Farmer and his dog taking part in Cobber Challenge

Spalding farmer Sam McCarthy and his 4 year old Kelpie Max are ready to take on Australia in the 2017 Cobber Challenge.

The six states will go head to head in a search to find the country’s hardest working dog.

The challenge will run over three weeks in a test of speed and endurance with a GPS collar to be worn by the dogs each day, tracking how fast, far and long they run on an average working day.

Last year’s winner of the Cobber Challenge ran upwards of 60 kilometers a day.

Sam said that Max was going to have a “fair crack” at taking out the competition.

“Just thinking about how much he does in a day, he does a lot of K’s,” he said.

“I have been asked by Cobber to do a trial run and currently he has done 18 kilometers for the day and he still has a fair bit more work to do yet.”

The first two weeks of the Challenge will be fairly quiet for Max, but in the third week he will get his chance to show what he can trully do when Sam begins shearing his sheep.

“During the first two weeks he will not do anywhere near 60 k’s a day because it will be a bit of a quieter time,” he said.

“But the third week we actually start shearing so he will be pretty busy then.”

Sam is a livestock overseer at a property in Spalding which is home to 12,500 merino ewes and has three other dogs in his team, but it is Max that he knows he can always rely on.

“He is definitely my best worker,” he said, “he is my go to dog and the one I always pick first to get the job done.

“He has shown the best traits, he has got good distance off the stock and he listens to commands better than all the other dogs.”

While winning the challenge is Sam’s main goal, he also said that participating in the challenge presented a good opportunity to show people how much work his dogs actually do.

The challenge will begin this coming Monday.