35 kg
44 - 78 pounds
Life Span:
9 - 11 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 5
5 - 7
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
or South Russian Sheepdog, Ukrainian Shepherd Dog
New Zealand Huntaway, New Zealand Sheepdog
Colors Available:
cream, greyish, yellowish, White
commonly black and tan, tricolour, variable
Coat:
Long, thick, coarse, wavy
smooth or rough
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Courageous, Energetic, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Playful, Responsive, Sweet
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

south russian ovcharkaKnown also as the South Russian Sheepdog or the Ukranian Shepherd Dog, the South Russian Ovcharka’s history isn’t well established, and there are different stories to its history.

Whatever their history, this large dog is closely related to the wolf and has also been crossed with sight hound dogs. Their numbers have been under threat when their role as herding dog was no longer needed for rural life.

It was in the 1920s however that the breed’s numbers were restored and the UKC officially recognised the South Russian Ovcharka in 1996.

These dogs are classified within the Herding Dog Group.

The Huntaway or New Zealand Huntaway is a herding dog that originated in the New Zealand sheep country. Their main purpose is to drive sheep and they are not an old breed. They were developed late in the 19th century for their working skills. The only real criteria was that they were black and tan. A dog must win a trial in order to be placed in the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association studbook. They drive sheep mainly through their deep, loud voice.

In the New Zealand high country there was a need for a working dog with stamina, agility and intelligence to work the sheep as a drover (herder). The dog had to be able to handle rough, steep land and work with very large groups of sheep. The sheer area of land that the sheep graze and the dog would have to cover, demanded that this dog have stamina and strength to cover large pasture land and work for days if necessary. Before this the shepherds had used British sheepdogs but they preferred dogs that barked while working. So they bred the British Sheepdogs with Collies, Border Collies, Labrador, Rottweiler, Doberman and other barking sheepdogs to create the Huntaway. In addition to the bark, they bred for stamina and size.

They were participating in field trails in 1870 and ads for them were seen in newspapers by 1884. They became a separate breed in the 20th century. Today they are spreading around the world and are becoming very popular. It is not recommended that they be kept as pets however, since they are true working dogs.

Description

south russian ovcharka puppyA large, big boned, well muscled herding dog, the South Russian Ovcharka stands at between 62 and 66cm in height and weighs between 46 and 52kg.

The dog has a thick, fairly coarse, weather-proof coat that can become long and this coat has always protected them from the harsh Russian winters.

He has small, floppy ears and the tail is medium length and also covered in thick fur.

Temperament:

These dogs need a lot of exercise and if you keep one as a pet he will need a lot of space to run and play. He guards his property too and makes a good watchdog.

He isn’t suited to living in small spaces in the city. He is a dominant, independent and strong willed dog so training and socialization will be important if you don’t want him to be unruly.

With the right kind of training, the South Russian Ovcharka can get along with pets and children in the home. He isn’t aggressive but he has strong guardian characteristics.

The first time dog owner would need to be firm, strong, confident, consistent and kind to handle this strong willed dog.

The Huntaway is a large dog with a deep chest and a black and tan coat. They are strong, big and muscular with voices to match. They herd, head, work the sheep in pastures and force them into pens. They are bred to have that big authoritative, deep bark. They do not yap. Their bodies are well proportioned but longer than high. They have well - padded feet and a deep chest for stamina, along with strong legs and body that allows them to run fast and change directions at will.

The tail of a Huntaway if long, while their heads are shaped like blocks while the muzzle is long and the nose is black. They have dark, round eyes and long ears. An unusually attractive dog, they have dense fur with fringe on the tail and chest. There is characteristics a very large variety in the in the way the breed looks from one dog to the next. Thus they do not participate in confirmation events, as the standard is based on working characteristics rather than appearance guidelines. They are more a “class” than a “breed”.

Health Problems

south russian ovcharka dogThis large breed has a lifespan of 9 to 11 years. Some of the health conditions to which this big dog can succumb are -

Hip Dysplasia:

This is something that affects many dogs, but particularly large dogs. When the hips haven’t formed properly, it can lead to pain, disability and arthritis.Lifestyle changes can help, like making sure your dog doesn’t pick up too much weight. For pain management you will need to get your pet to the vet.

Bloat:

Also known as Gastric Dilatation. The dog’s stomach fills with gas and can twist, and this in itself can be fatal. As soon as you see your pet pacing restlessly and he has a swollen stomach, he will need to get to the vet just as soon as possible.

The Huntaway is a pretty healthy breed, developed as it was from the sheepdogs and collies. They still face some inherited issues such as:

  • Hip dysplasia – can cause lameness and arthritis
  • Cancer of bone – life threatening
  • Ear Infections – long eared dogs are prone to infections
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IIIA (MPS IIIA) – rare metabolic issue can cause neurological problems.
  • Dilated Caridomyopathy (DCM) – enlarged heart can cause heart failure

Caring The Pet

south russian ovcharka puppiesThe long coat is certainly going to need a good brush at least twice a week as it can so easily become matted.

Because he has floppy ears, you will need to check inside the ears that they aren’t showing signs of redness, indicating the possibility of a ear infection. Check at the same time for ticks and fleas.

Exercise:

This dog is going to need a good deal of exercise to keep him content. He will love a long walk out and about. Robust games will also need to be provided. It’s why he isn’t looked upon as a dog suited to the city. He needs a lot of space and can become frustrated and destructive if his exercise needs aren’t met.

Diet:

A dog is part of the family and he therefore deserves a good meal too. Good food is beneficial as it means your dog is less likely to get sick.

Like many dog owners, you’ll no doubt appreciate the convenience of commercially manufactured dog foods. You’ll need to choose the best one though because the inferior ones are made up of bad ingredients – fillers that have no goodness whatsoever.

To provide your South Russian Ovcharka with a tasty treat, try and give him some home-made food. Boiled chicken, rice or pasta, sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach are simple and tasty and won’t trouble your dog’s stomach.

Chop some of it up and add a small portion of this into his dry kibble twice a week. Your dog’s wagging tail will tell you how much he loves it.

To avoid skin infections, try to include some raw meat into his diet too when you can. Make sure your dog has a constant supply of fresh, cool water.

Feeding the Puppy

If you are not using your Huntaway to herd, then feed a medium formula not a high protein, high calorie formula. Feed 3-4 times a day and 1-2 cups.

Feeding the adult

3 cups per day feeding twice a day high quality medium calorie food.

Points for Good Health

Exceptional stamina

Games and Exercises

This herding breed has a great need of mental and physical stimulation. They were born to herd and to do so over vast tracts of land in challenging conditions. They need to be challenged. They need daily exercise at a very high level. A Run them every day or take them on a couple of long walks. They will excel in field trials, Barnhunt, agility and rescue. They love to learn.

Characteristics

south russian ovcharka dogsThe South Russian Ovcharka may well be independent and strong headed but there is nothing that a little bit of training and socialization can’t do.

He is intelligent and will pick up some obedience commands easily. He is is dog that will like a strong, firm, consistent owner - someone who likes to include him in all the family activities.

He can get on with children but is better suited to life on a larger property as opposed to living in a small city place. Treat him with firmness and fairness and you’ll get yourself an excellent pet and companion.

Children friendliness

They are very good with children and love to play with them.

Special talents

Stamina, speed and independence

Adaptability

Not really. Don’t do well in small spaces. Better off in the country.

Learning ability

Very intelligent, quick learner, loves learning new things.

Comparison with other breeds

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