|Recommended for||Active people|
|Breed Classification||Herding group|
|Tendency to bark||Low|
|Health Risk||This breed has an around average probability of having health issues in its lifetime, hence it is one of the more affordable breeds to insure.|
Like so many breeds, the origin of the Kelpie is disputed. There is no doubt, however, that the Kelpie’s ancestors were Collie type dogs imported from Scotland to Australia to work with livestock in the 1800s. They were crossbred with other types of dog (possibly even the Dingo, although recent DNA studies appear to disprove this).
The opening up of huge areas of farming land across NSW and Victoria required a special dog to handle sheep in such challenging conditions, including vast distances, heat, rough terrain and dust storms. The Kelpie was developed for droving and mustering sheep, and proved to be a tireless worker in the hottest and dustiest of climates, able to perform the work of several men.
The first Kelpie (a black and tan pup) was reported in 1872 by Jack Gleeson. Gleeson named the dog after the kelpie, a mythological water sprite in Scottish folklore. The first Kelpie’s subsequent litters were referred to also as “Kelpies”, and the name caught on. “Barb” (all-black) Kelpies earned their name after a black Kelpie pup was named Barb after the 1866 Melbourne Cup winner.
Kelpies have compact bodies with a broad chest, muscular lower body, and a medium-length, low-set tail.
They have pricked ears and their brown eyes have an intelligent and eager expression.
They have a double coat comprising a short, dense undercoat covered by a hard, straight overcoat. The outer coat is close, each hair straight, hard and lying flat, so that it resists rain.
Kelpies come in a few different colours and patterns, the most common being black and red, with or without tan/fawn, chocolate and blue.
|Weight range||14 to 20 kg|
|Height range||43 to 51 cm|
|Colours||Black and red, with or without tan/fawn, chocolate and blue|
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A highly alert, eager and intelligent breed, the Kelpie is a fast learner who enjoys a challenge and having a job to do.
Renown for their boundless energy, enthusiasm and work ethic, not only are they great workers, but they excel in agility trials because of their ability to jump extremely high. With a natural instinct and aptitude for working in sheep, the agile Kelpie often jumps on the backs of sheep and runs over the top of them to get to the other side as quickly as possible.
Kelpies have a calm, balanced and non-aggressive nature. Intensely loyal, they can be very protective of their family and property, even if this means sacrificing itself.
An independent-minded breed, Kelpies are not recommended for relatively inactive and inexperienced owners. Their strong prey drive means they are likely to chase after everything that moves.
Kelpies are orientated to their owners and their children and will thrive living in a big family.
In general, they are above average with young children and other dogs.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that they are herding dogs and may sometimes turn this skill on the kids! They like to have a job to do, and as herding dogs this may well be trying to herd other dogs or even children.
Like all dogs originally bred to work, the Kelpie has an inexhaustible energy and needs frequent, vigorous exercise – though sometimes even this isn’t enough to tire them out! Mental stimulation, combined with lots of daily exercise, is an absolute must for this breed.
They are ideally suited to farm work, and non-farming owners are advised to take their Kelpies for a long walk or jog at least once a day, as well as to provide daily mental stimulation such as training in dog sport such as obedience, rally, agility or flyball.
As an independent-minded breed, Kelpies are relatively easy to train but can try to push boundaries. They are used to thinking for themselves so the owner/trainer won’t be able to demand and achieve total obedience.
Kelpies have excellent sight and can be trained as seeing-eye dogs. Their amazing eyes also make them great watchdogs.
When they are not on the move, Kelpies love spending time relaxing with their family. They are not suited to apartment living as they need space for their limitless energy.
|Energy level||Very high|
|Exercise requirements||Very high|
The Australian Kelpie should be fed a premium, high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).
Kelpies who aren’t sufficiently exercised may become overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level and don’t overindulge in the treats department.
Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your Kelpie’s weight or diet.
Kelpies need weekly brushing or combing of their thick, double coat to remove dead hairs.
The occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best.
Otherwise, the Kelpie is a relatively low-maintenance breed.
Most Australian Kelpies are healthy dogs. However, the following conditions have been known to affect the breed:
Not all conditions are covered by Pet Insurance. For details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.
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The Australian Kelpie Club of NSW: http://www.australiankelpieclubnsw.com/
The Working Kelpie Council of Australia: http://www.wkc.org.au/
Australian Cattle Dog & Kelpie Club of Qld Inc: http://www.cattledog-kelpieclubqld.com/
Australian Kelpie Rescue: http://www.auskelpierescue.com/