Marathons: All in a day’s work

AgLife - - News -

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.cob­ber­chal­

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.

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