The Australian Kelpie is a dog with well-developed limbs and
a compact body. They are a little shorter than they are
long, with firm hind quarters and a broad chest. They have
the appearance of being energetic and flexible. Their
head is narrow and long. Their feet are compact and short
with well arched toes, the tail is of medium length and low
set on the body.
They have a dense double coat that is short, straight,
weather resistant and hard. The coat can be black or red,
with or without tan, fawn chocolate and blue coloring.
People who own Kelpies are more interested in their ability
to work rather than their appearance.
This dog is a compact, enthusiastic, robust and tireless
working dog. They make excellent herding dogs and the breed
is a very successful working dog compared to most other
breeds. These dogs will never be satisfied with apartment
living or lounging on a couch. They are energetic and work-
oriented and tend to devote themselves to one person they
see as their leader.
Kelpies are easy to train and keen on the job, which makes
them an excellent addition to the work force. They respond
immediately to any signal given by their master, even at
great distances. These dogs tend to be workaholics and will
literally work until they drop.
They are not out to please their handler rather they are
independent and in the business of doing what they
instinctively know to do. Never do you want this dog to
become bored as this leads to crisis. In Australia this
breed will work all day in the intense heat of the day,
covering a four thousand plus acre area. They often are used
to herd stock back and forth from range to range.
Kelpies use an "eye" similar to the Border Collie on stock
that is tractable, but will nip more stubborn stock to get
them going in the right direction. These dogs are natural
problem solvers and natural herders and will find the best
way to move stock back and forth for transport or grazing.
And this can be from a few to a few thousand, they do
equally well. They have been known to jump onto a sheep's
back and travel across the top of their backs to quickly
cross to the other side of the herd when need be.
They are wonderful watchdogs and can be trained as seeing
eye dogs as well. They are wonderful with children when they
are raised with them. These dogs are not aggressive but can
be very protective and will guard their family and property
even at the risk of their own lives.
They are a very dominant breed and it will be necessary to
establish yourself as an alpha at all times. With the right
owner that can display calm authority at all times this dog
will do great if it also has proper physical exercise and
daily mental tasks. With owners that are not dominant there
can be serious problems with this breed.
The Kelpie is not recognized as a breed by the American
Kennel Club, and many Kelpie fanciers prefer that it stay
that way. They want the Kelpie to continue to be bred for
work rather than for show.
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