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Hanging Tree Dog: Enjoy 30 Years of Pure Dog Love (Pictures)

Hanging Tree Dog: Enjoy 30 Years of Pure Dog Love (Pictures)

Recently we talked about the Lycan Shepherd, the mix of three different breeds. But, today we’ll take it one step further and talk about the Hanging Tree Dog, a mix of four breeds!

But, that’s not even what’s so special about this breed. You’ll see in this article, for a dog to really be a Hanging Tree Dog, they have to check many boxes! One that is particularly important.

Even though this is a fairly new breed, they are gaining a lot of popularity because of their courage and intelligence.

Hanging Tree Dog – What to know

up to 25 inches
40 – 60 pounds
20 – 30 years

Hanging Tree Dog or Hanging Tree Cowdog is a mix of four breeds:
3/8 Border Collie, 1/8 Catahoula, 1/4 Kelpie, 1/4 Australian Shepherd

Hanging Tree Dog a mix of four breeds

Now, you might think, that any mix of those breeds is a Hanging Tree Dog. But that’s not the case at all!

Not every mix that has these breeds in them is a real Hanging Tree Cowdog. Only the real dogs can be traced back to Gary Ericsson. He is the man that created the Hanging Tree Cowdog breed. So basically only descendants of Gary’s dogs are true Hanging Tree Cowdogs.

So, even if you were to buy a Border Collie, Catahoula, Kelpie, Australian Shepherd mix. It’s still not this particular breed. This is because for the breeding of the HTC dog only one special Australian Shepherd was used. Gary’s Aussie is named Hanging Tree Black Bear. What’s unique about Bear is that he was a super dog with unseen courage and the ability to herd any cattle.

What’s also interesting is that, if you think you have a HTC dog, you have to register them in the Hangin’ Tree Cowdog Association. They will send you a DNA testing kit to really make sure your dog is a true HTC dog. So, to register your pup both of its parents have to be Gary’s HTC dogs. Both the parents have to be descendants of Gary’s dogs.

Now you might wonder where the name of this breed comes from. Well, our man Garry named this breed after his ranch.

Gary’s vision

But, why did Gary create the Hangin’ Tree Dog if he already had a great Australian Shepherd?

Well, he wanted to combine all of the best traits of the above-mentioned breeds to create a powerful herding dog, ultimate cowboy’s dog or the perfect family pet.

Training a three-month-old Hanging Tree Dog puppy

His goals with the HTC dog were:

  • create a canine that is a gathering, retrieving, herding type dog
  • to have a dog bred specifically to work cattle
  • a dog with a lot of endurance and that can wind cattle even when they get tired
  • he wanted a dog with good bone structure that can take the abuse that a cattledogs take from being kicked and ran over
  • a low-maintenance dog with a short fur
  • a dog that’s not too sensitive, and is easy to train
  • to get a dog that is so brave they aren’t afraid of anything and can handle all types of cattle

But why did he chose those particular breeds?

Gary chose the Border Collie because of its intense herding instinct and intelligence. The Catahoula can easily tail and find cattle. They are also tough dogs with slick hair coats. So they don’t have fur, but hair. The Kelpie was added into the mix for the same reasons. So, because of their endurance, herding instincts, and short coat. And lastly, he used his only Australian Shepherd named Black Bear because he was a fierce dog that could handle any cattle. He believed that this combination would make the ideal and ultimate cowboys dog, but also good family pets.

Hanging Tree Cowdog

Photo: Instagram (@rosiethehangingtreecowdog)

Hanging Tree Dogs: Registered vs. Unregistered

Hanging Tree Dogs aren’t all dogs with the same breed mix. Gary Ericsson’s original Hanging Tree Dogs should be traced back to. To prove that a Hanging Tree Dog is derived from Ericsson’s Hanging Tree Dogs, the Hangin’ Tree Cowdog Association demands a DNA test. If the test reveals that they are not related, the dog will not be allowed to be registered.

Hanging Tree Dogs must be registered in order to determine whether they are capable of herding cattle. The ability to easily overwhelm livestock is required by Hanging Tree Dogs. They must also be able to listen to their owners and refrain from excessive biting of livestock.

A Hanging Tree Dog must pass a judged course using your orders, in addition to having its DNA tested. Your dog will be tasked with bringing a trail cattle to you and guiding them through a series of obstacles on an open range.

A Supreme Qualified Hanging Tree Dog is a Hanging Tree Dog that has been certified. To develop the desired cattle herding instincts that Hanging Tree Dogs have, the HTC suggests breeding only Supreme Qualified dogs.

Unregistered Hanging Tree dogs are not descended from Gary Ericsson’s initial dogs and have not completed an approved herding obstacle course. Unregistered Hanging Tree Pups are unrelated to Ericsson’s original dogs and have not successfully passed an approved herding obstacle course.

If you want your Hanging Tree Cowdog to be a working cattle dog, you should register it. Registration isn’t required if you merely wish to keep it as a family pet. It could be of good use because training your dog improves its brain and personality.

Hanging Tree Cowdog

Photo: Instagram (@rosiethehangingtreecowdog)

What they look like

Now we know what a true HTC dog is. But what do these dogs even look like?

The Hangin’ Tree Dog is a medium-sized, strong dog. Their body is muscular and they have a heavy bone structure. Their heads are kind of domed, which makes it easier for them to track scents and find livestock even when it’s far away from the herd. These dogs are proportionately built, but they are a bit taller than they are long. These dogs can be up to 25 inches tall and weigh between 40 to 60 pounds, some can weigh even more.

What’s unique about them is that they have large paws which help them run fast and docked tails.

The coat of the Hanging Tree Dog is short and smooth, it feathers around its chest and hind legs. When it comes to color, there is no rule! They come in many different colors and patterns, that it’s hard to keep up with. Basically, they can have any coat color and even eye color! But we will give you a list of possible coat colors.

Get ready, it’s a long list:

Solid BlackLilac Merle
Black and Tan
Red and Tan
Black and White
White and Red
Tricolor blackRed Merle
Blue Merle
Red Merle and Tan
Blue Merle and Tan
Tricolor Red
White and Blue Merle
Red Merle and White
Blue Merle, Tan, and White
Red Merle, Tan, and White
BrindleTan Merle
Brown/Chocolate and WhiteSlate
Slate Merle
hanging tree cowdog
The Hanging Tree Cowdog’s coat can be many different shades

Their coat can be so many colors because of the Aussie Shepherd and Border Collie in them.

Their eyes can be:

  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Gold
  • Hazel

They can even have two different colored eyes, which is called heterochromia.

What they’re like

The Hangin’ Tree Cowdog Dog is known for its courage and bravery! They are fearless dogs that can handle anything and any kind of cattle. Even cows! Because they are very intelligent they are also easy to train and teach.

You should know that their energy levels are out of this world, as they are full-on working dogs. They can run for hours without even getting tired, they also naturally have herding and hunting instincts.

The Hangin’ Tree Cowdog is also loyal and would do anything for you. They will listen to you and do what you say. These dogs also won’t ever leave your side. They are intelligent dogs but you will still have to put in a lot of work.

If you’re used to calmer dogs, then the HTC will be too much for you. They need to be active and play, otherwise, they will become destructive.

But, given all of that, do they make good pets? Well, it depends. If they are not used as herding dogs, you’ll have to make sure they get a lot of exercise every day. In fact, a minimum of two hours of exercise is advised! If you can keep up with that, they can be great pets. Otherwise, their toughness and destructive behaviors may come through.

Even though they are a bit aggressive with livestock, they are loving towards humans and other pets too. They can make good companions if you take their needs into consideration.

It would be best if they lived with a family with a house and a big yard. These dogs need a lot of space, so a small apartment won’t do it for them.

Hanging Tree Dog

Photo: Instagram (@rosiethehangingtreecowdog)

Is it Possible to Have a Hanging Tree Dog as a family dog?

Hanging Tree Dogs make wonderful family pets, despite their hardness. They are bold and demanding when it comes to animals, but sensitive and caring when it comes to humans. Other dogs get along swimmingly with Hanging Tree Dogs. Even if you choose to keep one as a family pet rather than a cattle dog, your Hanging Tree Dog will be a wonderful companion.

Pets and attention are welcomed by Hanging Tree Dogs, but they rarely beg for it. You may be concerned that your Hanging Tree Dog will not be content as a house dog, however, this is a frequent misunderstanding. Despite their origins as labor dogs, Hanging Tree Dogs make wonderful household pets. Adults and children alike get along well with them.

The only thing you need to think about is if you have enough time to exercise your tough cow dog. If you want to keep your own Hanging Tree Dog as a pet, you’ll need to make sure that it gets enough exercise. It will have to find other methods to burn off energy now that it will not be working as a cow dog.

Families with plenty of room and, preferably, their own backyard may consider adopting a Hanging Tree Dog. Because of their natural herding instincts, these dogs require ample space to explore. It’s possible that your Hanging Tree Dog will try to herd other animals or people in your house.

Hanging Tree Dog

Photo: Instagram (@sunny_oliver_rescues)

Care of a Hanging Tree Dog

Hangin Tree Cowdogs are healthy dogs! Because they are a mix of many dog breeds, they basically have no genetic health issues! Their lifespan is even 20 to 30 years!

What might be a problem are the many injuries they get from herding cattle or rough play. If they get hurt while herding or playing please take them to the vet immediately. They are sturdy and strong dogs, but they aren’t invincible, and large cattle can sometimes hurt them.

Another part of keeping these dogs healthy is taking care of them and their body.

Grooming shouldn’t be a problem with these dogs because they were bred to have minimal coat maintenance and short hair that doesn’t shed a lot. It’s enough to brush them every ten days or so to remove dander and dead fur. Their coat is short, so the best brushes to use are the glove brush and slicker brush.

You might have to bathe them more often than other dogs though. They love the outside and love to roll around in the mud. So they will get dirty a lot.

What is very important is dental care! Hanging Tree Dogs use their teeth a lot to herd cattle. This is why they need strong and clean teeth. Brush their teeth regularly, every day would be best. For this use a pet-friendly toothbrush. If you can’t manage to brush your teeth every day, try to do it at least three times a week.


Your Hanging Tree Dog will need to eat about 10oz to 15oz of puppy food each day while it is still a puppy. A Hanging Tree Dog will require about 20oz to 22oz of dog food per day once it reaches adulthood. Hanging Tree Dog puppies’ food should be divided into three to four meals each day. Adult Hanging Tree Dogs, on the other hand, should split their food into two meals every day.

It’s crucial to remember that this table is predicated on having a highly active Hanging Tree Dog or puppy. Your pet’s food intake will need to be adjusted based on how much energy it expends each day. What matters is that you keep your dog at a healthy weight to avoid any health problems that excess weight might cause.

Hanging Tree Dog

Photo: Instagram (@sunny_oliver_rescues)

The downsides of Hanging Tree Dogs

Owning any dog isn’t all just rainbows and butterflies. It also comes with certain obstacles. And owning a Hanging Tree Dog is no different. We will go over some of the most common difficulties of owning a Hanging Tree Dog to assist you to determine if you should have one. These dogs are wonderful pets, but they, like all dogs, have their own set of issues.


Because Hanging Tree Dogs were intended to be cattle herders or heelers, they have a proclivity for biting. Because it is instinctual, their biting tendencies might be difficult to change. Puppies of Hanging Tree Dogs have been known to bite their owners without provocation, most commonly on the legs or heels.

Instead of “mouthing,” Hanging Tree Dogs bite as fiercely as they can. You might expect your puppy to inflict wounds on you whether it is still a puppy or even as an adult. The issue stems from your Hanging Tree Dog’s lack of awareness of how painful its bite is.

The most effective solution is to teach your dog not to bite. The best method to achieve this, according to doctors, is to scold your dog every time it bites you. Tell your dog no in a firm and authoritative tone of voice, and reward it with food if it doesn’t bite you.


For attention, Hanging Tree Dogs are known to whine a lot. Their whining might become bothersome over time because they have a loud voice. It may potentially cause annoyance to your neighbors. Hanging Tree Dogs enjoy whining because it is a simple approach to grab their owners’ attention and acquire what they want.

You should never approach your dog when it is whining. When your Hanging Tree Dog whines for no apparent reason, try your best to ignore it so that it learns that moaning doesn’t help it. Never give your dog attention or treats for whining because it will learn that whimpering is a good thing.

You may also stop your Hanging Tree Dog from whining by reprimanding it every time it does so. To tell your dog no, use a forceful and assertive voice once more. You may also use positive reinforcement by rewarding your Hanging Tree Dog with a treat every time it stops whimpering when you tell it to.


You can anticipate your Hanging Tree Dog chewing on your possessions. Cables, pillows, socks, and upholstery are favorites of theirs. Some owners of Hanging Tree Canines have reported that their dogs have ruined numerous items around the house.

Keeping all of your valuables out of reach of your dog is a fantastic method to do this. You can also use baby gates to keep your dog out of rooms you don’t want it to be in. Keep your chargers as clean as possible when not in use, and use wire covers to keep your wires neat.

We have many tips on canine dental hygiene which you can check out too.

Hanging Tree Dog

Photo: Instagram (@sunny_oliver_rescues)

Hanging tree dog FAQ

There are still some things about the tree dog personality that often confuses some people. This ultimate cowboy’s dog definitely is a rare one. That’s why we will also answer some additional questions for any future dog owner. However, if you are still unsure if this canine is a good fit for you, the best solution would be to talk to a trusted breeder. 

Why are they called “hanging tree”?

The name is definitely a bit confusing at first. Definitely not a common way to name designer dogs, and to be honest, it kind of sounds a bit terrifying. But the story behind their name is actually pretty cute. These dogs were named after the Hanging Tree Ranch. The ranch is located in Texas, United States, and it is believed that this is the birthplace od the breed. 

Which dog is best for a farm?

Any ranch owner knows that he needs a dog with a high stamina to care for all of the animals that he has on his farm. Hanging tree dogs thrive on an active lifestyle and there will be a great option for many different activities that are part of farm life. However, there isn’t only one dog that would be great at it. Other breeds include the Australian Cattle dog, Border Collie, Welsh Corgi, or Australian Shepherd. But the most important thing is that you choose a dog that you actually like. 

What breed of dog is hanging tree?

The origin of the Hanging tree dog comes from four different breeds: Border Collie, Catahoula, Kelpie, and Australian Shepherd. There were carefully bred together to create the ultimate cowboy’s dog, with high exercise needs and unbelievable endurance. 


My name is Jackie and I am a veterinarian with a degree in veterinary medicine. With extensive experience in treating various animals, I am known for my compassionate and personalized approach to animal care.