Australian Shepherds vs. Koolies

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Fri Feb 4, '11 10:58pm PST 
So, I'm in the midst of researching the awesome Australian Shepherds and so far the main drawback for me is their long coat. I came across an Australian breed of dog called a Koolie that appears to be just like an Australian Shepherd, only with a short coat.

Can anyone tell me if there are any major differences between the two breeds?

Thanks!blue dog

Bring on the- sheepies!
Barked: Sat Feb 5, '11 12:38am PST 
From what I've read the koolie is slightly smaller than an australian shepherd, and can come in short, medium or long coat. They seem to be slightly better indoors than australian sheperds, but require access to a garden, regular exercise and mental stimulation. Care must be taken when choosing pups - pups with excessive white are prone to inherited blindness and deafness. However, they seem to be healthier than Australian shepherds and have a longer average lifespan: 15yrs + compared to the 12-14yrs of a shepherd.

Overall though there doesn't seem to be much difference in the breed and a couple of sites claim that the australian shepherd was actually bred from koolies.

why are they not- all bowing?
Barked: Sat Feb 5, '11 5:59am PST 
Wow, I have always been a working dog enthusiast, I love them all, but I had no idea there was even a Koolie breed! Thanks for giving me a new one to check out! I am sure I have at some point mistaken a Koolie for what I thought was an Aussie mix. They sound like very cool dogs (excuse the pun). I love the long life span idea. My favorite thing about the herders is their adaptability to new situations and their ability to think for themselves and it appears from the reading that they epitomize that. I love Aussies, I love their devotion, and their adaptability "you wanna go hike? OK! you wanna go shop? OK! you wanna go to the lake? OK! I'm in for anything!" The Aussie next door breaks my heart, she belongs to a family that wont have her inside because of human allergies, nobody ever plays with her, she is just this beautiful lonely dog that wants so bad to be with someone. I wish everyone looking at an Aussie would know that they really require to be part of the team at all times, they are miserable without a job or a people pack to interact with at all times.


mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Sat Feb 5, '11 10:58am PST 
The Koolie appears to be just the dog I've been searching for, it has all the wonderful traits of the Australian Shepherds, plus the bonus(for me)of having a short coated variety and they're healthier! That's always a plus!big grin

While there are some other breeds of dogs I'm interested in, I think I'll go ahead and start researching breeders and rescues for the Koolie.

I do have two questions:
1)Would reputable rescues ship a dog to another country? I'm going to be looking at breeders/rescues in Australia because it's really close to Taiwan and so would have a shorter flight.

2)How many years in advance of choosing a breeder/rescuer to go with is too many? I'm not going to be able to get another dog for 2-3 years yet. Is that too soon?

Wanna race?
Barked: Sat Feb 5, '11 1:39pm PST 
I've heard of Koolies but have never looked them up before, beautiful dogs! They remind me of more of a "landrace" version of aussies. As for your question there probably aren't many rescues that would ship a dog. Maybe if it was for an amazing home, but I think most feel that the dogs have been through enough already. However, it's usually not hard to find reputable breeders that will ship.

It's absolutely not too early to start researching breeders, especially since you want to ship a dog. The extra time will let you and the breeder get a feel for each other and build a relationship.

Bird chaser!!!
Barked: Mon Feb 7, '11 8:39am PST 
From what I have read the Koolies are going to have a lot more drive then an Australian Shepherds. The Koolies are bred for one thing and that is work and work hard. If you aren't going to use this dog to work with then I would deffiantly suggest you get an Australain Shepherd. Australian Shepherds have been bred a lot all over the world and some of there working drive has gotten slack. (don't get me know A.S. are still crazing about working) I am just saying that these Koolies are only in Australia. I read that they just only in 2002 exported one to a lady in Califoria in the USA and she became the breed club president. Then in 2008 they exported one more to I forget where. That means it is going to be hard to get one if they have only handed out a very small selection of dogs so far. If you really want one then 2-3 years is the time that you probably need to get a hold of someone in Australia and start a relationship with them and there Koolies.

mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Tue Feb 8, '11 8:20am PST 
I didn't realize it would be that difficult to get a Koolie. I thought the difficulty would lie in me finding a reputable breeder.shock

I thought about the extreme working drive when I was first looking into Australian Shepherds and so was looking at ways to let my future dog "work". I was wondering if they would be any good at soccer?wink I'm also looking into other games and such to work its mind as well as the body. It won't hurt for me to get more active!laugh out loud

Also, do you think that if I travel to Australia that a rescue would then let me take a dog with me back to Taiwan? The dog would still have to fly, so I didn't know if that would make a difference?

I still haven't completely settled on a breed yet, but I am going to start looking into breeders/rescues now, just to get the feel of it.
Shayne CGC,- RL2

Shayne- Disc Doggin in- the 'Burgh!
Barked: Tue Feb 8, '11 9:58am PST 
Koolies are not readily available outside of Aus. I think the first was was imported into the US less than 5 years ago and one to NZ about 3 maybe.

These are dogs with more drive than a aussie and i would say shouldn't go into a non-working or performance sporting home. Recreational sporting in the backyard is not typically enough for this breed.

From what you mention this may not be the breed for you. Like border collies and cattle dogs... if you do not provide them enough exercise and mental work they can become destructive.

I have a BC mix and a cattle dog mix... when i was working full time my day looked something like this:

5:15 get up
5:30-6:15 3 mile walk
6:15-6:45 shower and get ready for work
6:45-7:05 to the park to run the dogs
7:05-7:25 eat breakfast and finish getting ready
7:25- 5pm At work (dogs got a 30 minute walk in the middle of the day via dog walker)
5:15-6 Long walk
6-6:45 Frisbee practice or chuck-it games at the park
6:45-745 Feed the dogs, feed myself
745-9:30 small training sessions during the evening for both dogs or playing indoor fetch or other games
9:30-11 Frozen kong and down-time so I can watch tv
11-11:30 Nightly walk

That's the type of daily effort I had to give to my high drive, high energy working breed dogs. The weekends were spent competing in frisbee, we regularly took training classes to keep them busy, and they were learning the basics for agility.

If you go for a working line aussie you can get dogs with not very much coat at all...

both merles are working-line aussies with short coats

Show-line aussie with lots of coat

If you don't have sheep/flock, aren't actively involved with competition doggie sports, aren't serious about getting involved with canine sports inteh future, i would not go for a koolie. These are serious working dogs. Aussies require a significant amount of exercise but they are often not quite as drivey as koolies and some can be happy with non-serious work. (Though aussies, especially working line aussies, do require a lot of work and a lot of exercise...). Maybe an aussie mix would work nicely...

Not too long ago I did some research into getting a Koolie... i'm still hoping one day it will happen to have another top-notch sporting dog. but I would caution that these are serious dogs who need serious work.

mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Wed Feb 9, '11 10:43am PST 
Thanks for the input, Shayne. I have been doing some more digging and researching breeders and the breed and have come to the conclusion that, as awesome as Koolies are, they are not the breed for me.cry
*sigh* They are amazing and wonderful dogs, though. big grin

I will keep Australian Shepherds in mind, but right now, I'm going to place the breed on the "back burner" and research some other breeds I'm interested in because Australian Shepherds are also a high energy dog. I may yet find the one elusive breed out there that is just for me, but for now, I'll just enjoy learning about the different breeds I can't have! laugh out loud
Shayne CGC,- RL2

Shayne- Disc Doggin in- the 'Burgh!
Barked: Wed Feb 9, '11 12:39pm PST 
What are you looking for in a dog (desired size/what do you want to do wit it [companion/sports/hiking friend/etc], how much are you willing to exercise, how about grooming, etc)? there are lots of people with lots of different breed experiences and ideas that may be able to point you in the direction of a dog that fits your needs....
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