An­gel vies for ti­tle

Work­ing dogs go the dis­tance

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS - KAROLIN MACGRE­GOR

CA­NINE pride will be on the line when com­peti­tors from across the coun­try vie to be crowned Aus­tralia’s tough­est work­ing dog.

The 12 com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing two from Tas­ma­nia, take part in this year’s Cobber Chal­lenge. Start­ing on Mon­day, they will be fit­ted with a GPS col­lar each day when they go to work for the next three weeks.

The col­lar will track each dog’s move­ments through the day in­clud­ing dis­tance trav­elled and speed.

Rep­re­sent­ing Tas­ma­nia will be Alexan­der Gre­gory from Ross and his dog An­gel and Bradley McDonald and his dog Flow from the Fin­gal Val­ley.

Mr Gre­gory and his kelpie An­gel work on Beaufront, a 12,400ha prop­erty with a large sheep op­er­a­tion.

Mr Gre­gory bred An­gel and said the three-year-old was very handy.

“I broke her in at about 12 months of age. I like to take them with me right from when they’re pup­pies.

“You can let them our at a gate­way and they get to see some sheep and they bond with you.”

Train­ing good work­ing dogs takes time and pa­tience.

“A lot of peo­ple go out and buy them now, prob­a­bly be­cause they haven’t got the time,” he said.

“I like train­ing them though. It’s good to see them go from a pup right through to a dog you can take out and do any job with.”

Mr Gre­gory is keen to see how many kilo­me­tres An­gel does in a work­ing week but the com­pe­ti­tion has co­in­cided with lamb­ing, which is one of the qui­eter times for stock­work.

Many com­peti­tors say a rea­son they en­tered was to know what their dogs do for them. Last year’s win­ner ran more than 60km in a sin­gle day.

To track the dogs’ progress go to www.cob­ber­chal­lenge.com.au.

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