REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Good dogs are priceless but great dogs set records

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from ACM, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend.

Record puppies Bet (left) and Lassie (right). Photos: Skipton Auction Mart and Dave Swinburn Photography.

Record puppies Bet (left) and Lassie (right). Photos: Skipton Auction Mart and Dave Swinburn Photography.

Golden Retrievers and Siberian Huskies are apparently the funniest dogs on YouTube.

That's according to a press release I received this week, which spoke about the important mental health benefits of dogs and dog videos and photos.

The value of dogs has always been clear to a sizable portion of the population, but I feel like it has become even clearer of late.

While Retrievers and Huskies are adorable, I have always been partial to a working dog.

And while you would never put a price on your best mate, there have been some records set for working dogs that show the value these can bring.

So far this year, there have been three record prices paid by people who know the worth of a good dog.

In January, 11-week-old Border Collie Bet set a record price for an untrained pup, reaching nearly $11,000 at the Skipton Auction Mart's first online dog sale of the year in the United Kingdom.

This record was then surpassed at the same sale a few months later by nine-week-old Pentir Lassie, who was bought for just shy of $14,000.

Closer to home, Eulooka Hoover - a 2.5-year-old red and tan Kelpie - set another world record price of a massive $32,500 at the annual Casterton Kelpie Muster, held online last month.

Casterton Working Dog Auction Committee chair Rob Pilmore said the prices received were "not surprising", particularly the top dog, given the amount of work it would do on an average day.

Hoover, who was bought for $35,500. Photo: AuctionsPlus

Hoover, who was bought for $35,500. Photo: AuctionsPlus

David Lee, Edenhope, Vic, who had trained Hoover in the lead up to the sale, said a good dog was very important.

"If you can afford to buy the right dog with good genetics, it changes your whole approach to working your livestock," he said.

Mr Lee said he was a little cautious about selling via auction initially, but said finding a good home for a dog could also be rewarding, regardless of the price.

"We love our dogs - for us it's about getting them to go to a place we're they're loved," he said.

But while a good dog is beyond value, what is it that encourages people to pay these prices?

A Trans-Tasman competition has shown a dog can travel as far as 50 kilometres, in the course of their working day.

The Cobber Challenge has working dogs wear a GPS tracker to see just how far they travel within a three-week period.

Last year's winner, Northern NSW station hand Glenda Rogan and her Kelpie-cross Buddy, set a record of 835km across the three weeks.

Challenge contestants Daniel Pumpa and Turbo from Koorawatha, NSW. Photo: supplied

Challenge contestants Daniel Pumpa and Turbo from Koorawatha, NSW. Photo: supplied

First-time participant Cam Clayton from Ashburton in Canterbury, New Zealand, already values his best mate Pine.

"When the day is long and work is hard, Pine is always there and happy to work," he said.

And since I've just shown you a lot of pics of dogs, I've apparently helped your mental health today. You're welcome.

In case you are interested in filtering all the latest down to just one late afternoon read, why not sign up for The Informer newsletter?

More stuff happening around Australia ...