“The Ultimate Cowboys Dog”

And now for a “V-8-slap-me-upside-the-head-moment:” National Purebred Dog Day focuses on purebred dogs.  Occasionally, however, we’ll mention a dog you might want to know about to stay well informed. Is it a purebred dog?  Hmmmmmm…….

The Hangin’ Tree Cowdog is the name given to an actual type of dog, and it keeps coming up on stock dog forums where its proponents call it the “The Ultimate Cowboy’s Dog.” The Hangin’ Tree Cowdog was developed in Oklahoma by Gary Ericsson and his son, Choc, who wanted a tough, aggressive dog that could gather, herd, retrieve, and stand up to all types of cattle.  They incorporated four breeds to realize their vision of the “Ultimate Cowboy’s Dog:” 3/8 Border Collie (for intense herding instinct and intelligence), 1/8 Catahoula (for toughness, an easy coat, and the ability to trail and find cattle), 1/4 Kelpie (for endurance, herding instinct, and a short coat), and 1/4 Australian Shepherd (a dog named “Hangin Tree Black Bear” used for his courage and ability to handle any kind of cattle). The Ericsson’s named their creation after the Hangin Tree Ranch.

The result is a dog with short or slick hair, a deep and wide chest with dense bone typical of a cattle dog that can take abuse from a cow.  Owners – typically working ranchers – have called these dogs the toughest dogs they’ve ever worked with. There has been criticism, however,  that the dogs haven’t bred “true” (consistent), and it’s concerning when a registry that accepts a breed was formed by the people who created the breed. In our view, the Hanging Tree Cowdog is not a true breed, but a composite of several breeds, though perhaps one day it might might. To see examples of the breed, this link takes you to a Google image search results.

As a rule, NPDD wouldn’t mention it, but these dogs have gained a considerably following, and its a name we’ve been running into for a while now.  Chalk this post up only as an “fyi.”

Image from the Hangin’ Tree Cowdog Association 

2 thoughts on ““The Ultimate Cowboys Dog””

  1. Thank you!
    I just met one of the little buggers, and am so impressed! Couldn’t have asked for a better trained, sweeter dispositioned little female. Intelligent, energetic, yet well contained and eager to please; I’m sure the owner/trainer is 2/3 of the influence, but the great mix helps, no doubt.
    Thanks for an article that gave me the info I was looking for!

    • Thank YOU, Kristin, for the feedback. Its heartening to hear that you found the article helpful!

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