The Australian Kelpie is a robust, enthusiastic working dog. It is a true Australian dog, with its origins cemented in Western Victoria. Kelpies have been working the Australian landscape since the 1870s.
Should I get a Kelpie Puppy?
The Australian Kelpie has an elusive history. While some claim that these working puppies were bred from smooth-haired collies and Scottish sheepdogs. Others argue that they were bred with the native Australian Dingo; a mix which granted their apparent resistance to paralysis ticks.
Regardless of their origins, Australian Kelpie puppies have become an absolute favourite amongst the rural workers of Australia. Their keen shepherding sense, stamina, and obedient nature make Kelpie puppies fantastic for work and play. Today, Kelpie puppies are known for their habit of walking on the backs of sheep and are exported all over the world for work in various fields.
What kind of Temperament does the Kelpie Have?
Kelpie puppies are tough, intelligent, and extremely enthusiastic. Kelpie puppies are extremely motivated and independent and find pleasure in working for themselves, rather than for owner affirmation. Despite this, Kelpies are extremely easy to train and have a keen dedication to the job. They are excellent herders and respond quickly to owner’s signals.
Due to their keen workability, Kelpies are extremely energetic and active. When cooped up for extended periods of time, Kelpie puppies can become destructive, bored and upset. Keep this in mind when considering a Kelpie puppy for your home.
Kelpie Family Suitability
Is a Kelpie Suitable for a Family?
Kelpies puppies are good with children when they are raised together from a young age. They are extremely loyal and make great watchdogs. The Kelpie’s tendency to bark can disturb very young children and their excitability can result in some push and shove.
Due to their diligent work ethic, Kelpie puppies tend to want to herd, even when off the job. This can result in trips and falls for very young children who have underdeveloped sense of balance.
Kelpie Size and Physical Attributes
How Heavy is a Kelpie?
14kg – 21kg
Male and female Kelpie puppies grow to a similar weight of between 14 kilograms and 21 kilograms.
How Big is a Kelpie?
43cm – 51cm
Male Kelpie puppies generally grow to be slightly bigger than female kelpies at 46 – 51cm. Female Kelpies, slightly shorter, range from 43 – 48cm.
What is a Kelpie Like?
Australian Kelpie puppies are lithe, muscular, and athletic. They have an intelligent, alert appearance and a ground covering gait. Kelpie puppies have almond shaped eyes to keep out the dust and pricked ears which are well furnished with a protective layer of hair.
Kelpies have a thick, weather resistant double coat. This coat comes in multiple colours including black, black and tan, red, red and tan, chocolate, fawn and blue.
What is a Kelpie Bred For?
Kelpie puppies are specifically bred for herding cattle, sheep, goats, ducks, and other livestock. They have an acute work rate and make exceptional farm hands, completing the work of many human workers with ease.
Kelpie puppies should be able to turn easily when herding at speed and should be capable of crouching, sneaking and stealthily creeping towards intended animal targets. These traits are essential to effective herding practices.
When considering a Kelpie puppy, it’s important to consider their purpose as high work-rate herding dog. These puppies will require constant physical and mental stimulation to avoid boredom and destructive behaviours.
Kelpie Grooming Needs
How Much Grooming Do Kelpie Puppies Require?
The Kelpie puppy’s thick double coat is relatively easy to groom. Weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush and once-monthly bathing will keep your kelpie puppy’s coat looking and feeling healthy. Avoid excessive bathing which will likely strip your kelpie’s coat of oils and dry out the skin.
Kelpie Health Concerns
Are There Any Health Concerns for the Kelpie?
Kelpie puppies are said to be prone to hip dysplasia, Cerebellar Abiotrophy, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, however, these diseases are not common. The Kelpie is a generally hardy breed with few genetic health issues.
Discuss your puppy’s history of hereditary illness with your breeder and undergo a screening for hip dysplasia.
Kelpie Exercise Needs
How Much Exercise Does a Kelpie Puppy Need?
Kelpie puppies are extremely active. As working dogs, they are able to run in excess of 60km a day. Thus, it is extremely important to maintain consistent physical and mental stimulation for your Kelpie puppy. Kelpies which are confined to small spaces can quickly become upset and prone to destructive behaviours.