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Australian Kelpie

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Eleni   

what a beautiful dog my kelpies idea of cuddling is jaming her face in yours and sitting in your lap!! i dont think she realises she isnt a lap dog :)

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what a beautiful dog my kelpies idea of cuddling is jaming her face in yours and sitting in your lap!! i dont think she realises she isnt a lap dog :)

;)

I always wanted a cuddly dog when my kelpie X Tammy was pretty aloof...now I have two lap dogs. ;)

My stumpy tail cattle dog sounds just like your kelpie - she is very in your face and loves cuddles all of the time. Tilly is also really affectionate...she loves lying on her back and being held in your lap for a cuddle, or she will snuggle into me, which is very sweet.

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Lab_Rat   

Pikes pooches - I think that yes there is definitely two "types" of Kelpie - the working dog and the bench dog.

I own a "working" kelpie - not a ANKC pedigree, but a Kelpie all the same. She cant be shown at dog shows.

The working lines seem to have kept the two tone colouring alot more, black & tan, red & tan etc., whereas the show lines seem to be solid colours like the blacks and reds. Their build is slightly different also, but so are lines within the two types. The working dogs seem to be narrower, and just a bit taller than the show dogs. But they are all so beautiful.

When I was a kid there seemed to be just two types of kelpies - what we called Red Clouds here in WA, and Black & Tans.

This website is all about the Working Kelpie - Here

There are a few others here on DOL that know an awful lot more about kelpies than myself, and I hope they hop in here and give us all a bit of their stories!!

Rat

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Pikes pooches - I think that yes there is definitely two "types" of Kelpie - the working dog and the bench dog.

I own a "working" kelpie - not a ANKC pedigree, but a Kelpie all the same. She cant be shown at dog shows.

The working lines seem to have kept the two tone colouring alot more, black & tan, red & tan etc., whereas the show lines seem to be solid colours like the blacks and reds. Their build is slightly different also, but so are lines within the two types. The working dogs seem to be narrower, and just a bit taller than the show dogs. But they are all so beautiful.

When I was a kid there seemed to be just two types of kelpies - what we called Red Clouds here in WA, and Black & Tans.

This website is all about the Working Kelpie - Here

There are a few others here on DOL that know an awful lot more about kelpies than myself, and I hope they hop in here and give us all a bit of their stories!!

Rat

I agree and give me a working line any day, but I love the lot!

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what a beautiful dog my kelpies idea of cuddling is jaming her face in yours and sitting in your lap!! i dont think she realises she isnt a lap dog :thumbsup:

Is that Kyra???

If so I wouldn't be the blame as the kids and I really didn't spoil her LOL :)

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Eleni   
what a beautiful dog my kelpies idea of cuddling is jaming her face in yours and sitting in your lap!! i dont think she realises she isnt a lap dog :rofl:

Is that Kyra???

If so I wouldn't be the blame as the kids and I really didn't spoil her LOL :D

Yep thats her how did you know!! :rofl: I can tell she hasnt been and still isnt spoiled!! She looves her cuddle times but its really on her terms its not that she doesnt like them any other time she just looks at you and you can see it in her face "what do you want i am busy you know"!! ;)

And just to top it off she didnt get a walk yesterday as i could only fit in my foster dogs walk so i paid the price!! washing on the floor and in the mud, she lets me know when she isnt impressed!!

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Being the Breed 101 Thread, can you guys try keep it to the original questions?

Chit chat makes it hard to find answers and defeats the purpose of this particular thread.

Thankyou :D

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But are there now two styles of Kelpie?

The ANKC one which has less drive and is a different style and coloured dog and the working kelpie which has original variances of teh breed and original colour and a higher drive!

We see and rescue loads of KElpies out in teh country and tehy are true working dogs but not like the standard

You could say there are two types of kelpies now... although some will disagree.. the working people think the show dogs shouldnt exist and the show people think their dogs are the same as the working dogs !

Basically when they split, the show people decided they liked the heavier built, solid colour dog for showing. If you look back over the old photos, the kelpies that were working dogs and taken to shows, were very like the show dogs of today. Yes there are some big variances on size and build these days, but essentially they are the same. Working dogs are bred firstly for their ability to work and for generation after generation that is in their genetic makeup. The showdogs, while breeding for temperment and soundness, are bred for a certain look in the show ring. So the working instinct has not been at the top of the list making them a more laid back dog... this is only generally (as I have mentioned before) as I have seen many a show dog that will more than keep up with its working cousin in the energy stakes. There are also many breeders out there that still work their 'show bred' kelpies.

I was at a country show earlier this year watching a yard dog trial that had many beautiful kelpies entered. There was one solid black boy that was a dead ringer for my black dog Shamus. I have also had a gentleman with working dogs state one of his best bitches looked just like my red girl. So the type is still there across the breed.

The working kelpies still have a standard to breed to, it is the same standard that the ANKC uses (with maybe a couple of variances), and the majority of your working kelpies match that standard.. they have to or they couldnt work and you wouldnt recognize them for the beautiful dog they are.

The show people need to not lose sight of the most important part of the Kelpie standard... and that is in the first part...

GENERAL APPEARANCE - The general appearance shall be that of a lithe, active dog of great quality, showing hard muscular condition combined with great suppleness of limb and conveying the capability of untiring work. It must be free from any suggestion of weediness.

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Ons   

I never really thought kelpies as show dogs as well as working dogs, just thought of them on farms as working dogs. No reason why at all. They are really beautiful dogs, I just love the old ones, they look so wise.

Do they have an off switch though, are they happy to lounge around with the owners when they are louging around (provided they got enough exercise of course) or do they have to be on the "go" all the time?

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Kavik   

A good Kelpie has an off switch :D

Mine are happy to relax in the house, even Zoe (who doesn't have a nice a temperament or as good an off switch as Kaos).

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I agree with Kavik... good working dogs have to know when to rest up and regain their energy.

I also think the kelpie tends to pick up on the energy of their owners, if you are laid back, then your kelpie will generally be like that. Might be why everyone comments on how quiet my kelpies are :thumbsup: they all fit in easily around my lifestyle.

Has anyone else found this? I would be curious to know. I know there will be one or two dogs out there that will not adhere to this but it is an interesting thought.

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4Kelpies   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I have four WKC registered Working Kelpies but have been around Kelpies most of my life (and that's quite a while :thumbsup: . ) I have friends and family who own and breed them. I've never owned a show Kelpie.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

In Australia for working sheep.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Very

4. What is the average lifespan?

Well into their teens. A lot depends on how hard they have worked and how they have been looked after. A farm dog who has been knocked around by stock or run over (unfortunately too common when working sheep on the roads) and lives outside in a kennel or 44 gallon drum will develop more stiffness/ arthritis etc. than a dog whose body hasn't had as much wear and tear and who has a warm bed indooors. A lot of farm dogs are put down when they can't work any more and are not happy when they can't do anything. Those that are treated like pets (and plenty of old farm dogs are) and are allowed to come inside to sleep by the fire etc. will go on for longer.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Intelligent, enthusiastic with plenty of energy and initiative. Most of the Kelpies I've known have excellent temperaments and rarely show aggression to people or other dogs. Of course so much depends on bloodlines and how they are handled.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Not nearly as much as most people think. While they are not a dog to be left alone in a backyard for long periods of time (and I don't believe any breed of dog deserves this) they can get by quite happily without lots of exercise as long as they have plenty of mental stimulation. Most farms in Australia are mixed farms and there will be times such as shearing when dogs have plenty of work and other times when crops are being put in or harvested when the dogs might be lucky to get off their chains for 15 minutes a day for a week or more. Dogs that bark and dig holes etc. won't last long on a farm. Most Kelpies will accept these boring times and just lie around and wait to be let off and have fun again. I know some farmers who will take a dog with them wherever they go - on the back of the ute or at their feet when on the tractor and the dogs don't get much exercise at all but are happy to be with their owners. My dogs are lively outside but are quiet indoors and will just lie around and sleep if I'm on the computer, reading, watching TV etc. As soon as I'm up and moving they are ready to go again. I have to explain that housework has nothing ot do with them and they don't have to follow me around form room to room.

]7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes as long as they are prepared to put in the time and effort to train their dogs and spend a lot of time with them. Unfortunately some first time owners have unrealistic expectations of their dogs and how much of a commitment they are prepared to make and young healthy dogs end up in shelters.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

I've never had a solo Kelpie so I can't answer that one. My Kelpies were often left for 10 hours a day while I was working with no problems. They would have a walk in the morning and be left with a bone each, then would have another walk in the evening and would spend the night inside with me. These days I've retired from work so they often spend the whole day with me. They still sleep most of the day just as they used to do when I was working.

9. How much grooming is required?

Little to none. I don't know any farmers who groom. My dogs get the occasional bath - usually if they've rolled in something. I will occasionally brush dead hair out of their coats to stop it from coming out inside the house but rarely do what I would call grooming. I do have to trim their nails regularly. These grow really fast.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Probably. Young pups can be lively and boisterous. They usually respond well to training but could trip or knock over small children or elderly people. I know plenty of homes where Kelpies have been kept in the house along with children and elderly grandparents with no problems but it could be a risk.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Kelpies are one of the soundest breeds around. Any dog not healthy enough to work hard usually doesn't live long enough to breed. Ataxia (Cerebellar Abiotrophy) although not so common these days has been in the ancestors of many well bred Working Kelpies. This usually (but not always) shows up soon after birth. It is recessive so dogs who are unaffected by the condition could be carriers. Although a lot of research is being done there are no tests as yet to tell if a dog is a carrier. This won't be a problem for pet owners who don't intend to breed . More information can be found at http://www.wkc.org.au/HistoryAtaxia.html

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (e.g. what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

You should probably talk to people who have bought puppies from the breeder in the past and find out how their dogs have turned out. Meet the parents and other relatives of your puppy if possible. Be realistic about your lifestyle and how much time you can give to the dog. Reputable breeders will know if the pups they breed will suit you or not. Not many breeders x ray hips or elbows and if they do there is not set standard for Working Kelpies to compare. My puppy began limping at six months and my vet suggest x raying his shoulders for elbow dysplasia. (It turned out to be a muscle injury and all is fine now.) The x rays were sent away to a specialist vet and the report came back as excellent but they couldn't give me a score as they didn't have a score standard for Working Kelpies.

Edited by 4Kelpies

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I never really thought kelpies as show dogs as well as working dogs, just thought of them on farms as working dogs. No reason why at all. They are really beautiful dogs, I just love the old ones, they look so wise.

Do they have an off switch though, are they happy to lounge around with the owners when they are louging around (provided they got enough exercise of course) or do they have to be on the "go" all the time?

This is about a purebred Kelpie that my brother is temporarily looking after on the weekends and in the evenings throughout the week...he is full-on but is obedient when he's told to settle down (eg. if he's told "no ball" or "lay down" in a firm voice then he will stop playing and will lay down).

He thrives on being busy and kept occupied, he is happy to sit in and protect his owner's ute and he likes going to work with his owner. This particular dog isn't the type that can be left in a yard all day, because he will jump the fence and go and find his own fun!

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1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

we have had working line kelpies (always 2 at a time) for about 20 years. we had never owned a show line kelpie until we adopted a young boy from rspca about 4 months ago, as a companion to a working line kelpie/dingo girl we adopted earlier this year.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

others have answered this better than I could, though you'll hear different stories from different breeders. some say fox, some say dingo, many say neither. I do know for a fact that some working dog breeders are putting dingo 'back in' because they don't like the dulling of the herding instinct that's happened in recent decades. it's highly likely that our dingo/kelpie girl was from just such a litter, but failed due to lack of bark.

3. How common is it in Australia?

doesn't appear to be very common in suburban areas, though far too common in country pounds.

4. What is the average lifespan?

see other posts

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

our dingo/kelpie girl seeks and gives affection freely and from everyone, family & stranger alike, whereas our purebred show line boy is quite aloof with strangers, and moderately affection seeking and giving with family. he is very loyal though, and will remain within a metre or two of me around the clock. our previous two males were both very affectionate, and showed equal affection to family and strangers.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

this is an interesting question. our kelpies have always been more interested in mental stimulation than in flat out running - though they certainly need that too. we find that so long as they have access to a backyard for self-exercise through play, and are included in most family activities, they manage very well. ours go everywhere we do. every trip in the car is stimulating for them, so that and a walk or two, and that's all they need. they want to feel as though they're participating in your day, more than anything. any activity in which they're included, even if it's 'helping' hang the washing or mowing the lawn, feels to them like work - and work is what they live for.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

yes, so long as that person understands that they require a great deal of mental stimulation, through play and inclusion and through training. and they need to be talked to .. alot!

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

we've never had a single kelpie for any length of time, so can't really answer this.

9. How much grooming is required?

nil, in working lines. just a bath when getting a bit whiffy. we're finding our show line boy needs stripping as he blows his coat.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

our kids grew up with kelpies and I've not seen a single incident to be alarmed about. they seem to instinctively respect people, and kids in particular.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

others can answer this better than I, but anecdotally, I've experienced no major health problems with our dogs, other than arthritis in old age.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

it would probably depend on whether you wanted a working line or show line dog.

cheers

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QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I have a 6month kelpie bitch. She is my second Kelpie

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Developed in Australia as a working dog for sheep.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Very common.

4. What is the average lifespan?

I have met a lot of elderly kelpies 12yrs plus

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Intelligent, loyal, energetic, fun, hard working.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

A moderate amount, although my girl is happy to lie about if Im lying about or run around working moving cattle etc

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Depends what they want from their dog and how much time they put in.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

If dog has plenty of excercise they are happy to go of duty and be alone and rest, Contained in run of course.

9. How much grooming is required?

Not alot.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Like all dogs, they would need to be trained to what is acceptable behavior for their situation.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Not that I know of. Generaly a healthy breed.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

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Tapua   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Began breeding ANKC Kelpies in 1991 but I have had bred,owned working Kelpies for 4 years prior. At the time had 6 working Kelpies and 1 bench dog. I focussed on the bench dog because there was a drought ... again ... and placed our workers with another stud because they needed to be working and we were doing contract work at the time - which dried up in the drought...literally. The bench dog I had at the time adjusted best to home life. Showing was a novel easy pastime - I preferred obedience.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Stock dogs originated from English imports black sort coated prick eared bogs from the north of England. A red pup was born in the litter, alleged to be a 'dingo' the pup was given away - the pup was called Kelpie - Celtic term meaning 'Water Sprite'. Various short coated, pricked eared dogs were mated and the term Kelpie seemed to stick. Lots of myth and mystery after this time and th developement. Basically a smooth coated, prick eared medium sized dog suited the ag needs for a tough stock dog.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Very common - working lines - bench dogs however have a restricted gene pool due to the changes in the 1960's when the ANKC did not recognise the WKC lines after a period of time. They are one breed genetically but two different registrations and for the most part gene -pools. This created alot of political resentments and finger pointing. Some working dog people said bench dogs couldnt work - unfortunately bench dog people wouldnt proove that their dogs did work - but continued to claim and sell dogs that didnt work with no gaurantee of return - cashing in on the public assumption that all Kelpie can work stock. This festered the resentments between the groups for many years.

4. What is the average lifespan?

15 years +- 2 years

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

An honest dog - open faced and friendly - shy or timid and aggressive dogs should not be tollerated either around stock or in the show ring. Intelligent, problem solver, touch sensetive, amusing, strong willed at times, respond well to motivational training. Not a breed you can bully to obey - you have to earn their respect and loyality - Amusing character they will tell you off if you do dumb. I think they can laugh at you at times. Great company. They are generally only 'obedient and loyal' to one person becasue that person provides security and stability for them - they can very sweetly ignore and dissobey anyone they dont know or like. - rather amusing to watch.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Some need to excercise daily some don't - they all should have an off switch. The greater the working instinct the greater the need for excercise and mental stimulation. I have met some really really dumb Kelpies.

]7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Maybe - if the first timer is active and keen to bond and be involved. Great dog for a teenager/young or single adult who wants his/her own space.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

I dont think they are suited to be alone - they need company - both human and canine. particulary when young. They are like all dogs and are creatures of routine - so older dogs cope being alone for 8-12 hours when I have been at work but I wouldnt like to leave a youngest alone for that long - god knows what the back yard would be like!!!!

9. How much grooming is required?

Very little - bitches tend to malt when in season, dogs, in the summer. Coat must be stripped when dropping or heat spots can develop. Like all dogs they are susseptible to fleas, mange. Creams/fawns are more sun sensitive particularly if their nose is pink.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

As long as the dog is 'owned' by an adult - I have found Kelpies to be remarkably gentle and kind with children - they seem to understand kids and accommodate their boisterousness to their size and youth.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Cerebellar Abiotrophy CA is creeping into the bench dogs due to ignorant breeding practices but the condition has been in working lines for some 20 years. Mode of inheritance is Autosomal Resessive. Research currently occuring to issolate the DNA marker. Hips are becoming an issue though I would argue there is poor understanding of the scores and a niave belief that kelpies DONT had high hip scores. I have never seen problems with the elbows. I started hip scoring in the mid 90's unfortunately very few breeders hip score and so the whole precess is becoming pointless. Temperaments and working ability are not the prioroity they could be for bench lines. Some breeders prioitising pretty dogs over the all round dog for the show ring and have bred from some very dodgy temperamented and dumb dogs and bitches and it shows in their progeny. Temperaments in work line can be too independant for many handlers.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (e.g. what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Visit the kennels and meet the sire (if there) and the dam - dont be bluffed by the Championship titles they are pretty meaningless in Australia - I would take note of any herding tials or obedience results in the lines. If they say 'both parents work' then I would like to see them working. If I was buying for stock purposes. Agility- flyball are debatable indicators of temperament. Ask about hip/elbows but you would be lucky to find people who do it consistantly. Breed average for Kelpies hips 12.5. Assess you life-style and you requirements. Compared to other breeds I have owned and trained (GSD's,ACD's, Labradors, Border Collies's) Kelpies are demanding and the ones with a reasonable to strong working ability can be very demanding. The age I am now (48), health and lifestyle suits the Labradors - I wouldnt return to Kelpies now. But they were great when I was younger and single.

Edited by Tapua

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Jumabaar   
Visit the kennels and meet the sire (if there) and the dam - dont be bluffed by the Championship titles they are pretty meaningless in Australia - I would take note of any herding tials or obedience results in the lines. If they say 'both parents work' then I would like to see them working. If I was buying for stock purposes. Agility- flyball are debatable indicators of temperament. Ask about hip/elbows but you would be lucky to find people who do it consistantly. Breed average for Kelpies hips 12.5. Assess you life-style and you requirements. Compared to other breeds I have owned and trained (GSD's,ACD's, Labradors, Border Collies's) Kelpies are demanding and the ones with a reasonable to strong working ability can be very demanding. The age I am now (48), health and lifestyle suits the Labradors - I wouldnt return to Kelpies now. But they were great when I was younger and single.

What do you mean by Agility/flyball not being an indication of temperament- do you mean in their ability to work stock or their temperament in general?

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