The Australian Kelpie is a purebred sheep dog that can successfully muster livestock with minimal guidance. Slightly longer than its height, this dog gets a flexible, energetic appearance for its firm hindquarters and broad chest. Characterized by short, well-developed limbs, well-arched toes, medium-length tail and an elongated head, this working dog fascinates the breeders more by its ability to work rather than by its appearance.
Australian Kelpie Pictures
|Other Nicknames||Kelpie, Barb, Farmer Dog|
|Coat||Double, Short, Dense, Water-Resistant|
|Color||Black, Red, Blue, Fawn, Cream, Fawn and Tan, Blue and Tan, Red and Tan, Black and Tan|
|Group of Breed||Working, Herding|
|Weight||31-44 lb (14-20 kg)|
|Size and Height||16-20 inches (41-51 cm)|
|Temperament||Intelligent, Friendly, Energetic, Eager, Loyal, Alert|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Size of Litter||4-7 puppies|
|Country Originated in||Australia|
|Competitive Registration||UKC, FCI, NAAKR, KCGB, ACA, DRA, APRI, ACR, NZKC, NKC, CKC, ANKC|
Australian Kelpie Video
Previously believed to have originated during the 1870s, it was considered that the Australian Kelpie is a cross between the Dingo and the Border Collie, until accurate documentation revealed its development from North Country Collies of Rutherford strain. Brought to Australia in the late 19th century, it is now one of the most renowned working dogs in the country.
- Working Kelpie: They have smooth, short, or rough coat that can be any color including cream, light tan, and black. This variety sheds out its double coat in spring.
- Show Kelpie (Bench Kelpie): They have short, solid-colored, double coats with pricked ears. They are shorter and bulkier than the Working variety.
- Australian Kelpie X Border Collie
- Australian Kelpie X Australian Shepherd
- Australian Kelpie X Cattle Dog
- Australian Kelpie X Dachshund
- Australian Kelpie X German Shepherd
- Australian Kelpie X Golden Retriever
- Australian Kelpie X Siberian Husky
Temperament and Intelligence
Australian Kelpies are alert, vigorous, independent, enthusiastic, highly intelligent, and exceptionally loyal and obedient with an eagerness to please, which make them a faithful companion. If the puppies are properly socialized, they are compatible with
They, however, seem to be a smart breed, with their independent nature and high level of intellect making them quite difficult to thrive in an apartment life, especially if they have not much to do.
If the puppies are properly socialized, they are compatible with children, and can be caring and protective when required. Although known to be unaggressive, their nipping ability helps them tackle more stubborn livestock. By instinct, the untrained young is able to work out the actions of experienced dogs.
These high-stamina dogs get bored easily especially if confined to a crate or not given too much of physical or mental exercise, that may give rise to destructive behavior, even to the extent of harming themselves.
The owners should take their Australian Kelpies for long walks, hikes, and jogs regularly to release physical and mental energy. Instinctively, the dog understands that the pack leader walks first, hence the owner should be alert that the dog is walking behind or beside them, and not in front. Games combined with fun and frolic can curb the dog’s instinctual urges to chase, dig, chew and retrieve. This highly energetic breed is not suitable for suburban or apartment life.
Australian Kelpies can be easily groomed, as they need occasional brushing and combing, except during molting. For retaining the natural oils secreted in their water-resistant coat that prevents the skin from drying out, they shouldn’t be bathed and cleansed frequently.
This sound breed has no particular health issues except common disorders like luxating patella, cerebellar abiotrophy, hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism, as also PRA, which might cause partial or complete blindness.
These intelligent dogs need a firm owner who would manage it in a tactful manner, keeping a check on its independent and stubborn nature.
These tireless working dogs can respond to the signals and gestures given by their owners, even from great distances. The handler must use fair training methods to train the dog firmly.
Working Kelpies must learn basic obedience and then master the skills required to herd animals. The dog should be trained on the minimums like “Sit”, “Heel”, “Stay”, “Leave it”, “Come”, and “Off”. Snacks can be used as incentive and recognition. Show Kelpies must be trained to increase its agility. This includes directing the dog through an obstacle course off the leash. Lure coursing is another important training exercise for this breed in which it pursues a mechanical lure.
This breed should be fed with a balanced diet that consists of bones, fresh meat, dry foods and fresh vegetables and fruits. The owners may include a spoonful of fresh yogurt in their diet.
- The name “Kelpie” has been obtained from “water kelpie”, a term used by the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, in his novel “Kidnapped”.
- These workaholic dogs can work throughout the day even in extreme heat and can cover 1000-4000 acres of space to herd livestock.
- A Show Kelpie named “Riley” holds the world-record for jumping 2.95 m at the Victoria Kelpie Festival.