Australian Kelpie Dogs

Australian Kelpies are devoted, friendly and focused canines. They tend to bond with one person in the family— this comes from their strong loyalty instinct, as opposed to shyness. However, they are cooperative and playful with everyone in the family.

Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpie Pictures

  • Australian Kelpie dog named Maverick
  • Australian Kelpie dog named Sydney
  • Australian Kelpie dog named Te'a
  • Australian Kelpie dog named Matilda
  • Australian Kelpie dog named Tess
  • Australian Kelpie dog named Boss (Rainbow Bridge)
 
see Australian Kelpie pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 31 - 46 pounds
  • 19.5 - 21.5 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Active singles
    • Families with older children
    • Outdoorsy types
    • Farmers and ranchers

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Trademark Traits

    • Tireless
    • Hardworking
    • Dependable
    • Intelligent
    • Independent
 

What They Are Like to Live With

Kelpies have great personalities, especially when they have “tasks” to accomplish or animals to herd. When the mood strikes, they may even herd people around—in a friendly way, of course. If you’re a jogger or long-distance runner, you’re in luck: Australian Kelpies have incredible stamina.

Things You Should Know

Born to run, herd and work, the Australian Kelpie will probably not be happy in an apartment, especially if left alone all day. The Kelpie needs room to run, lots of walks and plenty of positive attention. If you can give it a job to do, it will astound you with its efficiency and enthusiasm—not to mention speed.

Australian Kelpies can live as long as 14 years. Generally healthy, some Kelpies can develop hip dysplasia and eye problems. They are very easy to groom, only requiring the occasional brushing. Don’t bathe them too often, since excess soap could remove their natural weatherproofing.

Australian Kelpie History

Bred from a mix of English working dogs in the late 1800s, the Australian Kelpie was born from necessity: The outback climate was too rough and tough for your typical Border Collie. Today, the Australian Kelpie is still the most popular working dog Down Under. It also does a pretty good job in the role of household companion.

The Look of a Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpies have compact, muscular frames—slightly longer than tall—covered in coarse, weatherproof coats that come in black, black & tan, chocolate, blue and fawn. Their long, narrow heads have rounded skulls, pointy ears and brown, almond-shaped eyes. They have strong necks, deep chests and tails that curl up a bit at the end. Overall, Australian Kelpies have an alert and durable look.

Talk About Australian Kelpies 

Thoughts on Kelpies

We have a Kelpie/Border Collie cross that was an accidental breeding. He is an excellent companion and we are looking into getting him certified as a therapy dog through TDI. He has more energy than our Aussie knows what to do with.

What is the best thing about him? I guess that would be his kindness. He is a house pet with two acres of fenced "yard" to play in and a doggy door for access. Any less and he could get into a lot of trouble pretty quick. The older he gets the smarter he gets. He has the ability to figure out how things work. And work is something he loves to do. We are training him on sheep and he is incredible. The natural ability in him is obvious and has been since he started working at five months of age. When he comes in for attention he gently crawls into our laps and gives the softest kisses.

What is it like to live with them? Ours has more energy than any dog I have ever seen. He herds the cats, the other dogs including our Aussie, and all of the machines on the farm. If it moves he will try to eard it.

Recommendations: Don't get one because you think it would be cool to have something unusual. Kelpies need constant supervision unless they are working. If you try to pen them up in a crate and leave them they become destructive to the point of harming themselves. If you have the place and the energy to work with them they can learn to do most anything.

~Richard M, owner of a Kelpie mix


Always keen to learn new tricks

What I love most about this breed is how sweet, intelligent, and great-looking my dog is.

To live with a Kelpie, they neeed lots of positive attention and various tasks to do. It's amazing how smart they are! They need exercise, be it working, agility, or Frisbee throwing.

They are high-energy and intelligent dogs. I have a difficult time keeping up with mine teaching her new tricks because she LOVES to learn and I don't want her to become bored and unhappy.

Please consider that they can't be left alone for too long as they get bored and create negative habits of their own. They need a lot of mental stimuli as well. Do lots of activities with a Kelpie and train them LOTS!

~Mary.S, owner of an Australian Kelpie