The breed has split over time
into the Show Kelpie and the Working Kelpie. The Show Kelpie is
the variety that is seen at conformation dog shows. They usually
have little or no herding instinct or skill. Show Kelpie breeders
tend to call their breeding establishments kennels, whereas Working
Kelpie breeders tend to call their breeding establishments "Studs"
in a similar way to cattle and sheep Studs.
There are two separate registries
for Kelpies. The Working Kelpie Council encourages breeding for
herding ability, and allows a wider variety of coat colors than
does the Australian National Kennel Council, which encourages breeding
for a certain appearance and limits dogs to certain colors, apparently
promoting solid colors over others.
The Working Kelpie comes in three
coat types, smooth, short and rough, with almost every colour from
black through light tan or cream. Many Kelpies have white blazes,
a few have white points. Kelpies used to have a double coat, but
this has largely disappeared, possibly due to environmental factors.
Ears are usually pricked, but about 20% will have one or both ears
flopped; the tail will often follow the coat type, and will vary
between smooth to bushy. Cosmetic features have no relationship
to the dog's working ability, so stockmen looking for capable working
dogs usually disregard the dog's appearance.
Working Kelpies stand about 50cm (19.5 inches) at the withers for
females, 55cm (21.5 inches) for dogs; weight would be between 14-21Kg
(31-46lbs). Show Kelpies are generally heavier and shorter.
The background of the Australian
Working Kelpie is both, fascinating and complex.
The Kelpie came about because Australian sheepmen needed a dog that
could work sheep on the outback properties, under variable and harsh
The various breeds of sheepdogs from Europe and the UK were too
heavy coated to cope with the severe conditions of the Australian
climate and geography.
The wonderful breed came from two black and tan short coated pricked
eared collies imported by a Mr Elliott and a Mr Allen in the 1860's.
Full History Details here
These dogs have a natural instinct
for working with sheep and display exceptional abilities in their
scent, sight and hearing. They are always very alert and eager with
an enormous amount of energy. They adapt to family life and are
great pets as long as there are kept active.
The Kelpie has excelled in the areas of Obedience, Agility and Tracking.
minimal care is needed, a brush and a bath now and then, or when
plenty of exercise is needed to keep then fit and their mind occupied,
they can become bored and destructive if they are not.
Generally very sound dog. For Diet and other general dog health