Working dog auction sees top dog sell for $15,900


Working dog breeder James Carr said goodbye to his three-year-old sheepdog Tanner after a buyer bid $15,900 to take the ‘powerhouse’ pup home during Katanning’s Working Dog Auction.

“She’s just at that stage now where she’s got too good at what she does on the feedlot,” Mr Carr said.

“So, I just really want to give someone else the opportunity to have a sensational dog by their side.”

Tanner will now work with Kojonup farmer and lamb co-operative WAMMCO chairman Craig Heggaton, who placed the highest bid.

“I mean a dog like this would’ve made much more in the eastern states,” he said

Tanner sold for the highest amount at $15,900 during the Working Dog Auction.(ABC Great Southern: Olivia Di Iorio)

“A good dog is worth its weight in gold, especially one that can work well in the yards, keep the sheep moving, and replace two people in yards.”

Tanner was one of 18 dogs auctioned off during the rare dog auction, the first to have taken place in almost 10 years.

The auction attracted buyers and breeders from all around, giving them the opportunity to bid and boast working dogs.

The second highest bid was for Peter Barr’s Kelpie, Fire which sold for $11,700.

Man with hat holds Kelpie dog.
Peter Barr was a judge on the Australian TV series Muster Dogs.(ABC Great Southern: Olivia Di Iorio)

Mr Barr travelled across the Nullabor from Pinaroo in South Australia to attend the event, with a truck full of his working dogs.

“You do need a dog with your livestock. It does make life much easier with the right dogs. One dog is equivalent to 10 workers,” he said.

“So if you’ve got a good dog it saves a lot of wages in the long run.”

Mr Barr sold all four of his Kelpies in the auction, taking home just under $30,000.

State sheepish about sales

Changerup farmer Jenny Whitelock put a couple of her dogs up for auction in Katanning.

Ms Whitelock said it was difficult to get attendance numbers for a working dog auction.

“This is the second auction. We don’t have a community of close-knit people being in such a large state,” she said.

“People come from all over the place, and they have to travel long distances to put the dogs together to run an auction.”

Woman stands on grass patting her border collie's head as it looks up at her.
Jenny Whitelock sold one of her border bollies for $2,200.(ABC Great Southern: Olivia Di Iorio)

Shannon Keilar is another breeder, selling two border collies at the auction.

Both dogs had a reserve of $2,000, one selling for the reserve price, and the other for $1,900.

“It isn’t a huge amount of money, but this being something new for WA and just having your dogs out there and being able to showcase them is pretty special in itself,” Ms Keilar said.

Seven people in frame watch auction.
Bidders gathered at Katanning’s leisure centre for the auction.(ABC Great Southern: Olivia Di Iorio)

Volunteers made it happen

Auction coordinator and Williams farmer Jim Harradine volunteered his time, alongside Blake Robinson, to bring the event to Katanning.

“As far as expectations go, we’re blown away. We’re really happy with the result,” Mr Harradine said.

“Certainly Tanner got what she was worth — a fully trained dog’s worth $12,000 to $15,000 every day of the week.”

man pats Kelpie puppy's face
Jason Crockford’s four month-old, Bug, sold for $2,300.(ABC Great Southern: Olivia Di Iorio)

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