Search for Australia’s hardest working sheep and cattle dog on again

Sheep Central, June 18, 2018

Owner of the 2017 Cobber Challenge winner Brad McDonald with his Kelpie bitch Flow.

THE search is on again to find the hardest working dog on Australia’s sheep and cattle properties.

Working dog owners are being invited to put their work mate to the test and nominate it for the 2018 Cobber Working Dog Challenge.

Nominations are now open for the competition to crown Australia’s hardest working dog. The competition is open to any working dog, regardless of the breed or the work they do.

Two dogs from each Australian state will be selected from the nominations to compete in the third annual Cobber Challenge.

The competition will run for three weeks from Monday, August 13 to Sunday, September 2. Each of the 12 competing dogs will wear a GPS collar to track how hard they work in their natural environment. The competitors will be scored based on distance, speed and duration of work per day. Their data will be uploaded daily, so people can follow the performance of individual dogs, as well as the best performing state. Points will be calculated based on this information to determine the winner of the Cobber Challenge trophy.

Last year’s winner was Tasmanian sheep and beef farmer, Brad McDonald, with his six-year-old Kelpie, Flow. During the 21-day competition Flow clocked up a total of 716 kilometres or an average of 37.7km every day, which astounded her owner.

“I didn’t come into the competition wanting to win, but the best bit has really been seeing Flow give 100 percent every day.

“She’s a little dog with a big heart and she doesn’t want to let anyone down,” Brad said.

A year on from winning the national title, Flow went from Cobber champion to champion parent after giving birth to a litter of six handsome black-and-tan pups. In honour of Flow’s performance in the Challenge, Brad even named one of the youngsters ‘Cobber’.

To nominate your working dog, sign up through this online form:

Cobber brand manager Marika O’Leary said her team was excited to open the nominations for another year and they couldn’t wait to see the entries.

“The Cobber Challenge is a great celebration of Australian working dogs that are tough, smart and loyal,” Marika said.

“Working dogs are invaluable members of farming teams thanks to their natural instincts to herd and work hard.

“Farmers have told me a good dog can do the work of at least two or three people,’ she said.

“They’re an essential part of rural life.”

Nominations will be open for three weeks from Monday, June 18 to Sunday, July 8. For more information, visit



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