Australian Kelpie


Attentive, Gentle, Obedient
Size: Medium
Height: 43-51 cm
Weight: 14-21 kg
Lifespan: 10-13 years
Coat: Shorthair
Colors: Black, Red, Tan, Fawn, Chocolate Brown, Smoke Blue
FCI Group: Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)

The Australian Kelpie - also known as the Australian Shepherd - is a supple and active dog. It can work tirelessly. It is also extremely intelligent and alert. Its energy is boundless. The Kelpie was bred to independently guard herds of livestock, especially sheep, all day long. He is happy when he has a job to do.

Australian Kelpie
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Kelpies belong to FCI Group 1, Section 1 Sheepdogs. They were bred and crossed from the Scottish Collie. They are robust and can withstand the harsh Australian climate. They can also work without rest.

Their coat color is often solid, black, blue to red. The medium-sized dogs weigh up to 21 kg. The coat is short with or without undercoat. The head shape is reminiscent of a fox. It has almond-shaped eyes and a clearly pronounced muzzle.

When breeding the Kelpie, its original function as a herding dog is no longer in the foreground. However, it is still characterized by its qualities such as agility, stamina and willingness to perform. He is eager, spirited and agile.

With consistent training, he is gentle, calm and obedient. He needs sufficient exercise and activity. As long as he has enough exercise and activity, he is also suitable as a family dog. He loves children and follows his own family loyally and affectionately. He is not suitable for a rented apartment. A house with a large garden or yard or a farm are ideal for him.

If a Kelpie is not kept sufficiently occupied, this can lead to behavioral problems. When it comes to training, it prefers positive motivation to reprimands. The Kelpie is very territorial and barks in case of danger. It is therefore an excellent watchdog. Socialization training is required when raising them. It does not accept other pets or puppies.

If you want to get a Kelpie, you should have sufficient experience in raising and training dogs.

Kelpies need daily walks and exercise. They also need sufficient mental exercise. For example, they like to learn new tricks and commands. This keeps them balanced and happy.

In Europe, when breeding Kelpies, attention is paid to characteristics such as athleticism and health. Added to this are willingness to perform and trainability. The Kelpie can now often be seen at dog sporting events.

He is enthusiastic about dog sports. He loves agility and obedience, flyball and frisbee. He is perfect at work. He enjoys being a rescue dog, drug and explosives detection dog or simply a companion dog.

A Kelpie is a very loyal and affectionate companion. That's why you should devote a lot of time to it. With consistent training, its versatility and stamina can bring many years of pleasure. Kelpies love to cuddle with familiar people. They love to give kisses. Even if they are very cuddly, you can't keep them on the sofa for long. They need their freedom and exercise.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

The Kelpie needs to stay in shape. To do this, it needs a rich and balanced diet.

In its homeland, the kelpie is usually fed freshly prepared food. This is usually 250 g of meat per day. It also gets 125 g of dog flakes and 125 g of vegetables. It always needs enough fresh water. He likes veal and beef bones best. They keep his teeth healthy and strong. He should not be given lamb, chicken or rabbit bones. These can splinter and be dangerous. Parts of them can get stuck in the throat and intestines.

It can also be fed with high-quality dry or wet food. Please note that the portions should correspond to the dog's age, weight and activity level. You can also give your Kelpie a treat from time to time. The calories from the treats should be included in the daily calorie intake. This will help prevent obesity.

Fresh, clean drinking water is of course a must.

Health & Care

The robust Kelpie only needs to be brushed vigorously once a week. This removes dust and dirt from his coat. You can bathe your Kelpie from time to time if he is too dirty. Use a suitable dog shampoo and rinse him thoroughly after bathing.

Like every dog, it needs to be wormed and treated against parasites regularly.

Eyes and ears must be checked and cleaned from time to time. Particular attention should be paid to the limbs and pads. After the daily "long-distance run", some dirt may have accumulated on the pads.

Teeth should also be cared for regularly. It is best to get him used to being checked and groomed as a puppy. This will also help you build a deep bond with him.

Suitable accessories

At home, he needs a cozy blanket or a large, comfortable dog basket. Like every dog, he also needs a favorite toy. He loves dog bones for training and as a treat. However, these should be quite sturdy.

Kelpies also like to sleep outside. However, a kennel would restrict him as he loves freedom.

A wide, soft collar, a long, sturdy lead and a muzzle are essential.

Australian Kelpie History

Origin & History

The name Kelpie comes from a mythological creature in Scottish folklore. It has become established as a breed name.

When large areas of land in Australia were developed for agriculture, the number of sheep increased rapidly. Especially in New South Wales and Victoria. Some estates were over two million hectares in size and were home to a quarter of a million sheep. In these areas, it was no longer possible to have the sheep herded by convicts, as the estates had simply become too large. It was also hardly possible to keep the flocks in the vast areas. Therefore, wire fences were built and the sheep were allowed to run free.

However, this required dogs that were capable of keeping the sheep under control and guarding them in these vast areas. A breed had to be bred that could master this challenge and at the same time cope with Australia's weather and climatic conditions. The Kelpie came at just the right time.

The origin of the Kelpie is not exactly known. However, there is no doubt that they are descended from Collies that were imported from Scotland at the time. Originally, the dogs were black and brown like these Collies. They had a long-haired coat and medium-sized ears. Over time, others with smooth coats and erect ears were added. The litters of imported dogs were red and liver-brown puppies. Further crossbreeding resulted in the Kelpie.

The name Kelpie is derived from the name of the ancestral mother of this breed. The female collie came to Australia from England around 1870. She received awards at herding competitions. Her puppies were therefore highly sought after. The breed was named after her. The assumption that dingoes were crossed with collies when breeding this breed is considered unlikely today.