By CAITLIN CROWLEY
THE NEXT generation of cattle dogs destined to muster herds across the state will go under the hammer in Central Queensland this weekend, at what’s being described as the biggest sale of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Ray White Rockhampton’s annual Dog Sale and Trial starts tomorrow with almost 140 of Australia’s best working dogs registered to compete in round one of the trial at Gracemere Saleyards.
“It will be a really good competition this year because we’ve got some very good trainers coming – the majority trial throughout Queensland and some in New South Wales,” Ray White’s Gary Wendt said.
The trials will continue on Saturday before the dog sale on Sunday.
Now in its fifth year, the sale has grown from humble beginnings during Beef Australia 2015 when just 8 dogs were auctioned, to a catalogue of 119 lots this year.
“It’s probably the biggest sale in the Southern Hemisphere if not the world – which is a big thing for Queensland I reckon,” Wendt said.
“We’ve got a great catalogue of dogs and pups coming through which I just think’s great.”
Wendt owns and trains working dogs himself and told the Caller, workforce shortages could influence demand at this year’s auction.
“I think that’s the way they (producers) have to go,” he said.
“If you look after these (dogs) you can get a lot of work done, it doesn’t cost you nowhere near as much as having staff – you can’t get them anyway.”
Last year’s top price was a whopping $23,000 for a dog over 11 months and $17,000 for a puppy, with an average price of $7000 across the sale.
“They’re just priceless to me, I don’t go mustering without them,” Wendt said. “You can do a lot with four dogs, with a lot of cattle.”
For more information head to the event’s website.