Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pricey Pooch Partners

New Zealand is a land of sheep, and lots of them. When your principal agricultural industry is sheep, there's no more valuable dog than the Australian Shepherad.

And while many sheep farmers may be exiting the industry to go dairying, demand was still expected to be strong today for the 33 heading dogs and 21 huntaways on offer at the Charlton saleyards, where this is the 51st Annual Herding Dog Sale.

PGG Wrightson agent Nicol Gray believed the good dogs would fetch upwards of $3000.

"The quality is pretty high — just as good as last year — and we will be expecting good prices," he said.

Each dog would give a make-or-break two-minute demonstration working a mob of sheep under the watchful eye of potential buyers.

Last year heading dog Sox, bred by Matt O'Connell, of Middlemarch, made the top price of $4000, while John Tweed, of Lawrence, sold the top huntaway, Mel, for $3700.

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