|Barked: Tue Jan 15, '08 10:54am PST |
|I adopted a Kelpie knowing NOTHING about the breed and have had to become an expert pretty fast. Here are a few things I learned from experience and from books:
~Kelpies are hard workers; they can run around for hours without tiring (to the point of heat exhaustion…make sure your dog gets plenty of water and rest)
~Kelpies are also extremely smart and persistent. Those don't always go hand in hand though. He can figure things out easily (opening boxes, opening doors, finding where I hid things, figuring out that if I run behind something that I'll come out on the other side, etc), but sometimes he's persistent for hours with something that isn't working. For example, he has his favorite tennis ball that is forever stuck under the couch. He'll dig and dig and dig for more than an hour with no success, but he won't stop until I stop him. His intelligence and persistence do go hand in hand when it's play time. He loves chasing this one ball around the house and will drop it into my lap for up to five hours at a time so I throw it for him. The game doesn't end until I put the ball away. If the ball's in my lap but I don't throw it, he'll pick it up and drop it in my lap again and again until I throw it.
~Kelpies aren't Golden Retrievers or Labs. If you want the cutest dog in the world, well, in my opinion, you’ve got it. But if you want the friendliest, most people-oriented dog...don't get a Kelpie. While Cal is great with kids and adults alike (at the dog park the other day he played fetch with a 2-year-old), he doesn't love people. He's not overly affectionate and doesn't ever ask for attention. From what I’ve read and experienced, Kelpies are one-person dogs (or maybe two people). They love their family, but couldn’t care less about other people. This is evidenced in Cal’s eyes when people are petting him…he’s always looking away. He rarely looks at you when you’re petting him…he’s always alert, always looking for the next thing to do.
~Kelpies aren’t guard dogs either, but they’re always alert. Those ears are always pricked and the eyes are always watching things go by. I can’t leave a room without Cal following me. The door can’t open without him barking and running toward it. When someone new enters the room, he HAS to go investigate.
~Kelpies are very trainable. Cal is always eager to please; he was “sitting” within four hours of bringing him home from the shelter. This makes them excellent agility dogs. Agility is a great way to keep a Kelpie’s mind and body occupied while also building that owner-dog bond. Remember that a trainable, intelligent dog needs something to keep its mind busy.
Everything I’ve learned about Kelpies has been from Cal and from several books and websites. I recently came across this bit on petfinder and it really struck a chord with me: http://www.petfinder.com/journal/index.cgi?article=425
I hope this was helpful!
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