This report presents findings regarding the ways to optimise the performance of livestock working dogs in Australia. The methods available to optimise dog performance include both environmental and genetic factors. The objectives of this study were to identify objective measures of desirable behavioural phenotypes in Australian livestock working dogs and explore genetic parameters of these ‘quality of working life’ traits within the Kelpie breed. The document reports on genotyping that reveals gene-behaviour associations and describes heritability estimates that underpin a database for potential estimated breeding value (EBV) calculations.
This report is aimed at industry producers who breed, train, handle, work and trial livestock working dogs. The aim of this project was to provide information of direct relevance to livestock working dog breeders, handlers and trainers in a bid to optimise the performance and selection of livestock working dogs, and so reduce wastage rates, and increase profitability and welfare.