Kiwi farm dogs taking on Aussies in challenge

Transtasman rivalry has reignited again - this time in the search for the hardest working farm dog.

It is the first time New Zealand has entered the Cobber Working Dog Challenge, which uses GPS collars to track how hard each canine works over the three-week competition.

One duo representing the country is Josh Tosh and Trix, from Dipton, in Southland.

Mr Tosh said yesterday he had had Trix since she was just 8 weeks old and has trained her up to the hardworking 3 1/2-year-old farm dog that she is now.

‘‘She’s definitely a special dog to me. She’s a fully broken heading dog and she’s born and bred in Southland . . . she’d be the dog I use for about 80% to 90% of my work on the farm and she’s just a bouncy ball full of energy,’’ Tosh said.

‘‘I can’t tire her out at all and it’s just because she loves her job, she loves what she does . . . she’s my best friend, really.’’

He said even after a 14-hour work day, Trix was keen to have another run.

In the first day of the competition on Monday, the New Zealand heading dog ran just over 40km while mustering, Mr Tosh said.

There is no set strategy in place to get the most out of Trix but Mr Tosh said he was confident about their odds in the competition.

‘‘I think our chances are pretty good to be honest. I hope Team Kiwi can beat the Aussies.’’

There are 12 dogs in the competition, with two other heading dogs from New Zealand.

Cam Clayton, from Ashburton, is competing with 4-year-old Pine and Peter Aitken, head shepherd from Limehills Station at Millers Flat, is competing with 3-year-old Spark.

The competition comes to a close on September 5 and the leaderboard will be updated as the event goes on.

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