The Australian Kelpie was initially bred to have the intelligence, independence, and energy to help herd livestock all day under the hot Australian climate. This breed does not need much supervision while they are doing the said tasks. Surprisingly, the breed of Australian Kelpies we know now can still do those qualities to this day. Which is why they are still used all across Australia and even the United States for their herding instincts. Do not worry because of these tasks suits dog just fine. In fact, they are the happiest when they are given a job to do. If you want to keep an Australian Kelpie as a pet, make sure that you remember that, when Australian Kelpies get bored, they might make their own fun by engaging in destructive behavior and even acting out. On the lighter side of things, Australian Kelpies are easy to train for almost any task, just as long as they have a competent trainer that gives them positive reinforcements.
History of Australian Kelpie
Obviously, Australian Kelpies originated in Australia. Their breed started when black Collies that were imported from Britain to Australia during the 1800s to help herd livestock. After that, they were crossbred with other breeds, which experts say likely included wild dingoes. The crossbreeding resulted in a hardy dog that is able to withstand even the harsh climate in Australia. Aside from that, they are also capable of working nonstop. Ranchers adored and valued them for their ability to work independently and intelligently. The first dog that was called Kelpie was bought by Jack Gleeson in 1872 from a man from Scotland named George Robertson. The Kelpie was named after a shape-shifting water spirit that came from the Celtic mythology, this water spirit was said to be able to shape-shift from horse to human. The breed was crossbred with many other breeds before until it became the modern Australian Kelpie we see today. Years later, the Australian Kelpie was exported to other countries all across the globe, and the breed became very useful in the United States, where they quickly adapted to the terrain, climate, and the different kinds of livestock very quickly. Today, Australian Kelpies helps humans perform various types of tasks all around the world. These tasks include therapy, service dog work, detection work, and or course, dog sports performance. However, they are still used for herding. When Australian Kelpies are kept as pets, they might need some exercise, training, and mental stimulation.
Characteristics of Australian Kelpie
Height: 17-20 inches
Weight: 25-46 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-13 years
Australian Kelpies are medium-sized dogs, and they usually weigh around 25 to 46 pounds. This dog breed can grow up to 15 to 20 inches at the shoulder. Australian Kelpies are independent dogs; that is why they help a lot when it comes to herding work. However, there being independent also means that they also need to be mentally challenged. If they are not, they might get bored and develop destructive behavior. Despite them being able to be independent, Australian Kelpies still needs human company, especially when they are indoors. This dog breed has a sensitive side, which means that they have the tendency to not respond well when they are given harsh rebukes or punishment. If you are planning to have an Australian Kelpie as a pet, keep in mind that you might need to be a competent trainer, which gives them positive reinforcement. You will be surprised to find out that these dogs are smart enough to follow commands, even from long distances. Australian Kelpies do not trust strangers, and they can become very territorial. Which is why they make excellent watchdogs that will bark when they see any signs of danger. However, this means they need to have socialization training when they are still young. It would help if you remembered that Australian Kelpies need to learn the right time to react with suspicion and when to allow guests to come near. New Kelpie owners might be surprised by the exercise needs of the Australian Kelpie and find it to be too much to handle. This is because they need several walks, mental exercises, like learning tricks or following commands, and at least a good run every day for them to stay calm and happy dogs.
Caring for Australian Kelpies
Australian Kelpies needs relatively little regular care. This is because their nails will naturally file down as they walk. But you should check them for damage and have it trimmed if needed. Their teeth are also required to brush regularly or as recommended by their veterinarian. You should need to check their ears for any parasites, debris, or infection. You should even bathe them if needed.