Saturday, July 14, 2012

Breeding the mongrel

This is the story I was looking for this morning but the Casterton Muster at Glenelg in Victoria took precedence on the news.

Ted the super dog
They used to be the unfashionable members of the dog world.
Now these canines are worth thousands

Nigel Kerin, Yeoval sheep farmer talks about his $9000 super dog Ted.
"He does more work than any man, without breaking sweat. He sleeps on a lavender bush, accrues no annual leave and asks only for a cup of biscuits and a few sandwich crusts each day."

When a kelpie called Ted fetched $9000 at auction last year, it broke the Australian record and cemented the status of working dogs as a critical plank of the rural workforce. The pastoral livestock industry faces serious labour shortages as its workers age or move into mining and services. Four in 10 farms in the sector report problems finding staff.

''One of those blokes you sort of look up to'' … in this case, that's the dog. Nigel Kerin with Ted, who he says is worth every cent of the $9000 he cost. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

Ted's owner, Nigel Kerin, who runs a sheep stud at Yeoval, said the two-year-old kelpie was worth every cent. The record was smashed again this year when a dog sold for $12,000.

''There is absolutely nothing he can't do by himself. Anything from 3-sheep mustering to 3000 in a mob, he can bring them in, draft them, drench them … he's like the Cadel Evans of the kelpie world,'' Mr Kerin said. ''Most blokes wouldn't pay $300 for a dog. People would scratch their head and say, 'How could anyone pay that much?' But if they knew the labour efficiencies we had on this farm, they'd soon work out why.''

Mr Kerin spotted Ted's potential the moment he saw him at auction, and predicts he will produce seven good years of work.

''I knew this dog had the personality, he had that larrikinism, and that absolute mongrel in him to make a good, all-round station dog,'' he said. ''He absolutely loves it, he'd do it 24 hours a day if you let him. His concentration just never breaks."

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North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

Love it & going to share your link on my Pet Lovers Facebook Group. Thanks John.

"Just Me"

JohnD said...

Go for it!

AstridsSoapbox said...

I used to own a Kelpie mix years ago in Oz. He was the smartest dog I ever knew. My Sophie can't hold a candle to my Kelpie but she is super have to admit that John.