Herding, guarding, agility competitions, there isn't anything the Kelpie won't do! Looking for a high energy, hard-working, and loyal breed? Look no further, the Kelpie is your dog!
The Kelpie is believed to be bred from the Australian Dingo and Border Collie, with arguments over the breeds lineage still a hot topic in Australia today. The name Kelpie comes from mythological Celtic folklore.
This Ain't No Couch Potato
The Australian Kelpie was bred to be hard-working with a stamina level that doesn't have an "off" switch. They are known to go until they collapse. This high energy dog requires a family that includes them in all of their activities. They make an excellent running, hiking, or agility partner. Long walks are not enough for this breed, although they will enjoy those on top of other activities.
The Kelpie will be very good at carrying a backpack. The backpack is a great tool for hikes and walks, giving the dog a job and helping to drain their energy.
This breed will not do well in an apartment/condo setting. They need ample space to run and explore; a farm is preferred.
Herding is Their Top Priority
The Kelpie will try to herd children, other pets, and anything else if allowed. It is instinctively in them to have this strong desire to corral everything in their sight. Early socialization and proper training may help the Kelpie to keep this trait manageable. Doggy daycare is a great option for high energy breeds, but because the Kelpie has a strong herding trait, they may not fit in well with this setting.
This is a very intelligent breed, and if they get bored they become extremely neurotic, destructive, and out-of-control. Physical and mental exercise is a must for this breed. If rules, boundaries, and training are not provided behavioral problems such as: counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, nipping, digging, and much more will surface.
Kids and Other Dogs
This breed does well around other dogs and children when raised with them. However, this is a one-man dog. They pick one person out of the family to look-up to for direction, and will continually be by this person's side. They are more serious then playful, as they are constantly looking for their next "job.";
The Kelpie makes for a great watchdog, and will not take lightly to anyone harming their family or property. They are not aggressive, but if they feel threatened in any way, the Kelpie will stand their ground.
Minimal Grooming Needs
The Kelpie coat is considered weather resistant. They only need bathing when visibly dirty. Daily brushings and regular nail trimmings is really all the Kelpie will need.
The Australian Kelpie is considered a very healthy breed. They can suffer from Progressive Retinal Atrophy (eye disease). Their average life span is 10 - 14 years.
As you begin looking for an Australian Kelpie, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe