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Australian Kelpie

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Australian Kelpie

The Australian Kelpie has a compact body and well-developed limbs. The skull is slightly rounded and broad between the ears. The muzzle is well-chiseled and well-defined. The color of the nose should coincide with the color of the coat. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The color of the almond-shaped eyes should be brown, but a lighter color eye is acceptable with blue-gray dogs. The ears should be widely-spaced, pricked and come to a fine point at the tip. The neck should be moderate in length, strong and slightly arched. The forelegs are straight and parallel and the hindquarters should show breadth and strength. The tail should reach the hock and may be raised slightly when the dog is excited and be furnished with a good brush. Coat colors include black and red, each with or without tan, fawn, chocolate and blue.

Temperament The Kelpie is robust, enthusiastic and a tireless working dog. The Kelpie is the most popular and successful working dog due to its excellent herding techniques. They are a one-man dog and are considered workaholics. They will respond to any signal given by its master, even from a great distance. They are good with children if they are raised with them. They will herd other dogs, pets, family members, joggers, bikes, cars and anything else that moves. This dog will work until he drops. Boredom is the breed's doom and the owner's as well. They become quite destructive when not given enough work to do. This breed can work in intense heat and can cover 1,000 to 4,000 acres in a work day. They make excellent watchdogs and many have been used as seeing-eye dogs. The Kelpie is not aggressive, but can be protective when necessary. They need a strong and confident owner who can take charge.
Height, Weight Height: 17-20" ; Weight: 25-45 lbs.
Health Problems A major health concern is PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy). Other concerns include genetic bone disorder and hip dysplasia.
Living Conditions It is not recommended to keep a Kelpie in an apartment. They are a working breed, need plenty of room to run and are happiest when they have a job to do. Their all-weather coat allows them to live in any climate.
Exercise Kelpies must have vigorous exercise as their energy level is very high. These workaholic dogs will become destructive if they become bored.
Life Expectancy About 10-14 years
Grooming Occasional brushing is recommended. Bathe only when necessary. They are average shedders.
Origin The Australian Kelpie was developed from English North Country Collies of the Rutherford strain. They were imported to Australia during the latter part of the 19th century. There are nearly 100,000 Kelpies working on the continent of Australia. Though they are small, this breed is capable of working cattle, goats, poultry and reindeer. They excel in competitive obedience. This breed is recognized by the FCI, UKC and the CKC.
Group Herding