Joey and his friends | Shepparton News

Two-year-old Jack Russell Joey thinks he’s “half working dog, half child”. Photo by Daneka Hill

There are five kelpies to Toland Poll Merino outside of Violet Town, but they’re somehow outnumbered by their smallest and weirdest member of the pack – Joey. Anna Toland, stud manager, tells us more about the new addition.

Is Joey your first Jack Russell?

First Jack Russell and first small dog in general. We have always had kelpies and working dogs. In COVID my daughter wanted a puppy so we bought her a kelpie but she turned him into a pet and you can’t do that with kelpies you want to keep on a farm.

I was interested in Jack Russells but they were selling for $2500. There was no way I was paying for this. One day I was on the phone with someone and she said “sorry for the noise, my dog ​​just had puppies” and I asked what breed. She said “Jack Russell” and I ended up getting Joey from her for $800.

Joey and Anna Toland with some of the stock stud rams. These guys will return to the stud breeding and AI program. Photo by Daneka Hill

Is he a good pet?

He gets massive FOMO and barks the house. He must be locked up because he follows motorcycles and cars. He also figured out how to open the screen doors. I didn’t realize Jack Russells could be so smart.

How is it around the sheep?

He’s a bit scared of the sheep, which is good, he’s not here to harass them. He must look like a lamb because the sheep are fascinated by him and will follow him everywhere. Rams love it.


Toland Poll Merino specializes in naturally mulated dual purpose merino rams. The stud will hold its 35th annual sale on site on September 26, offering 80 polled merino rams. Photo by Daneka Hill

How is the Kelpie work team?

Good. Lou is the eldest at 11, but she still works when she feels like it – which is quite often. However, she has developed selective hearing, so she thinks she is doing a good job. Lou likes to bring the sheep on his terms now.

Is it important to have a team of four dogs?

We currently have nearly 5000 sheep with all the lambs. Because we have ram stud, we make performance records and collect a lot of traits for sheep breed genetics and values. On top of that there are lots of yards so we are out all day moving sheep.

Eight-year-old Wil (short for Wilbur) is Lou’s son. “He was the smallest in the litter, so I named him after Charlotte’s web. It fit in my upper pocket when it was born. Photo by Daneka Hill

You raise your own kelpies. Have you thought about breeding Jack Russells?

Joey recently became a father. This will be her first litter. We haven’t seen the puppies yet.

How is he with the rabbits?

Terrible. People told me “you’ll have to take a shovel with you” in case we lost him in a warren, but he looked down a rabbit hole and didn’t like it much.

Where does the name Joey come from?

My daughter named it after Joey from Friends.

Words and images: Daneka Hill

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