Cobber Stories & Media

Working dog challenge now a team sport: nominations open for Cobber Challenge Relay

30 May 2022

For the first time in its seven-year history, the Cobber Challenge is showcasing how farm dogs work together, with nominations calling for working dog teams.

The Cobber Challenge Relay recognises that dogs have different strengths – some excel at paddock work, others shine in the yards. This year it will be the hardest working team that will be crowned winners.

“We are thrilled that our competition is showcasing teams of dogs, reflecting how they really operate on the farm,” says Kellie Savage, Cobber’s Marketing Manager.

The Cobber Challenge Relay is a unique opportunity for Australian and New Zealand farmers to measure just how hard their dogs work. The competition celebrates dogs’ contribution to farms, as well as the connection between farmers and their canine companions.

Twelve teams from across Australia and New Zealand will be selected to compete in the three-week Cobber Challenge Relay.

Farmers can now nominate teams of two, three or four dogs. Each day of the three-week competition, they will select one of their dogs to wear the GPS collar for that day. The GPS collar tracks how far, fast and for how long that dog works.

To ensure that the work is shared around, the most one dog team member can have their work tracked is 12 days of the competition.

“The Cobber Challenge Relay also lets dogs take a break, which is important when they work across diverse environments and climates, whether that’s hot and dry or cold and wet, or anything in between,” Kellie says.

The 2022 Cobber Challenge will run from Monday 22 August to Sunday 11 September.       

Fans can follow along with competition progress at the Cobber Challenge website. Data will be uploaded daily for each working dog team.

Last year’s winner, Victorian Ben Jeffery and his kelpie Skyblue Jack set a Cobber Challenge record of 1012.6 kilometres over the three-week competition.

Ben loved connecting with other competitors and people from the industry through the Cobber Challenge. Ben thinks the new relay format represents how farmers work with a team of dogs, which are of different ages, training levels, personalities and strengths.

“I currently have eight dogs, and different ones work the yard and the paddock,” says Ben.

“Jack happens to excel with both cattle and sheep, and he’s handy in the yards. But often times farmers would be switching between different dogs for these jobs.”

Ben encourages farmers to throw their hat in the ring and nominate for the 2022 Cobber Challenge Relay.

“Make sure you have fun, that’s the important part.”

As well as the glory of being a Cobber Champion and ample supply of Cobber Working Dog feed, this year’s winner will receive $2000*, the runner-up $1000* and third place $500* to be spent on their working dogs.

Cobber Working Dog food fuels these dogs during the Cobber Challenge, as it does for thousands of dogs around the country every day.

Ready to show the world how hard your farm dogs work? Fill out the nomination form at

Nominations close at 11.59pm Sunday 3 July.

Back to Past Challenges