Kelpie X Labrador Dog Breed – Facts, Temperament and Care

The Kelpie X Labrador dog is created by breeding a Labrador Retriever and an Australian Kelpie. The hybrid breed is found in a few of Australia’s rescue shelters or some breeders. It’s not a common breed. Labs are known for their loving nature, and the Kelpie is a herding and working dog breed owned by farmers. Crossbreeding two different types of dogs will result in a pup with qualities from both parents. 

Black labradoodles
Black labradoodles

Adopting a mixed breed pup requires more research because you need to be fully clear about the history, temperament, health, and other aspects to care for the furball. Let’s read more about the Kelpie X Labrador dog in this article. 

History and Facts 

The Kelpie X Lab is an energetic, loving, and intelligent dog. It needs a lot of playtime and activity, a trait inherited from the Kelpie parent. The result of the Lab-Kelpie mix is beautiful and a great choice for family pets. If you haven’t ever owned a pet before, this mixed-breed pup would be a good companion. 

Let us first get a brief glimpse into the history of the parent dogs, the Lab Retriever and the Australian Kelpie.

About Labrador 

About Labrador
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The Lab Retriever is an ancient breed first found in the 1500s in Newfoundland. Smaller dogs were bred with Newfoundlands to create the St. John’s Water Dog used by fishermen to retrieve fish from the icy waters. For more than two centuries, these dogs were limited to the Newfoundland region, after which they were taken to Poole, England. By 1830, the dogs were declared as best hunting companions and were renamed Labrador dogs by the Earl and Duke of Malmesbury. 

Lab Retrievers are hard-working and adorable dogs always eager to please their human families. It was during the 1900s, Labs were introduced in the US, and they gradually became a part of the hunting families and farmers. Soon, the dogs entered many other countries as farmers continued to breed and export them. 

Bonus Read: The Staffy X Kelpie Breed: Facts, Temperament and More

About Kelpie 

About Kelpie
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The Australian Kelpie came from a Scottish coolie ancestor and Dingo, a native Australian farm dog. The Scottish collies were brought to the country in the late 1800s for herding sheep in the countryside. The Kelpie was bred to make the collie adapt to the harsh Australian climate and work with the farmer for long hours. 

The breeding has been highly successful as Australian Kelpies became a household name for herding and working on the farm. Their double coat keeps them safe in the changing weather conditions. The Kelpie is a hard-working, intelligent, and independent dog with a steady fast work ethic and unwavering loyalty. Even today, many farmers own the Australian Kelpie or a Kelpie crossbreed to help them with the farm work and manage the animals.

About Kelpie X Labrador 

About Kelpie X Labrador
Image Credit: www.everythinglabradors.com

It’s no surprise that breeding parents with loyalty and hardworking nature resulted in a mixed breed with similar attributes. The Kelpie X Lab doggy has the following common features with the parent breeds: 

  • Intelligence 
  • Loving nature 
  • Loyalty 
  • Work Ethics 
  • High energy
  • Playfulness 
  • Happy with anything that’s not threatening 

You just cannot ask for a better dog for a first-time dog parent. The doggy and the human can guide each other and become a tight family. Labs love being family pets even though they’ve been used as sport dogs once upon a time. 

#1. Physical Attributes of Kelpie X Labrador 

Physical Attributes of Kelpie X Labrador 
Image Credit: www.everythinglabradors.com

The Kelpie cross Lab is a friendly mixed breed dog with great energy levels and good health conditions. The doggy has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years (Lab has a life span of 10 to 12 years, and the Kelpie can live around 10 to 15 years). The mixed-breed dog weighs about 15 to 32 kg (the Lab parent weighs about 25 to 36 kg while the Kelpie parent dog weighs less than 20 kg. The pup sure leans closer to the Lab in its weight). The Kelpie X Lab is 45 to 58 cm tall at the shoulders (both parent breeds are tall, though the Lab is taller than Kelpie and the mixed breed). 

AttributesLabrador RetrieverAustralian KelpieKelpie X Labrador
Life span10 to 12 years 10 to 15 years12 to 15 years
Weight25 to 36 kg10.8 kg to 20.8 kg15 to 32 kg
Height 54 to 62 cm38 to 50 cm45 to 58 cm

#2. Personality and Temperament 

Since the Kelpie X Lab is not a common breed, it is a little difficult to generalize the personality and temperament of these dogs. We’ll have to go with what we have observed and remember that the traits might change a little based on which parent’s genes are more dominant in the pup. 

For example, if the mixed-breed pup has more of the Lab Retriever’s traits, it’s going to be relaxed, comfortable, and a little laid-back. The pup wouldn’t mind not being a leader or taking up herding responsibility. The doggy will love to cuddle with the human owners and spend time with them. 

However, you have a natural instinctive dog if you have the Kelpie X Lab, which can make its own decisions and herd a group. The Kelpie is friendly enough but doesn’t prefer crowds. Though it is affectionate, it likes to have space and be independent. Moreover, the doggy will demand a lot of exercise and activity to spend the pent-up energy. 

Another difference in traits we might observe is the amount of barking. While Labs are not the barking type (unless necessary, which makes them a really bad watchdog), the Kelpie is prone to barking and mouthing due to its herding instincts. Moreover, the mixed breed pup might be hyperactive and a little too curious to wander about.  

Either way, training is essential when you bring a Kelpie X Labrador pup. Don’t take your pup outside for socializing unless you’ve trained it and have a better understanding of the triggers. Even then, stay alert when introducing the pup to other dogs or little kids. Look for physical signs of unease, passive aggression, or anxiousness. 

#3. With Family, Kids, and Other Pets 

With Family, Kids, and Other Pets 
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There’s no doubt that the Kelpie X Lab is a family dog. You can leave it with your family and kids without worrying, but only after training. Every dog needs training and time to get used to the surroundings and learn how to navigate through them. Be patient with your pup. Show your love and compassion when training instead of relying on aggression or negative reinforcements. 

The mixed-breed pup might act on the herding instincts if it sees smaller dogs running around, even if it has more traits of a Lab Retriever. Both parent breeds are not comfortable with dogs larger than them. They don’t react positively to dominating nature. The Kelpie is likely to be aggressive, while the Lab might turn anxious.

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#4. Appearance 

The Kelpie X Labrador breed comes in different colours, with black and brown dominating the list. A rich chocolate or walnut coat is also common in the mixed breed, though reds and yellows are a bit rare. There is also the two-toned brown, brindle, tripartite, and black.  

The pup might either have a short, single coat that requires little grooming like the Lab or have a long coat with a shedding undercoat like the Kelpie. Since we cannot predict the outcome of the breeding until the pup is born, you’ll have to be prepared to deal with both kinds of coats. The Kelpies require brushing twice a week and need to be regularly groomed to keep the coat shiny and healthy. Contact a pet grooming centre to create a schedule.

#5. Activity and Health 

Activity and Health
Image Credit: https://www.petrescue.com.au/

We know that both parent breeds are active and require exercise to prevent them from feeling bored or frustrated. It’s important to plan an exercise/ playtime schedule for your pup and try to maintain it. 

Since both breeds are intelligent and enjoy games that demand them to use their brain, the mixed-breed pup will also have the same tendency. These dogs don’t mind complex training or games as long as nothing feels physically threatening. 

Training the Kelpie X Lab doggy is not a tough task. The parent breeds are fast learners and have passed the same traits to the pups. They learn quickly and even love advanced training. 

#6. Health Issues 

The health condition of the Kelpie X Lab is case-sensitive. While some pups grew up into healthy and robust dogs, others had a few health issues that needed attention. It is vital to get the parent dogs tested before crossbreeding them to avoid pups with genetic health conditions. 

Hybrid dogs tend to have health concerns as they might get the worst of both parents. Eye diseases, hypothyroidism, microphthalmia, hip dysplasia, diabetes, obesity, and tricuspid valve dysplasia are some common concerns found in Labs and Kelpies. 

Moreover, the mixed breed pups have more possibilities of becoming overweight. They may gain weight if they have a hearty appetite as the Lab but don’t get enough exercise to spend the energy generated by the excess food consumption. This can lead to further health issues.

Final Words 

The Kelpie X Labrador Retriever mixed breed is a playful and lively dog. Even though it can stay without the owner for hours, it needs its daily dose of walking and exercise to be healthy and happy. Bored dogs cause more destruction than active dogs. Also, the Kelpie X Lab is not entirely suited for apartment living. A house with an open yard will encourage the doggy to be active and spend time with the family. 

We advise adopting a pet from the shelter homes or rescue centres. However, you can also contact a breeder to crossbreed a Kelpie X Labrador Retriever for you. Take time to know more about the parent dogs and do your research before adopting a mixed breed.

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