The Australian Kelpie is alert, intelligent and energetic. Australian Kelpies are loyal and devoted working dogs, that are very similar to the Australian Cattle Dog, except possibly more friendly. The Australian Kelpie displays exceptional abilities in sight, scent and hearing and has natural herding instincts when working with sheep. They are highly trainable and are quick and keen to respond to their owners commands. Australian Kelpies get along well with children, provided they are raised with them from puppyhood. The Australian Kelpie can be protective and act as a guard dog when necessary, however they are not naturally aggressive dogs.
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Australian Kelpies only need occasional bathing and brushing to keep the coat looking healthy.
Australian Kelpie's require plenty of exercise and also need to be occupied. Not recommended for restricted urban living.
The Australian Kelpie's were originally known as the Barb's, and have a similar history to the Australian Cattle Dog. Their origins go back to the black and white Smithfield bob tailed dogs, but unlike the progenitors of the Cattle Dog, different crosses were selected for their ability to work with sheep rather than cattle. In 1870 when some smooth Collies arrived from Scotland, these were bred with the local dogs, resulting in improved herding abilities. One particular bitch called “Kelpie” was so successful and the winner of the first ever sheepdog trial and later, as a producer of top class workers, that she and her descendants were honoured with the title of 'Kelpie Sheepdogs'.
General Appearance: Average size, robust, lively and hard-working.
Color: Black, black/tan, red, red/tan, chocolate, fawn or blue
Coat: Outercoat is harsh and dense. The undercoat is short and dense.
Tail: Set low, hanging in a slight curve, with hair forming a good brush.
Ears: Triangular and erect.
Body: Straight back, deep chest, muscular loins and body.
- Australian Kelpies need to be kept occupied and active, or they can become destructive with boredom if in the wrong environment.
- Australian Kelpies will often naturally herd other animals, household pets or family members whether they want to be herded or not.