Coun­try’s great­est work­ing dog named

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Karolin MacGre­gor news@ru­ral­weekly.com

She is just a re­ally good dog and her work ethic is amaz­ing.

— Brad McDon­ald

RUN­NING hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres each week is just part of the job for Tas­ma­nia’s new cham­pion work­ing dog, Flow.

The six-year-old Kelpie owned by Brad McDon­ald beat en­tries from across the coun­try to take out this year’s Cobber Chal­lenge.

Over the three-week com­pe­ti­tion, Flow trav­elled in to­tal 716km do­ing stock work on a Fin­gal Val­ley prop­erty.

Fel­low Tas­ma­nian Alex Gre­gory and his dog, An­gel, also per­formed well, plac­ing third with a to­tal of 514.7km.

The 12 dogs in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion were fit­ted with GPS col­lars to track their daily move­ments.

On three con­sec­u­tive days in the fi­nal com­pe­ti­tion week Flow trav­elled 54.1km, 57.8km and 50.8km. Over­all she av­er­aged 37.7km a day.

Mr McDon­ald said even though he knew Flow was a good dog, the results were a sur­prise.

“It was a real eye-opener,” he said.

“When they’re work­ing, even in the yards they don’t stop but I never re­alised how far they travel. I said if I’d have fin­ished in the top five I would be over the moon, so I couldn’t be­lieve we’d won.”

Mr McDon­ald bought Flow when she was one year old for $300 and said no amount of money could tempt him to sell her.

“She is just a re­ally good dog and her work ethic is amaz­ing,” he said.

“I couldn’t part with her now, she’s pretty con­nected with me too and she just loves it, loves to work ... she has got a big heart.”

Mr McDon­ald has set up his own Ben Lomond kelpie stud and said good work­ing dogs could make a huge dif­fer­ence.

“The old fel­las used to say a good dog is worth 10 men and they were right,” he said.

PHOTOS: FILE

CHAM­PION DOG: Flow the kelpie put in three full marathons in three days to win this year’s Cobber Chal­lenge for work­ing dogs.

Flow wear­ing the GPS tracker col­lar.

Flow the kelpie and owner Brad McDon­ald work sheep on the farm.

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