Marathons: All in a day’s work
Data from Australian working dogs competing in competition run by a dog-food company is showing the animals are running more than 40 kilometres a day – sometimes on consecutive days – and it is all in a typical day’s work.
Cobber Dog’s Cobber Challenge is tracking the daily routine of eight Australian working dogs in their natural environment on working properties through GPS collars.
The dogs’ average speed, distance travelled and duration are being recorded for three weeks with daily updates available online at www.cobberchallenge.com.au.
The dogs are Larry and Rex from Victoria, Tammy and Minute, NSW, Dixie and Joker, South Australia and Hank and Ace, Queensland.
Last week Larry, a three-year old male kelpie working at Woorndoo south-east of the Grampians for Damien Clifford, was leading overall as well as a speed category, clocking an average 8.72kmh.
He was coming second in a distance category with 519.47km behind Jandre Slabbert’s Grassdale kelpie Rex, 530.78km, and fourth in duration with 59 hours, 34 minutes and 40 seconds in a duration category behind Tammy, 81:35:58.
The Cobber Challenge is the first competition of its kind based on tracking the daily activity of working dogs. As well as generating strong interest in the farming community, the data will provide insight into nutritional requirements of working dogs.
Cobber dog food, manufactured by Ridley, is an Australian provider of high-performance animal nutrition and has been formulated using the knowhow from working with farmers and their working dogs for more than 30 years.
Ridley nutritionist David Nash said food provided to working dogs was extremely important to them performing consistently at an elite level, fuelling them during periods of strenuous exercise and helping in recovery and repair of muscles while at rest.
“Working dogs will quickly lose condition and drop off in performance if not provided with the perfect balance of key nutrients during work and rest, and that will lead to an under-performing dog and an unhappy farmer,” he said.
WORKING ATHLETE: Jandre Slabbert and Rex at Grassdale.