Southern dogs to rise to challenge

Josh Tosh and heading dog Trix, of Dipton, are set to compete in the 2021 Cobber Working Dog...
Josh Tosh and heading dog Trix, of Dipton, are set to compete in the 2021 Cobber Working Dog Challenge. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Southern working dogs will represent New Zealand for the first time in a transtasman competition.

Marketing manager Kellie Savage said the Cobber Working Dog Challenge was in its sixth year and would run for three weeks from August 16.

It is the first time the challenge will feature New Zealand dogs.

“The Kiwi competitors work in incredible landscapes and I think their dogs will cover impressive distances,’’ she said.

Farmer Josh Tosh, of Dipton, has entered heading dog Trix.

‘‘Trix has a long pull and is self-driven.

‘‘Trix uses her small size to her advantage to dart in and out. She’s quick on her feet,’’ Mr Tosh said.

Limehills head shepherd Peter Aitken, of Millers Flat, has entered heading dog Spark.

 

‘‘When Spark’s working, he has amazing focus,’’ Mr Aitken said.

 

Cam Clayton and his heading dog Pine, of Ashburton, will also compete against the other nine others from farms across Australia.

Each of the 12 dogs would wear a GPS collar to track how far, fast and for how long they work on their farm, or where they’re doing contract work, over the three weeks.

They will be scored based on distance, speed and duration of work per day with points accumulated based on daily activity to determine a winner.

The three New Zealand heading dogs are a new breed in the competition, historically dominated by kelpies, border collies and Koolies.

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