GARRATTSVILLE, NY – Meet Bindi, the wonder dog!
The 45 pound, 5 year-old Australian Shepherd has been named national Farm Dog of the Year by the American Farm Bureau.
Bindi spends her days herding milk cows at Silver Spoon Dairy in the Otsego County hamlet of Garrattsville.
Her owner Sonja Galley chose her from a litter of pups to train and groom as one of 4 working dogs they have on the farm.
Bindi moves the dairy cattle out to pasture and back to the barn, rotates them around the pen, and can separate an individual cow from the herd.
Galley says Bindi is indispensable to the farm’s operation.
“Labor is a big deal in this area. Finding people that want to do work with livestock is really hard. So, I can work pretty independently with the dogs and still accomplish what needs to get done,” says Galley.
Bindi’s win is being celebrated by the New York Farm Bureau and a camera crew recorded this video for the awards presentation.
Galley says Bindi has all the traits common to Aussies: intelligence, agility and loyalty.
And she’s like a pet, cuddling on the couch in the evenings.
Galley says that while all 4 of her dogs are great workers, she nominated Bindi based upon one incident in which a cow knocked her over and pinned her in the corner of a pen.
She called for Bindi and the dog sprang into action.
“She’d done it a million times but she’d never done it with me on the ground. But she did it perfectly. She moved the cows off of me, the cow left off on staring me down, and I was able to get out of the pen safely,” says Galley.
Galley learned sheep herding techniques when she was getting her degree at Virginia Tech.
Today, she helps teach others how to train farm dogs through the Otsego County 4-H Club.
In addition to the recognition, Bindi wins $5,000, a dog treat swag bag and a year’s worth of Purina dog food.