Australian Kelpies belong to the working breed and have been originated in Australia, where they were bred to bare the harsh climatic conditions of Australia. They are still used for herding livestock there. They are now recognized by the American Kennel Club as well. An Australian Kelpie can prove out to be a great companion and family dog too. These devoted dogs can prove out to be your loyal companions. They love to live families and due to their immense stamina, they can accompany you on long walks.
Australian Kelpie History
If we talk about their history so, Australian Kelpies first appeared in 1870s. These dogs were named after the mythological creatures of Celtic Folklore which were called Kelpies. During those days farmers greatly felt the need of a companion who could herd the dramatically large quantities of sheep. Thus, Australian Kelpies came into being.
We have observed that the history of Australian Kelpie’s ancestors is not well-documented. Some researchers say that they were the offspring of the long-haired Collies, imported from Scotland, and the smooth-haired Collie breed. While other researchers claim these dogs to be the offspring of local Australian dogs who were crossed with Dingoes. It is also said that possibly the Scottish Collies were cross bred with Dingoes to produce these highly clever and active dogs.
Australian Kelpie Characteristics
Australian Kelpies are firmly built, medium-sized dogs. The male Kelpies are around 18-20 inches tall while the females are 17-19 inches tall. The height of these dogs is not much but these dogs have a longer body. They have a flexible appearance with a broad chest and a strong hindquarter. The male dogs weigh around 33-44 pounds while the females weigh around 24-35 pounds.
The Australian Kelpies’ head is long and narrow with pointed triangular ears. They have short well-arched toes and a low set medium length tail. These dogs have a double coat comprising of a shorter dense inner coat and a hard water-resistant outer coat. These coats come in seven colors which entails fawn, black and tan, smokey blue, chocolate, red, black and red and tan.
Australian Kelpie Temperament/Personality
Australian Kelpies are known for their alertness, intelligence and loyalty. They are extremely active dogs with high stamina. When you have an Australian Kelpie at your home or farm, you do not have to worry much about the work as these dogs are independent thinkers. However, they can become upset and destructive when left alone for a longer time. Australian Kelpies are extremely territorial and they do not mingle well with strangers. They bark upon seeing strangers, this makes them a great choice as watchdogs too. Australian Kelpies do not get along well with children and other pets due to their natural instincts for herding. We would suggest you to go for some other dog if you have children or you are already petting some cat or dog.
Caring for Australian Kelpie
Owning an Australian Kelpie, you might wonder what will be the ways in which you can take a good care of your pet. So, we have done a research on such ways to make it possible for you to maintain your Kelpie well.
Australian Kelpie Nutrition
We would advise you to feed an Australian Kelpie with high-quality dog foods. These dogs are highly active and perform rigorous exercises so they need a diet accordingly. However, you should plan a diet by keeping the age and size of your Kelpie in mind, so that you can feed them well.
You can even consult a veterinarian in this regard. Since these dogs carry out great physical activities, we would advise you to keep a check on their water intake too. You should always have clean water in store for them. Australian Kelpies require a highly nutritious diet when you are training them. They are not much difficult to feed and are quite light on pocket as their food only cost around $10-$15.
Australian Kelpie Grooming
It is not much tough to groom an Australian Kelpie. All you need is to brush them at least twice a week to remove any dead hair. However, it would be much better if you brush them daily because of their double coat. We would advise you to bathe it less frequently, in fact once a month. Bathing it more frequently can remove the natural oils which are there on its coat to make it water resistant. You should keep a keen check on the cleanliness of their teeth. Although, Australian Kelpies’ nails tend to wear down naturally, you should keep a check on their nails.
Australian Kelpie Activity Levels
Since Australian Kelpies are super active dogs with great stamina, they have higher activity levels. They need a lot of exercises to keep them content. Since they were primarily bred to be herding dogs, they like to have a job to do. Australian Kelpies are not just active but are also quite intelligent, so you have to arrange some mentally stimulating activities for them.
Trainings for rally, obedience and agility would be a great choice in this regard. These dogs are quite easy to train and you can use games like fetching. Keeping in view the high activity levels of the Australian Kelpie we would say that you should not adopt it if you live in an apartment.
Australian Kelpie Maintenance
It is not much difficult to maintain an Australian Kelpie because they require a low to moderate maintenance and grooming. You just have to take a few things like brushing their teeth and keeping a check on their health. You should also keep a check on the cleanliness of their ear. We would advise you to wipe it with a soft damp cloth.
Australian Kelpie Health
Australian Kelpies are generally healthy dogs with no major health concerns. However, they are genetically susceptible to some disorders. These include hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism, progressive retinal atrophy, cerebellar abiotrophy and Collie eye anomaly.
Nevertheless, it is quite rare that an Australian Kelpie encounter these disorders. Usually the good breeders perform genetic testing before breeding them, so you should go for such breeders to get a healthy dog. Normally, an Australian Kelpie lives for around 10-13 years.