The Australian Kelpie is a working Australian dog breed and is one of the best herding dog breeds in the world. It originated in the early 19th century and they still have most of their original characteristics and herding abilities. The Australian Kelpie, or as it is often called - Kelpie, is always ready for action. They have tons of energy that help them work for hours upon hours in the harshest weather conditions such as the Australian heat.
The Kelpie soon became a breed of choice for many dog sports and law enforcement as they excel at things like obedience, rally, nose work, detection work, herding, frisbee, and many other things.
17–20 in (43–51 cm)
25–46 lb (11–21 kg)
These dogs came to life when British farmers imported Black Collies to Australia for farming and herding purposes. Over time, those dogs were crossbred with native breeds and most likely with wild Australian dingoes. Those dogs were later bred with many other working dog breeds until the modern-day Kelpie was created.
Australian farmers praised and liked these dogs for their impeccable work ethic and intelligence. With great intelligence came their ability to work independently and often, farmers used to take their livestock (especially sheep) out and left them with one or more Kelpies. Their independent working ability left farmers with plenty of time to attend other duties and responsibilities. After a while, the tale of a great Australian working dog became known worldwide and farmers around the world decided they would like to see what all the fuss was about. Most of those farmers were incredibly satisfied with the Australian Kelpie. Their intelligence, obedience, work ethic, energy, and working enthusiasm left farmers deeply impressed and happy. The US farmers were especially satisfied and the United States of America became a new home for many of these dogs where they are still often used for their original purpose.
Dog Breed Characteristics
Australian Kelpie has a double coat with a dense and short undercoat. Their outer coat is straight and hard.
Australian Kelpie coat colors:
- Black and tan
- Red and tan
- Smoke blue
Regular brushing will take care of the dead hair, and since these dogs are moderate “shedders,” brushing will also help you keep the place clean and hair-free. Dogs’ coats have natural, protective oils that can be washed off if they are being washed too often. They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them every 4-5 weeks (more if they live inside the house), and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.
A working breed can be challenging for people who would pick them as family pets. They are tremendously energetic, very independent, yet should not be left alone for too long. The Kelpie is naturally distrustful towards people they are not familiar with and that characteristic can make them great watch and guard dogs. However, that also means that these dogs should have proper training and socialization as soon as possible.
Best training methods include plenty of physical activity where these dogs can channel their energy towards something constructive. A good Kelpie owner will need to constantly think of new and fun ways to entertain their dog as well as mentally challenge them. The Australian Kelpie cannot be truly happy unless they have a job to do, plenty of activities, and plenty of mental challenges. Some owners have praised Kelpies’ ability to follow orders and commands even from far away. Since they are naturally distrustful, they need to go through the process of socialization when they are puppies so they can learn how to properly react and behave in strange and unfamiliar situations. Expose your puppy to many different sights, sounds, situations, people, and dogs so they can develop into a well-behaved and stable energetic breed that we love so much.
Australian Kelpie are dogs with a life expectancy of 10-13 years. Like any other dog breed, they are prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. To be sure that you'll get the healthiest possible dog, never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or a pet store. Australian Kelpie can suffer from
- Collie eye anomaly
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Hip dysplasia
Australian Kelpie breeders
When getting a dog, the most important thing is to get it from a responsible and reputable Australian Kelpie breeder. These dogs are energetic and protective, and getting a poorly bred dog can have catastrophic results. Responsible breeders will breed dogs that don’t only look good but have great characters as well. You must find a good Australian Kelpie breeder that can help you learn about this breed and make an informed choice about getting a dog with these characteristics.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team