The Koolie is a breed of Australian dog that came to the continent along with the German settlers around two centuries ago. Known to be an excellent herding dog, the Koolie has a stoutly-built stature with a broad head and a long, protruding muzzle ending in a round, dark nose. They have bright, expressive eyes, semi-erect, triangular-shaped ears, slim legs and a hanging fox-like bushy tail. The Koolie breed has not yet got any recognition from any major kennel clubs.
|Other Names||Australian Koolie, German Koolie, German Coolie, Coulie|
|Coat||Short, medium, smooth|
|Colors||Chocolate, Merle, Red Merle, Blue Merle, Tri Merle, Tri-color, Black
(red merle and blue merle with white markings being most common)
|Group (of Breed)||Herding Dog, Working Dog|
|Weight||33-53 pounds (15-24 kg) (full grown male/female)|
|Size||Medium; 13-23 inches (34-60 cm)|
|Litter Size||4-6 puppies at a time|
|Personality Traits||Dominant, brave, loyal, playful, intelligent, alert|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Good with Pets||Yes (including dogs)|
|Suitable for Singles||Yes|
|Country of Origin||Australia|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||AHBA, ANKC, APRI, ASAP, ASCA, DRA, KCA, NZCCC, TWBF, VGAP|
Nothing much has been documented about the Koolie breed. As a working dog, they were well suited to take care of cattle, sheep, and goats equally well. It is generally believed that they are the descendants of the blue merle Collie as well as the Black and Tan Coolie which were imported to Australia by Thomas S. Hall, who established the Australian Cattle Dog breed. Some people also claim that they have descended from a herding breed from Europe, the ‘German Tiger’. However, there has been no genetic evidence to support this belief.
However, it is normally presumed that this dog was imported to Australia by the early German immigrants, for which many people still call it the German Koolie. Since these immigrants could not correctly pronounce the word ‘collie’, they began referring them in their own way as ‘coolie’ (or koolie).
Until the 19th century, the breed served as an all-purpose dog. During this time, one of the individuals accidentally mated with the Aussie dog Dingo, a native wild breed. This resulted in the creation of a new line that had a short coat adapted to the local warm climatic conditions. Interestingly, this natural cross gained much fame and was even used in the development of the future Australian working breeds like the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Kelpie.
Several initiatives were taken for setting the standards of the breed. However, it was difficult to establish an official status since there was not enough static records or documentation regarding its bloodlines.
In 2000, the Koolie Club of Australia was founded, while in the early half of 2006, the ‘Stockdog Committee of the Australian Shepherd Club of America’ voted to recognize Koolie as a herding breed. In June 2006, the effort was a success as the AHBA (American Herding Breed Association) included the breed into their list of recognized breeds.
The Koolie dog has a strong working instinct and is extremely intelligent and active. They are non-aggressive dogs with a balanced, easy-going and fun-loving disposition that makes them an excellent companion to their family members.
Because of their obedient nature, and a natural eagerness to be trained, they are often used in sports and other activities, including agility and pet therapy. However, they do not prefer staying alone, and might get destructive, if left ignored or unattended for long hours.
Koolies do best when outdoors, and can get along well with kids and other pets. They have an outstanding sense of smell, and can even spot a lamb from a considerable distance, which is lying ill and is in need of attention.
In rural Australia, as well as in many parts of Europe and US, this breed has been popular for its unique flock-gathering and herding techniques. This trait has enabled them to keep watchful eyes on an entire flock of sheep at a time, rather than staying focused only on the one in front of it.
A medium size dog like Koolie needs about 2½ to 3 cups of high-quality dry dog foods, divided into two meals.