Australian kelpie

Australian Kelpies were basically bred because of their intelligence and hardiness which made them very useful animals to work on the field. They can learn to do any job very quickly and are extremely hard working. They have a tremendous amount of stamina and can undergo a day of lard labour even in the worst climate or terrain. Even today, it is still used as a working dog in Australia though many people have also taken him as house pets. This breed is hard to find in any other country except Australia and New Zealand.

History and Health :

  • History – The Australian Kelpie is actually not a pure breed of dog but is a cross breed between a collie and another dog or an animal called dingo which can be called a dog but is actually classified as an Australian wolf breed. Even the Collies which are this Kelpie’s ancestors were not the Border Collies which are so popular nowadays but was simply a black dog back then. Kelpies were very popular as work dogs and still are. They were later exported to many countries.
  • Health – Being a working dog, the Kelpie has a naturally strong immune system and therefore remains quite healthy. However, it may be prone to hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism and cerebellar abiotrophy which is a genetic disease.

Temperament and Personality :

  • Personality – The Australian Kelpie is basically a breed or working class dogs. They are quick, hard-working and almost tireless with their immense stamina. They can almost be called workaholic dogs. They are happiest when they are working and therefore the life of a house pet is not suitable for these dogs. They are not really known for their playfulness or friendliness but rather for their capacity to work and easy trainability.
  • Activity Requirements – This is a dog with a very high energy level which it has to expend on a daily basis so that it does not get destructive. Long walks or jogs at least twice a day are an absolute essential. If he can have a job to do during the day, nothing will work better for him.
  • Trainability – It is very easy to train an Australian Kelpie, provided they accept the trainer as their superior. These dogs are strong both physically and mentally and therefore tend to be quite independent minded. However, once the trainer has learned the trick to establish himself as the alpha, the kelpie is quick to understand what is expected of him and does the job well.
  • Behavioural Traits – Although Kelpie is used for many kinds of work, the most common is that of herding sheep or cattle. Because of this natural instinct, it can try to herd other house animals and also small kids if it does not have any other job to do. As a working dog, he is extremely hard working and as a house pet he is very protective towards his adopted family and will defend them against all odds.

Appearance and Grooming :

  • Appearance – The Australian Kelpie is a very athletic looking dog with a well-built body, straight legs and a smooth coat. It is generally not known for the beauty of its looks since it is and always has been a working dog and excels in that area.
  • Size and Weight – This is a medium sized dog who stands tall at 41 to 51 cms but is quite light as it weighs roughly around 14-20 kgs.
  • Coat and Colour – It comes in a variety of colours like red, black, fawn and tan. It can either be a single solid colour or it can be a mix of two colours like tan and red, tan and black, red and fawn etc. Because it is usually used as a working dog, it has a short dense undercoat and a hard outer coat which protects it from any kind of weather. In fact, it is this coat that enables Kelpies to work throughout the day even in the intense Australian heat.
  • Grooming – Kelpies have a lot of natural oils in their coats which make them so weather resistant. They do not require grooming other than a brush down of the coat. Make sure that they are bathed only when absolutely necessary.
  • Body Type – The Kelpie has a compact body and is slightly longer than he is tall. This amazingly strong dog has a broad chest and flexible hind legs which conserve energy while he is working. They also have strong necks and a low set tail which curls up at the end.

Characteristics :

  • He is basically a working dog and is bred for that purpose.
  • He can do a variety of work but is best suited for herding activities.
  • He is intelligent and can learn how to do a job easily.
  • He is a workaholic.
  • He can work even in extreme weather conditions.
  • He is not very suitable as a house pet since he is happiest when he has a job to do.
  • He is an average shedder.
  • He requires constant supervision as a house pet.
  • He is not very friendly with children or other house pets.
  • He is very protective towards his owners and good as a guard dog.

Tasty Tidbits :

The Kelpie has proved to be extremely useful as a scentdog in Sweden where it is being as police dog in search and rescue missions.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Australian kelpie :


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Care :

The Australian Kelpie is not only an energetic dog but it prefers to utilize its energy by doing a job rather than playing around. Therefore, it does not make a very good house pet and will be especially miserable in an apartment life. He needs work to do and if he doesn’t get it, he may start herding random animals, kids and even adults.

Feeding :

Australian Kelpies do best with a healthy diet or dry food, fresh meat, chicken and bones. Since they work so much, they need a proper diet to supplement their energy requirements.

Information And Facts of Australian Kelpie :

  1. Full name of this dog breed is Australian Kelpie.
  2. Other names it is known by are Australian Sheepdog, Kelpie and Barb.
  3. Its origin is in Australia.
  4. It falls in the category of medium sized dogs.
  5. Australian Kelpie belongs to the Herding breed of dogs.
  6. Its life span is 10 to 14 years.
  7. The average height of this dog is 43-51 cms (17-20 inches)
  8. This dog weighs roughly 11-20 kg (25-45 pounds) with the female dogs weighing slightly less than their male counterparts.
  9. It comes in a variety of colours like red, black, tan and fawn and can also be a mix of any of the said two colours.
  10. An Australian Kelpie puppy can cost you anywhere between $300 to $600.
  11. He is an athletic dog and loves vigorous exercise.
  12. He is very intelligent and observant and can learn to do any task very quickly.