Working dogs across Australia have been put to the test in this year’s Cobber Dog Challenge.
The challenge commenced on Monday, August 13 and will finish Sunday, September 2.
Speaking to the Western Magazine on day 10 of the challenge, Cobber brand manager Marika O’Leary said the dog leading the pack had already clocked up more than 200 kilometres.
She said it has been lovely being able to showcase just how hard farm dogs work and the variety of conditions they have to work in.
“While the dogs essentially work for their owners, there’s a real loyalty and respect for one another,” Ms O’Leary said.
“They have a great bond which I don’t think gets highlighted enough.”
The dogs have been working in challenging weather conditions, with one dog in Tasmania even working in the snow.
This is the third year the challenge has been run and each year organisers have brought forward the start date in an attempt to even the playing field for competitors in Queensland who work in hotter temperatures around this time of the year.
The first ever winner clocked up 500 kms, while the second year’s winner smashed 700 kms, and Ms O’Leary said she could definitely see an impressive finish for 2018.
While the winning dog and their owner do win some amazing prizes, Ms O’Leary said they’re not competing for that.
“They really just want to show people how hard their dog works,” she said.
There is no clear winner as the leaderboard can change at any time, but Ms O’Leary siad the ucrrent top four dogs were competing very well.
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As of August, 23, Tasmanian competitor Hooch was in the lead, followed by South Australia’s Mitch and coming in third was Jess from NSW.
There are 12 canines competing for that prestigious trophy.
There movements are tracked every day movements tracked every day over the three weeks, with speed, duration and distance results uploaded to the Cobber Challenge website each evening.
For more information on the leaderboard or this year’s competitors visit www.cobberchallenge.com.au