Strong demand drives up working dogs prices

Heading dog Stripe, who fetched the highest price at the Lawrence Gymkhana Club’s annual working dog sale, sits in the middle of a trailer among his lying peers. Photo/Supplied

Demand is strong for working dogs, driving up prices, a vendor says.

Lindsay Geddes put in two entries in the Lawrence Gymkhana Club’s annual working dog sale on February 18.

His 2-year-old heading dog Stripe was sold to Kean Farm at Winton for a top price of $9000.

“You’d have to be happy with that… it was a very good price and a very good sale.”

Demand for working dogs had been strong at sales across New Zealand due to a lack of supply, he said.

“There’s not a lot of dogs for sale.”

At the sale in Lawrence, the number of registered buyers easily outnumbered the dogs on offer.

A reason for the dog shortage could be due to farmers being time-poor and opting to buy a proven dog rather than training a pup themselves, he said.

The price for Stripe was the most he had fetched for a dog in the four years he had been attending the sale.

The crowd on the bank at the Lawrence Gymkhana Club's working dog sale watch the entries being put through their paces.  Photo / Stephen JaquieryThe crowd on the bank at the Lawrence Gymkhana Club’s working dog sale watch the entries being put through their paces. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery

He also sold his 16-month-old heading dog Patch for $5500.

The dogs were taken to the sale because he had some younger dogs coming on.

“I had more than I needed.”

At the sale, he sold another dog Scout – on behalf of his son, Hayden – for $5000.

Lindsay had been working Scout for three months before the sale, so he was able to demonstrate it on the day.

The “semi-retired” farmer ran about 200 sheep on nearly 30ha near the Otago-Taieri A&P Showgrounds in Mosgiel.

“I can train my dogs and have an interest.”

He once farmed sheep, beef and deer on about 4000ha in Middlemarch and remains a member of the Strath Taieri Collie Club.

“Dog trialling is my hobby and as long as I’m fit enough to do it, I intend to continue.”

PGG Wrightson stock agent Warwick Howie said at the sale in Lawrence eight huntaways sold for an average of $4440, while 25 heading dogs averaged $4300.

There were 75 registered buyers.

In the huntaways, the top price went to John Tweed, of Waitahuna, with 2-year-old Dodge selling for $6600.

Between gate donations, a barbecue and entry fees, about $2000 was raised for the Tuapeka Health Center and Waitahuna Collie Club.