German Koolies are right at home as a Herding Dog
Written by: Tippy
The Koolies are one of the Australian working herding dogs.
They look similar to a cross between the Australian Border
Collie and the Australian Cattle Dog, to which they are
Koolies were once called German Coolies, perhaps because
they were popular with immigrant German farmers. But to
avoid confusion, the Koolie Club of Australia officially
changed the name of the breed to Australian Koolie. They are
believed to have descended from working collies brought to
Australia by European settlers in Australia's early days.
An average-sized dog, Koolies stand between sixteen and
twenty-two inches (forty to fifty-six centimeters) at the
shoulder and weigh between twenty and forty-five pounds
(nine to twenty kilograms). This is a very healthy breed and
many individuals often live well beyond fifteen years.
The Koolie has short to long hair, with short hair being the
most common. Coat colors are usually a blue or red merle
pattern, but solids are also seen and permitted in the
standard. White patches or tricolor coats are not rare. Eyes
may be colored blue, green, black or brown, or even a
combination of blue and brown. The triangular ears are
pricked or semi-pricked and the dog has an alert and ready
Koolies, like most herding dogs, are very active,
intelligent and loyal. Their herding instinct is strong but
the breed is well known for their obedient, easy-going, and
fun-loving personalities. The Koolie is a friendly, easy to
train dog and is very well suited to be a pet for a family
or a companion for an individual.
Koolies do shed, but their usually short coats require
little maintenance beyond brushing. They do need plenty of
regular exercise of both body and mind to stay healthy and
Koolies excel at dog sports like obedience and agility and
the breed is becoming more and more popular as Search and
Rescue and Therapy dogs, obedience, tracking, and agility
competitions, as well as television and movie actors.
Though not yet accepted as a distinct dog breed by the breed
clubs, Koolies are still extremely popular as "silent"
herding dogs, especially in rural Australia. They have a
reputation for being willing to herd anything from ducks to
bulls, and will even "back," or run across the backs of the
herd to head off runaways if necessary.
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