The German Coolie shares many of the characteristics of other herding breeds, including an alert stance and intense look. Like the Australian Shepherd, the German Coolie can have brown or blue eyes or one eye of each color. The ears fold over at the top, but are straight and rigid when the dog is alert.
The coat is mostly seen in red or blue merle with white markings, but can also be black or red with merle markings. There are smooth, short-haired, and wavy, long-haired varieties. Overall, this is a medium-sized, healthy breed who is always ready for action.
These are intelligent, cheerful, and loyal dogs who can make a great addition to a family. The German Coolie is not an aggressive breed and is usually comfortable with new people or new surroundings. German Coolies are eager to be trained — but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy to train. When starting obedience training, find an instructor who understands how herding dogs work and you will wind up with an excellent companion dog.
Grooming German Coolies is easy — just a quick sweep with a wire brush daily will keep their coat healthy. They are average shedders, not recommended for those with allergies.
German Coolies are very active dogs because of their herding heritage. Even those kept as companion animals are working dogs who need plenty of exercise and, ideally, a job to do.
If the German Coolie is not sufficiently mentally or physically stimulated, it will create its own work, whether it be herding other household pets or children or uprooting that beautiful Japanese maple you just planted. “Jobs” for a German Coolie include agility trials, herding trials, flyball, and even herding geese in public areas. At home, keep your dog busy with canine puzzle toys and games.
This is a long-living breed with few health issues, but do look out for eye problems and deafness.
The German Coolie was first recorded as one of the merle breeds in the 19th century. It is believed to be a descendant of the early British herding dogs. It is thought that the breed was German bred and brought into Australia two centuries ago, though some advocate an Australian heritage. This explains the confusion at times between the historical name German Coolie and the more modern Australian Koolie.
Today, this breed resides mostly in Australia and is making the transition elsewhere from a purely working dog to companion dog who likes to work.