He styles himself as the "Head of Ranch Security" and conducts security sweeps and nightly patrols. However his real task is to serve as the assistant to Slim and Loper in herding cattle. Hank has a superiority complex which causes him to have an inflated sense of his own intelligence, strength, courage and attractiveness. As a result of this, Hank frequently finds himself in sticky situations, usually of his own creation. Much of the humor of the series comes from Hank as narrator shamelessly attempting to make himself seem more competent with hindsight than he really was, but the reader is rarely fooled. Despite his flaws Hank is deeply loyal to his family and the ranch community and usually rises to the occasion at the moment of true crisis. The dog is based on an Australian Shepherd named Hank that was owned by a neighbor of Erickson's when he was managing a ranch in Oklahoma. The neighbor wanted to use the dog to help with the cattle but the dog was not trained and proved a hassle.
"It's me again Hank The Cowdog."
"Shut your trap."
Hank's gallery is here.