Working Dogs

Duo makes farm work easier

By Country News

Whether at work or at his Waaia hobby farm, Mick Botterill can be found with his beloved kelpies Buddy and Aussie by his side. Mick says the dogs, which he has trained since they were pups, always make life on his 2 ha property easier and keep things moving along smoothly.

Who have we got here?

We’ve got Buddy, who’s about 13 months old, and Aussie, who’s about 24 months old — so two years. I got them through a bloke over at Wangaratta, it’s the same place I’ve gotten all my dogs. I’ve got four all up and I train another five.

How’d they get their names?

Well my language is pretty much slang so I just kept it simple. I’ve got a couple of other dogs — Rippa, Jack — so I just keep it nice and easy. Just a couple of syllables, nothing like Francesca or anything like that.

It seems like they listen to you pretty well. How do they go with the commands?

Yeah, they do a lot of the time. They’ve got to be controllable at the end of the day. They’re good all-round dogs. I’ve got a hobby farm with about five acres, just with some sheep and cows, so they spend a bit of time working.

Any bad habits?

No, not really. I’m right on top of that sort of stuff. They are male dogs though, so they do pee everywhere.

What do they eat? Any favourite foods?

I buy them the most expensive food I can get them, just try and look after them.

Do you spend a lot of time together?

I spend a lot of time with them. These two are the older, more mature ones. They just rest up on the weekends, laze about a little bit.

What would you do without them?

I probably wouldn’t be working sheep because it’d just be too hard.

Words and pictures:

Alana Christensen