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Drovers' Dogs at the Newmarket Saleyards

Dog Tag - M.C.C.

Image: Dog Tag - M.C.C.

Source: Museum Victoria

A large number of dogs were always present at the Newmarket Saleyards, either tied up or roaming in and around the offices and yards. The dogs were used by drovers to herd and control stock and drovers generally noted that a good dog could do the work of three or four men. Drovers usually had more than one dog, and often had up to 25 dogs working for them to move large numbers of stock or replace dogs that were being rested. Drovers supplied their own dogs, however if they worked for a company they received a 'dog allowance'. The company provided kennels, muzzles, and the dog's meat while they were on the job, while the drovers had to supply their dogs with collars and chains. Often dogs were muzzled to protect the stock from bruising or tearing that could occur if dogs nipped at their hind quarters.

At the Newmarket Saleyards dogs were tied up in the 'milch cow' yards, or around the office area. If drovers were staying overnight at the saleyards, dogs were sometimes kennelled in a special area located in the adjacent abattoirs. Stories tell of how the sale bell would ring and the dogs would all bark in unison.

Related Stories:
Newmarket Collection
Drovers at the Newmarket Saleyards
Glossary of the Newmarket Saleyards

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