Working Dogs

The Farm with a dog

By Country News

When Shepparton East dairy farmers Max and Jenny Hyland bought a nearby property they gained more than 14ha of land. Part of the deal was taking ownership of the resident dog, Bob — a stocky, tan and white Jack Russell.

Where did you get Bob from?

We bought a block of land down the road which we were going to build a house on and retire to. Sadly the owner had died and after we had bought it we were told the dog went with the property.

So you got more than you bargained for?

I have had Jack Russells all my life and we had just lost our dog to a snake bite so the timing was good. Bob fitted in well.

Having dairy farmed for so long, have you ever had a cattle dog?

When a dog can go down the paddock and open and shut the gate for the cows, then that will be a cattle dog worth having.

How old is Bob?

Well I would say about eight or nine years old. We’ve had him for four years.

Does he visit the dairy often?

Oh yes, he’s always hanging around the dairy during milking. He’s forever pinching the calf milk. You can see his paw marks where he’s stood up and lapped out of the bucket.

What about the motorbike, does he like travelling on that?

He always used to go on the motorbike with me but then I put a spray tank on the back and there’s not really much room for him to sit. He just sits forlornly watching me go down the track. He never chases the bike though.

Does he chase the cows?

No. He often goes wandering out in the paddock but he never chases them. The stray cats are a different story, he’s always after them. And we could never let the chooks out!

Where does he sleep?

He has a padded bed in the back porch, you will find him in there on the cold days. He’s not a house dog, he doesn’t come inside.

But one night we woke to an almighty noise and it was Bob. There was thunder around and he was scratching the door madly trying to get inside.