STRONG demand pushed working dog prices to a new level at the annual Jerilderie auction on Saturday, with almost half the dogs making $10,000 or more.
Spurred by high sheep, lamb and cattle prices and labour shortages in some areas, selling agents Elders sold 55 dogs in the AuctionsPlus-interfaced sale for up to $18,750 and an average of $10,081.
This included 27 dogs selling for $10,000-plus and a six month-old pup making $9000.
The top-priced dog, Stanford Ninja, was purchased by Victorian Aussie White stud breeder Nip Rowney from Neville Williams at Broadford, who had bought the three year-old Kelpie at the 2020 auction for $19,500. Mr Rowney runs the Garmandale Aussie White stud and trade lambs at Lascelles and said he “just wanted a good dog.”
“I just want him as a working dog and a mate.”
Mr Williams said Ninja was put back onto the market because he didn’t have the work for the dog with the COVID-19 travel restrictions. He runs about 200 sheep, works off-farm and trials dogs.
“So in anticipation or fear of what could recur this year, it’s a lot of dog sitting around.
“I don’t have the on-property work for him, whereas I think the buyer that took him home has a lot of sheep,” he said.
“Sheep move off him really well, they don’t like him, he has a huge amount of presence, and is a very biddable dog.
“He’s got a lot of work in him …. When you see him work the race, he takes two steps and he’s at the end of it,” he said.
“He can move a lot of sheep in a heck of a hurry.”
Labour, livestock prices and good seasonal conditions
Event co-ordinators Andrew Rutherford and Warwick Doolan said on Facebook they knew they had a top line up of dogs, but never expected the sale’s results.
Mr Rutherford said bidding on the AuctionsPlus platform was strong, with 22 dogs being purchased through the platform.
“These auctions are very closely livestock and seasonal conditions.
“And the other thing, of course, is labour, labour out in the bush is getting tighter and tighter.”
Mr Doolan said the standard of the dogs this year was “as good as we’ve ever seen.”
“There were so many good dogs I think it probably affected the top price and it was hard to pick one that was worth $10,000 and the rest.”
He said normally there would have been one high-priced dog and the next would have been $5000-$10,000 cheaper.
“This year they just all come in evenly price, it was hard to split them.
“There was a six month-old pup that made $9000 and all of our four starter pups, about six month-old, the cheapest was about $4500.”
The second to-priced dog, 22 month-old Paddy, bred by Brad Pellow sold for $18,750 to a Cobar sheep producer who lost four dogs in a week from snakebite.
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