The first time hearing about the Hanging Tree Dog can be a little confusing. The solemn name of this dog breed can make you wonder about how this dog breed got its name, at least. You may ask yourself, is this some kind of a dog breed that likes climbing or hanging from a tree? Is it a dog breed made for cow herding? What do cows have to do with dogs that hang on trees?
At least, those were my first guesses when I first heard about this dog breed. Nevertheless, this dog breed isn’t a stunt animal of any kind, it is a very simple looking and well-mannered type of dog that won’t cause you, the cows, or the trees any kind of trouble.
The name of this dog breed can spark an interest due to the numerous hangin tree cowdog associations that can be running around your mind. However, we have decided to break it down for you, in order for you to be informed about this dog breed.
And, if by any chance you are a farm owner, what are you waiting for? This is the dog breed for you! I will explain everything to you later on.
What Is A Hanging Tree Cowdog?
A Hanging Tree Cowdog is a unique dog breed that was specifically created and bred to fulfill some human needs when it comes to cattle owning.
The breeders carefully selected the parent breeds of this slick haired dog, so that they could create exactly what they intended the dog to be. This dog is one of the best herding dogs for any and every kind of cattle-from sheep to cows.
Thanks to their parent breeds, these dogs are born with cattle herding instincts. From a young age, you will be able to see their need to herd small animals or even children.
This one of a kind dog breed is everything you can wish for, if you are a person that has a big farm with different kinds of cattle, or a house with a big garden. These tough dogs can serve many purposes – from being a great family dog, to being professional heelers.
Origin of the Ultimate Cowboy’s Dog
The Hangin’ Tree Cowdog seems to be a purebred working dog breed developed especially to work with various kinds of cattle, no matter the size. The result of Gary Ericsson as well as his son Choc’s desire to create the Ultimate Cowboy’s Dog, this courageous, strong, and aggressive dog can handle all kinds of cattle.
The operating manner and look of the Hangin’ Tree Cowdog sets it apart from other stockdogs. They are skilled stock gatherers that can also raise gentle, manageable animals.
They may be employed in a variety of ranching situations, including feedlots, open range, cow/calf or stocker regimens. They are also bred to be low maintenance dogs!
Their origin, however, traces back to four dog breeds! Yes, you have read that right: this dog is a crossbreed or a mix of four dog breeds that all have these amazing herding skills and that are known to be great working dogs.
What Are The Four Dog Breeds Which Created The Hanging Tree Dog?
Gary Ericsson along with his son Choc are the ultimate designers and creators of all Hangin’ Tree Cowdogs. Gary developed this Hangin Tree Cowdog dog breed over the course of his lifetime by breeding the greatest cow dogs he could locate.
At the start of the process of designing this dog breed, the inspiration came from an Australian Shepherd named Black Bear. Gary Ericsson was amazed by this dog’s herding skills and intelligence, therefore, he decided to make an upgraded version of his favorite herding dog, Black Bear.
His son, Choc, often says how brave Black Bear was, and how intelligently he managed the cattle. Big or small, it didn’t matter to Black Bear – he was fearless nonetheless.
Having in mind their never forgotten Black Bear, the Ericssons wanted to create a dog breed that would be as intelligent and good with cattle as he was.
Therefore, they decided to mix these dog breeds together:
• Border Collie (sometimes the Mini Border Collie): 3/8 for intellect and instinct for herding
• 1/8 Catahoula (Or Catahoula Leopard) for its ability to track and locate livestock, as well as for its body structure and general muscle tone, but also its sleek coat.
• 1/4 Kelpie for its endurance, herding propensity, and short hair.
• Only a dog by the name of Black Bear entered this breed, which is 1/4 Australian Shepherd. Black Bear was indeed a canine with incredible strength and skill.
What Breed Of Dog Is Hanging Tree?
The Hanging Tree Dog is definitely not a purebred dog breed. It is a designer dog breed that was made in order to achieve certain looks and characteristics.
However, the Hanging Tree Dog is not of just one dog breed, but of a whole bunch of dog breeds that were crossbred in order to create this ultimate Cowboy’s Dog!
This dog is identified as a crossbreed, since it is only about a 20-ish year old dog breed. But this young breed has many tricks up its sleeves!
Read More: 5 Best Hanging Tree Dog Breeders In The USA
Why Do They Call Them Hanging Tree Dogs?
We have come to the most interesting part. The name decoding of the Hanging Tree Dogs is the funny part because it cannot be separated into three parts and decoded. The story behind it does not have much to do with dogs that climb and hang from trees.
Well, the story is actually a very simple one. The person who created this dog breed, Gary Ericsson, was in need of a dog that would fulfill all of his personal criteria when it comes to working dogs. However, none of the dog breeds out there passed the high criteria that his late Australian Shepherd did.
The family lives on a ranch for which the dog breed was named. Therefore, Gary referred to the breed as the Hanging Tree Cowdog, because he wanted the dog breed to always be tied to his ranch, and to be a more specific one than the rest of the dog breeds out there.
How cool is it to have a dog breed and to name it after your property?
What Does A Hanging Tree Dog Look Like?
These dogs are anything but gentle or soft looking dogs.The medium-sized Hanging Tree Dog does have a heavy bone structure, powerful muscles, and a medium-sized frame.
They have rounded heads that allow them to detect odors and locate any animal that deviates from the herd with ease. Their broad, thick necks give them a commanding, distinguishing appearance, something like the American Bullies.
A little bit taller than longer, creating a sturdy, almost boxy, appearance, the Hanging Tree Dogs do have harmonious proportions. When fully grown, Hanging Tree Dogs’ weight varies between 40 and 60 pounds. Typically, male Hanging Tree Dogs are bigger than females, which is a normal phenomenon within the mammal species.
However, their size can vary a bit, because of the four dog breeds that were used to create this one. Because of that, the Hanging Tree Cowdog can be as tall as any of the four parent breeds: Border Collie, Catahoula Leopard, Kelpie, or Australian Shepherd. However, their weight is always between 40 and 60 pounds, no matter the height, because they are muscular dogs.
These robust dogs have broad feet that enable them to run quickly and readily traverse any terrain. They can tolerate scorching summers because of their short, slippery coats. They have broad, pointed ears.
Their short hair coat makes them easy to groom, because of which, they don’t fit into the category of high-maintenance dogs.
What Is The Average Weight Of A Hanging Tree Cattle Dog?
This medium sized dog breed of a muscular structure is anything but a light-weight category dog.
Their heavy bone structure needs from 40 to 60 pounds of muscles to support it. Therefore, their average weight is around 50 pounds, which is the usual weight of larger dogs. However, the Hanging Tree Dog is known to be a medium to a large sized dog breed.
Short Hair Coat That Comes In Many Colors
This slick haired dog comes in a variety of colors, since the Border Collie, Catahoula Leopard, and Kelpie come in diverse colors, but especially adding to this list is the Australian Shepherd’s colors.
What separates the Hanging Tree Dog from the rest of the dog breeds is their coat. Their coat is actually something that keeps all of its owners carefree. The coat does not need a lot of grooming, and it is double-coated or feathered around their chest, making them a cold-resistant dog breed.
Their jackets can come in a huge variety of hues and designs. Almost every dog’s fur and eye color are permissible in hanging tree dogs.
The Hanging Tree Dog can come in various sets of colors. They can be of one solid color (monochromatic), but also two-color and tri-coloured dogs. The Hanging Tree Dog can appear in many color combos, some of them being:
Monochrome: Black, Tan, White, Brown/Chocolate, Red, Seal (between gray and blue), Gray and Blue.
Two-coloured: Tan and Black, Chocolate and Black, White and Black, Brown and White, Brown and Tan, Black and Tan, Red and Tan, Gray and White, Blue and White.
Tri-coloured: Black Tricolor, Blue Merle, Blue Merle and White, Blue Merle, Combinations of White and Tan/Champagne/Golden, Brindle, Lilac Merle, Red Merle, Red Merle, Tan and Brown, Red Merle, Tan and White, Red tricolor.
The Hanging Tree Dog does indeed have a fairly varied palette of the coat colors, as you can see. Due to its Border Collie and Australian Shepherd ancestry, they have obtained a great number of genes that have an impact on the color of the coat.
In addition to these numerous hues, Hanging Tree Dogs can have eyes that can either be golden, blue, brown, or hazel. Occasionally, Hanging Tree Dogs may even have the disorder known as heterochromia, which causes them to have two different-coloured eyes.
Merle Hanging Tree Dog
The Merle gene is a genetic abnormality that affects a dog’s coat pattern, general health, and occasionally even the color of the dog’s eyes. Uneven color patches make the individual coat pattern very recognisable.
Usually, the coloured patches are darker than the remainder of the coat. It’s intriguing that this mutation affects both the skin and the fur! With this genetic trait, these dogs may have unique eye colors. They frequently have hazel, bright blue, and occasionally, two distinct eye colors.
The health of merle dogs is unaffected by any of the aforementioned ways that this gene impacts the Hanging Tree Dogs. However, there is something to consider if you are buying a pup – check if both of its parents are merle. In that case, they can be double merle pups, which can be something that you should pay attention to.
Having a double merle pup can potentially mean that they may carry some genes that would cause some future health problems, such as blindness or deafness. Having working dog genes, it wouldn’t really be humane to buy a pup that could potentially have any of these problems because they wouldn’t feel fulfilled.
Therefore, it is important that you meet the breeder in person, because you will then also be able to meet the parents of the dog, which here, plays the most important role.
What Kind Of Personality Does The Hanging Tree Dog Have?
Photo from: @the_prairiepack
Talking about intelligent dogs, The Hanging Tree Dog is one that perfectly fits this adjective. This dog breed simply has that inherited intelligence, but it’s no wonder since the Border Collie, Catahoula Leopard, Kelpie, and Australian Shepherd are all highly intelligent dog breeds.
It is well known that Hanging Tree Dogs are brave enough to stand up to attacks from coyotes or wolves to protect herds of animals. These fearless dogs are capable of handling any kind of livestock, even those that are larger than themselves! They make remarkable pets since they are incredibly intelligent and simple to train.
Because they have been bred to have strong stamina, these dogs make for high-energy pets. They can easily run for several hours each day, making them ideal for the work for which they were bred. Your Hanging Tree Dog should naturally possess instincts for hunting and herding.
The Hanging Tree Dog, also referred to as the “Ultimate Cowboy’s Dog,” is extremely devoted. They are obedient to their masters and never leave their side. For those who lead active lifestyles, they are the ideal pet.
For people used to low-paced canines of a lower need for exercise and activities, the personality of hanging tree dogs might be overwhelming. They tend to be a little intrusive due to their fast-paced lifestyle and constant need to play.
Due to their extreme amounts of energy, these canines are prone to destructive behavior. Hanging Tree Canines are far beyond the more energetic end of the range between dogs that are mellow and lively.
If you decide to own this dog as a family pet, it will need extra activities, aside from daily runs and walks. Interactive Dog Toys can be a great way for them to unleash that unspent energy!
What Can You Expect From The Hanging Tree Dogs?
After discussing the many different sides of this amazing – in my opinion, future best – cattle dog, we can sum up what we have learned about this dog breed up until this point, so we can continue discussing some other points.
If you decide to get this dog, you will receive:
• a courageous dog that is tough and aggressive enough to manage all kinds of livestock.
• a trainable canine that is intelligent.
• a non-overly sensitive dog with a decent demeanor.
• a dog with short, sleek hair that can endure the heat when necessary and won’t need much maintenance.
• a dog with extremely good stamina, that can outrun anyone and anything.
• a dog that can endure many hardships, such as being pushed over by cattle, stepped on, bitten, etc.
• a dog that can do whatever you order it to do.
How Do You Train A Cattlemaster Dog?
This is one of the many things that you won’t have to worry about. The Hanging Tree Dog is born with certain instincts, which, as a result, means plenty of dog owners don’t have to spend much time teaching these dogs about their do’s and don’ts.
Aside from those easy dog tricks, such as to sit, bark, lay down, wait, etc., if you decide to own this dog breed and treat it as a full time working dog, you don’t really have to spend much time training it, thanks to it being an intelligent dog.
This dog will just, naturally know what to do when it sees various types of cattle. However, you can guide this dog’s training and herding abilities using positive reinforcement training techniques.
That is done by awarding the dog whenever it does the thing you wanted it to do. Therefore, the dog learns quickly that it will be rewarded for actions that it is commanded to do.
Any ranching enterprise would benefit greatly from having Hanging Tree Cowdogs. For instance, a cattleman’s routine duties include riding through his stock to look for disease or injuries.
Without trained Cowdogs, inspecting hundreds of heads of cattle can need several men and a few days to complete, and in most cases, the cattle would be wandering around and restless all the while.
The same group of 200 cattle, however, may be corralled and kept up against a fence while one rider goes through and examines and treats the animals using well-trained stockdogs. Once herded and handled by the Cowdog, the herd will stay quiet and peaceful.
Is The Hanging Tree Dog Accepted By The AKC?
Photo from: @georgia_padgett_
The American Kennel Club has not yet approved the Hanging Tree Dog as an official dog breed. However, this dog breed has its own type of Kennel Club: the Hangin Tree Cowdog Association Inc (HTC-A).
Unapproved Hangin Tree Cowdogs have two issues. You can’t verify they are True Hangin Tree Cowdogs.
And “unregistered” could indicate that it wasn’t strong enough to become a certified Hangin Tree Cowdog. What I mean by “strong enough” is that the Hanging Tree register is more than simply papers.
To request your Hangin Tree Cowdog being registered, you need to provide photographs or recordings which show your dog biting (as in nipping – not aggressively, but to alarm the cattle) the head as well as the feet of a cow.
Not because they want our dogs trying to bite cattle all the time. However, a registered HTC must be self-assured enough to deal with a rambunctious cow.
The Cowdog must force the animals to back off as it puts more pressure on them. (This is known as “dog breaking”).
Whenever an owner can’t provide a photograph or video footage of their own Cowdog nipping the head and/or heel of a farm animal (mostly a cow), it can’t join it. Or if you have a photograph or a video that isn’t clear or sharp enough, the Hangin Tree Cowdog Association Inc can cancel your registration.
Is The Hanging Tree Dog A Healthy Dog Breed?
This family pet and an amazing working dog doesn’t suffer much when it comes to health issues and health problems.
They are not the type of dog that would easily become sick because they have a pretty strong and resistant immune system. You will be happy to hear that these dogs are among one of the healthiest dog breeds out there, if not the healthiest one.
They are a crossbreed, or a mix of four beautiful dog breeds, and crossbreeds are usually known to live longer and don’t have many health problems.
Their lifespan is around 13-16 years of healthy, solid life. You won’t need to worry about some genetically inherited illnesses, problems, or conditions, since this dog breed – well – does not have any.
What you need to take care about is, if the dog becomes injured by cattle that it is herding. Being heelers, bigger cattle such as cows or horses, can hurt them by kicking. Therefore, if you see your Hanging Tree Dog walking strangely, resting excessively, or if you see any signs of them not being as energized as they usually are, check them and make sure to visit the nearest vet.
Other than that, in family environments, this family dog can get hurt because of its high energy levels. It can run around and jump from pretty high places, therefore, you must overlook them when they get the zoomies or become overly hyperactive, just in case anything inconvenient happens.
Other than that, you can and are obliged to have, as a pet owner, annual vet visits to systematically check your dog’s health, so you can be sure that everything is fine and that your dog can continue being a healthy family pet or a healthy working dog.
Photo from: @sunny_oliver_rescues
No one can resist a litter of puppies which can be as colorful as the Hanging Tree Dog.
They are medium sized dogs, which are on the heavier and muscular side of the dog kingdom. Their heavy bone structure gives them all the stamina a herding or a working dog may need.
Gary Ericsson really did something special, and surely had a vision of a dog breed that could be exceptional in various fields.
This dog breed is famous for its various skills and its diverse nature that can adapt to any and every surrounding you introduce them to.
They serve great as both family dogs and working dogs. However, they are most suitable for farm owners and ranch owners since they need a lot of exercise, and they cannot live without great amounts of physical activity. Therefore, we have made a list of 24 Best Family Dog Breeds for you to check them out!
This is not an ultimate Cowboy’s dog without a reason – their intelligence and capability of learning fast and obtaining all of the herding skills is outstanding, because some dog breeds may take months or years to fully understand what this dog breed already knows instinctively.
You won’t have problems with this dog being sick or ill – this is one of the healthiest dog breeds, if not the healthiest one out there. A yearly vet check will do it.
If I had a farm or a ranch with cattle, this would definitely be my first and only option for a herding or a working dog. This really is everything you may need from a farm dog – healthy, intelligent, a great companion, and of a friendly nature towards humans. What more can you wish for?