The Australian Kelpie was developed in the 19th century, in, well, Australia. This was a time when farmers and ranchers needed a skilled herding dog breed with big stamina. They developed their own herder from various Brittish dogs. The most important ancestors are Collies and Border Collies, but it is believed that English Shepherds played a role in the breeds development as well.
Not only that Kelpies were bred and used in the past as amazing herders, they are still used for this purpose in Australia and in the United States. And they love it this way, this is a dog that wants to have a job in their life. Of course, they can live happily as family companions, but a lot of physical and mental stimulation is needed.
3) Dog sports
Australian Kelpies are thanks to their very high intelligence and neverending energy amazing adepts for various dog sports. They excell at agility, fly ball, search and rescue, nose work or herding trials.
4) Independent dog
Kelpies were bred to herd sheeps independently for almost all day without human supervision. That is why, even today, they tend to be very independent. That is a reason, why they are not total pushovers to train, even though thanks to their high intelligence they learn new commands fairly easily. The training and early socializaiton is a must, otherwise, they might become territorial and they develop unwanted herding instincts. For example, without a proper training, they might nipping a lot, for example other dog or kids.
5) Part Dingo
Especially in the 20th century, it was claimed, that Kelpies are Dingo descendants. It is possible, that in the history, they were crossbred with Dingoes, but in 2019 genomic study indicated that the kelpie had no dingo ancestry.
Australian Kelpies have double coats and the outer part is weather resistant, which help them to work all day even in bad weather. The working kelpies have three coat types – the short, smooth and rough coat and you can find them in many colors, including black, tan, red, fawn, blue, white or gold.
Kelpies are not only great herders. Thanks to their territorial nature and suspicious and alert personality towards strangers, they make amazing watchdogs. They also like to bark, and you can count on them to let you know, when something suspicious is going on around your home.
This is a medium sized and athletically built dog breed. One of the distinctive trait of Australia Kelpies are the large prick ears. The average height is between 39-51 cm, which is 15-20 inch and weight between 14-20 kg, which is 31-44 pounds. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
Australian Kelpies are doublecoated dogs, and just like almost all doublecoated dogs, they do shed all year long, especially heavily during the spring and fall. If you want to keep their coat in good condition and minimize the shedding you should brush their coat at least once a week. Other than that, not much maintenance is needed. Of course, you should regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
This is a healthy and hardy breed, that suffers from few health issues only. Their lifespan is between 12-14 years and they can suffer from hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, or progressive retinal atrophy. And again, if you want your dog to stay healthy, exercise and feed them properly. But this is true for all the breeds.