• Hannah Phillips

Unlocking the Potential of Working Dogs


In farming communities, we know how important our working dogs can be, with the animals often replacing humans to roundup livestock or complete a variety of on-farm tasks.

But not everyone is aware that different farm dogs work best in different conditions, depending on their temperament, characteristics and ability.

To bring more awareness about this and unlock the true potential of our working dogs, the University of Sydney is undertaking an ongoing survey, aiming to measure and record behavioural and health attributes of Australian working dogs for the first time.


Image Source - C Goodwin

The project is funded by AgriFutures Australia and the Working Kelpie Council of Australia (WKCA), and builds on a previous AgriFutures project - 'Valuable behavioural phenotypes in Australian farm dogs', 2015. Claire Wade is Chair of Computational Biology and Animal Genomics at the University of Sydney and says an estimated 83,000 dogs are currently working on Australian farms.

She aims to explore their contribution to the rural economy through the survey, and spoke to Anita on the Regional Roundup for more information.


For more information on the project and to take the survey, visit: www.wkc.org.au.