Muster Dogs’ Frank Finger: Viewers can’t get enough of the kind-hearted grazier and grandad

'The show made me a star'
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Frank Finger can’t go anywhere now without being recognised by Muster Dog fans – not even the chemist!

“We were over in Mackay earlier this year, and Frank was at the eye specialist,” Cathy Finger, Frank’s wife of 47 years, tells Woman’s Day.

“I went across the road to a chemist to get his prescription made up and when I went to collect it, the pharmacist came out and whispered to me, ‘Is this the same Frank Finger from TV?’ So then I got Frank and took him over to meet them, and they were so excited. I could hear all these ladies laughing and yapping away with him.”

Since the heart-warming series became a surprise hit for the ABC, the 65-year-old is getting used to her husband drawing a crowd.

“Frank likes all that,” says Cathy, who prefers to stay out of the limelight.

The former winner was in talks to appear on Australian Story when Muster Dogs came up. (Image: Supplied)


The 70-year-old dog trainer – who shares three sons, a daughter and 12 grandchildren with Cathy – has come up with a trick if he wants to fly under the radar. “I just leave my hat behind at home,” he laughs of his signature headwear.

There’s no doubt the show has changed the grazier grandfather’s life. “We’ve had, I’ve lost count now, 25 schools since the end of the first series, and we’ve still got bookings ahead. We’ve got one school every month for the next three months,” says the working dog trainer, who runs Hillview Training on his Clermont, Queensland, property.

But he suspects he won’t be able to take up any of the offers he’s received since Muster Dogs started screening in the US. “I’ve been asked to go to America, but I need to change my birth certificate before that happens. I need to be born about 20 years later,” he laughs, referring to how busy he is.

Frank and Muster Dogs host Lisa Millar are great friends. (Image: Supplied)


Frank feels it may be time to hang up his hat on the show. “They’ve got another season [in the works],” reveals the star.

So, will he appear again? “Probably not. Zoe [Miller] is the winner this year – the future’s hers and the past is mine,” he says of the second season champion and her Australian border collie Buddy.

“I’ll still do a few appearances and shows, just to keep the flag flying, but it is taxing [filming the show]. We travel a long way. [My kelpie] Annie and I have travelled 30,000 kilometres since we won the show,” says Frank, who admits it’s been tricky juggling his Muster Dogs responsibilities with running his properties.

“We’ve got to work extra hard to catch up on all the time we’re away, and my age is starting to catch up a bit.”

But when the word “retirement” is mentioned, Fred recoils. “No, no, no!” he laughs.

Zoe beat out four other dog owners to be crowned season two champion. (Image: Supplied)

However, he’s happy to hand over the reins to Zoe for Muster Dogs. “She’s a lovely girl, and I hope the public like her and give her the same respect they’ve given me,” Frank says of the 26-year-old from the Northern Territory.

“Everything she went to do, she accomplished it without fuss,” continues Frank, who helped judge this season. “Hopefully she does well with it, too.”

If this is Frank’s last rodeo on the show, he’s going out grateful to have achieved his main goal.

“I went on [the show] just to get kindness into the working dog industry,” he tells Woman’s Day. “Here in Queensland, especially in the north, it’s rough. We’ve been teaching trainers to be kinder to dogs. And that’s happened. I can see it happening every week. And that’s how we run our schools.

“Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear,” he adds. “I’m a big believer in that. You don’t need to have a verbal conversation if you’ve got kindness. I can draw that dog’s attention because he knows what he’s going to get when he gets in – that’s a cuddle and a pat.”

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