Kelpies were the result of crossing native dingoes and imported British herding dogs. They are rare as pets but have been a treasured asset to Australian livestock farmers for more than a hundred years. However, little facts are known about how Kelpies came into existence.
Nevertheless, this iconic Australian canine is well-known for its intelligence, loyalty, and super energy. And they make a wonderful companion with sufficient mental stimulation and exercise. Therefore, those looking to adopt this dog breed should first understand Kelpie’s characteristics well before bringing them home.
Like many clever dog breeds, Kelpies can turn stubborn and destructive, especially due to the lack of activity. They are not adaptable to a sedentary lifestyle. Let’s learn more about this furry buddy’s history, traits, temperament, and other aspects.
History and Facts
Interestingly, the origination of this cross-breed is yet heavily debated to date. It is said that nearly 26 different versions are there regarding the breed’s origination.
Several Scottish sheepdog breeds called ‘Collies’ were once imported to Australia’s rough and harsh terrain. These working sheep dogs were ideally crossed with a dash of dingo breeds that resulted in the Australian Kelpie we know today.
Kelpies are rare as pets, but you can see them daily on ranches and farms worldwide. The Australian government declared Kelpies as an official breed in early 1900. The goal was to preserve the breed’s natural temperament, working ability, behaviour, and good health.
Here’s a brief glimpse of the parent dogs – the Dingo and the Collie.
The Dingo is Australia’s native wild dog, not popularly kept as a pet. But they can be loyal and loving companions if reared from a very young age at home and continuously trained.
They are medium-sized dogs flaunting a naturally bushy tail and a lean build. Other notable features include:
- A wedge-shaped, broad head.
- Large and pricked ears.
- A long-tapered muzzle with long teeth.
Although their coat colour may vary according to where they are living, the standard color is ginger and white single coats. Moreover, the Dingo is Australia’s largest placental mammal.
They are one of the world’s most popular and beloved dog breeds. The majestic Collie has two varieties – Sleek smooth Collie and fully-coated rough Collie. Moreover, they are large, with a standing height of 22 to 26-inches.
Fascinatingly, the rough Collie variety boasts some of the most impressive coats in the canine kingdom. However, the smooth and sleek variety has no less beautiful coats. Coat colors range from white and blue merle to tricolor, sable, and white.
Collies are wonderful with children – a perfect family pet! They are good, rapid learners. They can easily impress any owner with their intelligence, loyalty, and sterling character.
About The Australian Kelpie
Kelpies are affectionate and loving and devoted and loyal to their family. They can even hang out easily with other dogs and also cats. Kelpies can even mingle well with young children if properly trained and socialized.
1. Physical Traits
Kelpies are a medium-sized herding dog breed with a muscular, energetic, and athletic body. In addition, they are highly intelligent and love working hard. Moreover, these soft-coated dogs are medium-sized with a sporty appearance and prick ears.
A kelpie usually weighs 14 to 20 kg but can attain a maximum weight of up to 27 kg.
|Weight||14 to 20 kg, reaching a maximum of 25 to 27 kg|
|Height||17 to 20 inches tall|
|Life Span||10 to 13 years|
|Temperament||Energetic, intelligent, loyal, eager, friendly, and alert|
|Coat Type||Straight, moderately short, and brushy tail; the coat can be longer on the back of the thighs and neck|
|Coat Color||Dark to light gray, black, chocolate to light red, tan ranging from cream to dark.|
2. Personality and Temperament
Kelpies are noted for being extremely alert, eager, and loyal nature. They are highly capable and intelligent and like to work all day long. Whatever the job might be, your canine buddy will do it well.
This dog is often more of a partner than a pet. Kelpies can quickly become troublesome and restless if they get no work to do. So be prepared to engage them in some work from the puppy stage if you are purchasing this breed.
Note that kelpies can get aggressive or fearful towards strangers if not adequately socialized. Moreover, they prefer constant human company. Besides children, Kelpies are also very good with smaller animals.
Grooming needs will vary according to the coat type. For example, kelpies shed throughout the year but shed heavily during the spring and autumn. However, they don’t need bathing regularly.
Plus, you may only need to clip their nails occasionally as they are so active. Brush them regularly for good dental hygiene. However, try to make them habituated to it from the puppy stage.
4. Activity Levels
Kelpies are highly energetic and enjoy walking, swimming, hiking, running, and other activities. It often becomes more challenging for most owners to make them exercise as much as Kelpie prefers. They aren’t the breed who would curl up to sleep in a corner. A Kelpie is always on the go!
Bonus Read: 4 Best Dog Ball Launcher Options in Australia
If you plan to bring a Kelpie at home as a pet, make sure to offer an active lifestyle and constant human company. It is common for a Kelpie to run up to 60km per day. Moreover, without exercise and activities, your canine buddy can turn destructive.