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Australian Kelpie

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SLF   

Weasel- of course training is essential. Sorry if I wasnt clear.

I also think your idea of rewarding calm is great.

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Weasels   

Ah cool sorry SLF :o I have genuinely met people though who have told me they have complete control over their dog just because it is submissive to them. Of course this is followed closely by them calling and being ignored by this same dog repeatedly. So I just wanted to clarify the point for people playing along at home :)

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excuse my naivity, but how do you know if you are the dominant member of the pack? my 2 kelpies both come when are called 1 will come 8 out of 10 times, and the other maybe 9 out of 10 times. when they are being fed they dont eat until i give the command to, they both sit and drop when they are told to, but one of them is, as i said focused on shadows and birds and does back a bit much.

what is a flirt pole? when we take them to the park, we use a lunging whip for them to chase, they dont just run off like fools, they play with us by chasing the whip.

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Weasels   

Aidan honestly I wouldn't worry about it, the vast majority of dogs don't try to dominate. As long as you are calm, fair and consistent with your dogs, everything else is just a matter of teaching them how you expect them to behave.

A whip is pretty close to a flirt pole, you'd just normally have something on the end they can chase and grab too. The whip sounds like a great toy tho! :)

Edit: if you can use the whip or another toy to distract her every time she STARTS to get focussed on the shadows/birds, the behaviour should extinguish because she now has a more rewarding alternative behaviour (Chase the whip! Fun!). The real crux of this though is to recognise when she is getting locked in on something and interrupt her before she starts moving, because if she's anything like mine, once she's got her eye in she'll be totally deaf :o Everytime she goes off and chases her own thing it is reinforcing that ('bad') behaviour, so try not to let her as much as you can!

Edited by Weasels

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Aidan honestly I wouldn't worry about it, the vast majority of dogs don't try to dominate. As long as you are calm, fair and consistent with your dogs, everything else is just a matter of teaching them how you expect them to behave.

A whip is pretty close to a flirt pole, you'd just normally have something on the end they can chase and grab too. The whip sounds like a great toy tho! :)

Edit: if you can use the whip or another toy to distract her every time she STARTS to get focussed on the shadows/birds, the behaviour should extinguish because she now has a more rewarding alternative behaviour (Chase the whip! Fun!). The real crux of this though is to recognise when she is getting locked in on something and interrupt her before she starts moving, because if she's anything like mine, once she's got her eye in she'll be totally deaf :o Everytime she goes off and chases her own thing it is reinforcing that ('bad') behaviour, so try not to let her as much as you can!

Thanks Weasels

the only reason i am concerned is that we are due to have a baby any day now and i am trying to sort the barking out. i can normally call her out of the shadow and bird chasing within 2 or 3 calls. eventuall i would like to give her a go at city herding or agility, but we have a long way to go. off lead for a start haha

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Weasels   

Congrats on the bub!! Some trainers specialise in new-baby households, might be worth an in-home consult if you run into trouble :)

Off-lead reliability isn't necessarily a prerequisite for herding and agility (depending on your local club's rules), you can do foundation or small-yard work until they get the hang of it :) In fact in my case herding accelerated their training because being able to work sheep is such a high value reward for them, they learnt that as soon as they do what they're told they get to go herd!

I imagine you'll be a bit too busy in the immediate future though :laugh:

Edited by Weasels

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tessa403   

Hi all, just thought I'd say hello.

We have a Kelpie male he's about 6 years old now my partner who is a truck driver got him when he was shipping sheep and a farmer had his for sale. His name is Tin because we a pup apparently he got his nose caught .... in a tin and he still has the scar on his nose. 3 months after getting Tin the other half stopped shipping sheep so Tin because a house dog, he is still very well trained and has a great temperament although I swear at times he thinks he is human but we quickly make sure he knows he is the doggy and we are the peoples.

At the moment Tin is up at the Vet because it looks like he has strained a ligament and the vet is doing some more tests. I'd always tried to get him out of the local footy ground with one of those plastic ball thrower things running him hard to drain his energy but it looks like I've run him a little too hard.

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tessa403   

Welcome :D You should pop over to the "Kelpies" thread in the breed subforums, lots more action/activity over there!

Thanks, I just found it.

The good news from the vet is we don't have to have an operation, bad news is it's his hip.

Now we just have to manage it from here on in so if anyone has any ideas i'd love to hear them.

Edited by tessa403

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wyldrose   

Hi, I just joined this forum as it seemed the perfect place to ask the questions I have. I don't know whether to ask here or the sub-forum Kelpies but at any rate I can't find this sub-forum. (I was looking at it yesterday!) Can someone link me if that's the better place please?

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QUESTIONS

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

Second time owner, residential city dweller

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

See expert answers

3. How common is it in Australia?

Kelpies are very common in Australia. They are often found in shelters and rescues across the country. I think this is because as puppies they are very high energy with high enthusiasm and people who wanted a cute sweet docile puppy find it too much. Its very sad because these dogs learn so easily with simple consistent training.

4. What is the average lifespan?

I'd say around 14 years. My current kelpie is going on 15 but obviously fragile, site is not great, rear legs are weak from arthritis, but she is eating well, going on walks (we limit them to 20 slow-paced minutes) and she is very happy. Mum had a kelpie that lived to over 14 happily.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

In my experience with my 15 years old female: She is very sweet, highly intelligent, gets along with every person, every other dog (just retreats head head high if another dog is aggressive, and very cat friendly. Highly driven to please the owner. Very loyal and devoted. Seems to equally be fond of myself and my husband. Friendly with visitors. Absolutely lovely with toddlers, even though she wasn't raised with them.

I have a kelpie and a west highland white terrier. I absolutely adore both. But to give you an idea of the difference in personality type, if my family left the planet and each of my dogs went to a lovely perfect new home, my Westie would adjust quite quickly to a new friendly family that loved her. But my kelpie would fret and may not eat, she would potentially get quite depressed and withdrawn. I know this because I rescued a kelpie once from his heartbroken owner who couldn't have him anymore and he fretted and missed his owner dreadfully, lost his appetite for weeks - it was very sad.

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

While kelpies are working dogs and can herd sheep and cattle all day, they can also be happy in a residential homes. Every residential kelpieneeds to be able to do big figure eights running like the wind on a large footy field or park, twice a day in its prime years and then its very happy as long they aren't left alone. This is needed while the dog is fit and able to run like the wind - which is most of its life. A kelpie should have quality companionship - human or another dog. if not, it will be highly likely to get depressed.

Mine always in her life has had access to indoors and outdoors. She is a great indoor dog. Easy to toilet train. For obedience, I got a professional trainer to spend two hours with me one day when she about 10 months old and after 2 weeks of doing the exercises he taught me, my kelpie was perfectly obedient and trained and I could take her anywhere, anytime, off leash without a problem (I had her on-leash but it wasn't necessary). Note that some cities have sheep herding workshops for kelpies which are a great thing to try.

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

This can be a breed for a first time owner as long as they are educated and dedicated to training their dog, have done their research, and will seek expert help if/when they need it. The first year can be a lot of work with any dog (n trouble with a kelpie, just effort), but after that the kelpie is just a dream. You need a high fence, the young ones can jump very high and are very agile.

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

I do not think a kelpie would make a good 'only dog' if the family is out at work and school all day. But having two dogs works well in these circumstances, as long as the kelpie get to run as fast as it can twice a day. See exercise needs above.

9. How much grooming is required?

Kelpies have an easy short coat. A brush once a week is great. I take mine to the hydrobath every 3-4 weeks, and in winter weather I towel dry her then gently blow-dry her and she is dry and huggable in minutes. Its not trouble at all. You do need to keep nails trimmed, as with most dogs.

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

Kelpies are very friendly and intuitive dogs, but their enthusiasm between 3 months and 3 years may risk them accidentally causing a child to fall.

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

See expert answers to this one

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)

See expert answers to this one

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The breed was first developed in the 1800's as a herding breed which could withstand the often harsh conditions of outback sheep stations and which had the endurance, intelligence and stamina to work tirelessly on large flocks. The history of the Kelpie is well documented and can be traced back to a Casterton Station worker called Jack gleeson who mated his black dog named 'Kelpie' with one of the local collies. The resulting offspring were called 'Kelpies' - a name taken from a mythological creature featured in the writings of the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson.

 

Very close to the truth of it but not quite. In 1871 Mr Jack Gleeson was given a female pup bred by Mr George Robertson of Warwick Station (Victoria) and Mr Gleeson called this pup Kelpie ( which is a Gaelic word meaning "water sprite". This pup was black and tan in colour. It was actually Mr Robertson who produced the pup , although credit is usually given to Mr Gleeson because he gave the breed a name which stuck and has become legendary. As a side note "Kelpie" (Mr Gleesons bitch )  was entered into a sheepdog trial in 1872 at Forbes (NSW) at 12 months of age and won the trial with ease and so her pups when they came were in high demand and a legend was born

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