Search is on for Australia’s hardest working farm dog

Sheep Central, July 1, 2019

Henry Lawrence with his 2018 Cobber Challenge winner Boof.

AUSTRALIA’S livestock dog owners have less than a week to sign-up for the annual competition that decides the nation’s hardest working four-legged worker.

Nominations for the 2019 Cobber Challenge close on Sunday 7 July, when two dogs from each state will be selected from the nominations to compete in the fourth annual challenge.

Each of the 12 competing dogs, will have their movements tracked via GPS for three weeks, from Monday 12 August to Sunday 1 September. The dogs will be scored on distance, speed and work duration.

Last year’s winner, Henry Lawrence’s six-year-old Kelpie, Boof, in south-west Victoria, covered more than 630km at an average speed of 10.62km/hour during the challenge. Boof’s work rate increased in the last week of the 2018 competition, including clocking up to 40-70 kilometres a day.

“Boof’s a pretty great dog – he can work a mob of sheep through a mob of cattle or vice versa, or go round them both if I want.

“He just seems to know what I’m after, so it’s pretty special,” Henry said.

Ridley group marketing manager Ian Moore said the Cobber Challenge celebrates Australian working dogs that are tough, resilient, smart and dedicated.

“Farmers tell me a good dog can do the work of at least two or through people.”

To nominate your working dog for the challenge click here.


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