World's most expensive working border collie Queen Lizzie settles into her new job on Queensland farm

world's most expensive working border collie queen lizzie settles into her new job on queensland farm

Liz the majestic working dog is settling into her new life. (Supplied: Joe Leven)

From being pampered by a dog-obsessed four-year-old to sniffing out the day-to-day tasks on her new farm, the world's most expensive border collie is living her best life.

Meet Liz, or more precisely Queen Lizzie, the majestic border collie that sold for an Australian and world record $40,000 at the recent Rockhampton Dog Trial and Working Dog Sale.

"She's settling in well and following me around … so we're just getting acquainted, I guess you call it," said Liz's new owner, cattle producer James Parker.

Mr Parker and his wife, Helen, run 700-800 Wagyu cattle on their property in the rural Queensland town of Monto, about 500 kilometres north-west of Brisbane.

Their 4,500-hectare farm is where Liz will "earn her biscuits" mustering cattle.

The 20-month-old tri-colour female set a new Guinness World Record for a working border collie at the sale, surpassing a dog in the UK named Kim which sold for almost $39,000 in 2021.

Mr Parker said Liz had already proven to be an exceptional worker and was relishing all the media attention.

"Someone asked me why I paid 40 grand for a dog and I pretty much said because there was someone else bidding against me," Mr Parker said.

"It's a lot of money for a dog, but at the end of the day, for us, they're part of everyday work.

"You're talking about having a worker that can go to work 24 hours a day, whenever you want."

Mr Parker said Liz was already receiving "the royal treatment" from his children, Macey, 4, and Archie, 2.

"Macey's mad-keen on dogs. She's got her own little working dog. She just loves it," he said.

"They brush 'em and Macey's got all kinds of treats she feeds the dogs. They're pretty spoilt."

Top dollars for top dogs

The Parkers paid $33,000 at the same Rockhampton working dog sale in central Queensland in 2023 for Liz's half-brother, Sid.

The young farming family from Monto also bought Silver, a full sister to Liz, at the end of last year.

Mr Parker said he knew he would have to bid high if they wanted to get Liz.

He said the breed line, from respected breeders Cabra Glebe Working Dogs in Casino, New South Wales, had special traits.

"The feel and respect that they have for cattle, and the style of dog that they are, really suits us," he said.

"We don't buy dogs to set records or anything like that. It's a long-term investment and one I think is very worthwhile.

"You can do a lot of big days on the farm, and we look after the dogs.

"If you go out the next morning you're probably tired after a big week's work, but they're happy to go, bouncing around, ready to go again.

"They're a big part of what we do and help us out a lot."

Man and woman's best friend

One man who echoes Mr Parker's sentiments is working dog whisperer Frank Finger from central Queensland.

The Clermont grazier said his star kelpie, Annie, was a vital member of his team after featuring in ABC TV's Muster Dogs series.

"Annie works all the time because I never go anywhere without her," he said.

"There's two ways to train a dog, that's through fear and through kindness. If you train them through kindness they'll do majestical things to help you.

"People are paying what they can afford and what they want to do, and I think it's great for the industry."

Zoe Miller has been travelling the nation with her black and white border collie Buddy since winning the second series of Muster Dogs.

The Queensland-based stock handler said it was not only the work that these animals provided, but also the joy they brought to day-to-day life.

"What they bring into our lives is as close as magic that we can probably get in this world," she said.

"That's the beautiful thing about dogs — their loyalty and connection with us.

"I knew when I got handed Buddy he had beautiful, kind, old soul eyes, and I instantly connected with that. I really enjoy having him in my life.

"At the end of the day it's a privilege to be able to work with them and to just have them by our sides."

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