Home of Australian Kelpie, as its name suggests, is Australia. The breed was obtained by crossing the English dogs, belonging to the working group breeds, with the Australian dingo in the second half of the 19th century. It has been brought to Australia in the late 60s of the 19th century. Countless Scottish farmers seeked new livelihood in Australia after the decline of sheep trade in their homeland. They took with them their most valuable tool – the dogs.
The Australian Kelpie has a muscular body, which is longer than wide. The height varies between 43 cm and 51 cm, and weighs 12.5 and 22.5 kg. The head is elongated with rounded cheekbones, brown, almond-shaped eyes and erect ears. The neck is strong and the chest is broad. The coat of this dog is short and waterproof. Coloration occurs in black, red, blue, light brown and chocolate. His appearance gives the impression of a magnificent muscular worker, full of energy. This dog is definitely not in the category “puppies for cuddle”. With his rather unsightly appearance of an ordinary working dog, the Australian Kelpie proves once again that the most beautiful is not actually visible to the eye!
Character and behaviour
The Australian Kelpie is alert, playful, obedient, charming and sympathetic dog, which is strongly attached to all the family, but tends to obey to only one person from it. This dog is an workaholic. It can not stay in an apartment on the couch, boredom kills him. In his homeland Australia these dogs are out all the time, even on the hottest days. They can lead a flock of thousands of sheep. When the sheeps are gathered together and the dog must pass to the other end of the flock, it selects the most direct route, which is a straight line. It jumps on the nearest sheep and passing through to the other end on the backs of the remaining sheeps.
The Australian Kelpie is not aggressive, but will defend the owner and family when necessary, regardless of the risks. This makes it a good watchdog.
Training and education
Due to its high level of intelligence the Australian Kelpies are a dominant breed. They need calm, balanced, yet strict and confident owner. Therefore it is not recommended for people who did not have another dog until now.
It is not a good idea to raise your puppy in an apartment cause Kelpies feel most comfortable and most happy when they are out, run freely and have some work to do. This dog will not stop running until he is literally out of breath.
The Australian Kelpie is a very intelligent animal who takes lessons with passion and attention. Initially the chosen puppy is taught to respond to whistles, commands and hand signals. Only when it is so big and strong that it does not allow itself to be frightened by a belligerent sheep, began his real induction to the herd. Absolute obedience is a must!
In the vast distances of Australia the dog is not in control of the shepherd and should take individual decisions. It should not hurt the sheeps, should pursue and gather them without exhaust them. An extremely difficult task that Australian Kelpie is doing brilliantly!
The breed is characterized by good health, but is prone to eye problems and dysplasia of the knee. The average life expectancy of these dogs is about 14 years.
Grooming and care
The Australian Kelpie is a perfect dog for sport lovers and people who do not mind to spend their free time with their four-legged pet.
Puppies need early education, but learn quickly and easily remember the lessons that you taught them. They are happy when they are given a task, but do not take orders from anyone, you must first earn their trust and affection. Their fur does not require much maintenance, but should be brushed at least twice a week. Bathe them with a mild shampoo, but only if it is really necessary.
Children and other pets
The Australian Kelpie is suitable for older children and people with health problems of different nature. The dog is wary of strangers, which was prompted by his desire to protect his family and home, but is definitely not aggressive. You must keep in mind that loneliness can make these dogs very destructive.
It is said that an Australian Kelpie can travel up to 60 km exposed to the scorching heat.The breed can also withstand long periods without water.
In Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden there ia a high interest in puppies for sale due to the fact that these dogs are used by searchers and rescuers. In Australia these dogs are used successfully for pet-therapy.