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Australian Shepherd Kelpie: nature, care and diseases

Australian Shepherd Kelpie

Homeland Australian Shepherd Kelpie is Australia.

This breed was created as a result of crossing an English Shepherd and a Shepherd Dog collie, which were brought by the colonizers to Australia.

Kelpie is also believed to have a dog-like mixture dingo.

The bitch, from which the name of the breed is derived, was born in Australia.

The word Kelpie itself means the monster that most often took the shape of a horse. This horse attracted people, and then, when someone had already mounted it, rushed with it to the bottom of a lake or river, thereby sinking the unfortunate man.

Kelpie's were bred to work herding sheep.

They had excellent physical and mental predispositions to do so.

The breeding was aimed at obtaining descendant individuals with the highest possible endurance, herding instinct, and resistance to the climatic conditions prevailing in Australia.

Later breeding lines were divided into 2 factions:

  • working dogs - which in many countries (incl.in. in Australia) are not admitted to exhibitions,
  • typical show dogs.

Working Kelpies are slightly larger, more compact dogs.

In Poland, Kelpie is a breed that is not very popular, it is most popular in Australia, the USA and Great Britain. The Aussie Australian Shepherds are better known in our country.

  • Kelpie breed description
  • Kelpie Sheepdog character
  • Australian Shepherd Grooming
  • Kelpie feeding
  • The Australian Shepherd has a predisposition to disease
    • Hip dysplasia
    • PRA, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Is it worth choosing Kelpie?

Kelpie breed description

Kelpie breed description

Like American-type Australian Shepherds, Kelpies are in Group 1 according to FCI Section 1.

The height at the withers for dogs is 46 - 51 cm, and for bitches 43 - 48 cm.

The average weight is about 20 kg.

Kelpie is a dog with strong muscles and efficient limbs.

  • Head - Proportional, slightly fox shape, slightly rounded skull, flat forehead, pronounced stop,
  • Nose - dark, corresponding to the color of the coat, the muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull,
  • Dry, close-fitting lips,
  • Scissor bite,
  • Eyes are almond-shaped, with pronounced corners, usually of various shades of dark brown, keen,
  • Ears - medium-sized, set high and wide, erect, slightly pointed at the ends, directed slightly to the sides, covered with thick hair inside,
  • Neck - medium long, without dewlap,
  • Torso - Strong, straight back, well-muscled and strong loins,
  • Chest - deep, with well sprung ribs,
  • Deep flanks,
  • FOREQUARTERS - Well muscled, strong bone, straight and parallel
  • HINDQUARTERS - Strong, well-muscled, straight and parallel, moderately wide apart,
  • Long sloping croup
  • Tail - pendulous, slightly curved, never curving beyond the vertical line drawn through its root,

The Australian Shepherd moves smoothly, lightly, easily, even at full gallop, it can suddenly change directions.

You can see what the Kelpie Australian Shepherd looks like in the video below

working kelpie in training, 9mths old
Watch this video on YouTube


  • it consists of a top coat and an undercoat,
  • the topcoat is relatively hard, water-repellent, close-fitting, straight and compact,
  • the length of the hair is about 2 - 3 cm, - it forms pants on the thighs, it is a little longer on the underside of the body,
  • on the neck it forms a slight mane, and on the tail - a brush.
Kelpie breed description


  • Black,
  • Black and tan,
  • Red,
  • Red and tan,
  • Fawn,
  • Chocolate,
  • Blue.

Kelpie Sheepdog character

Kelpie sheepdog character

Australian Shepherds are shepherd dogs, they work independently in their homeland, they do not need a man for anything, they are very independent.

Kelpie are volcanoes of energy that, out of boredom, can sometimes be misused.

They should be constantly given physical and mental work.

They are perfect for all kinds of dog sports.

It is a dog that chooses one household member and it is to him that he attaches the most.

He is very intelligent, quite quick and easy to train, but this does not mean that his upbringing is simple, he needs much more attention and activities than other dogs.

He has a gentle character, there is no aggression in him, but he can play the role of a watchman, because he is very vigilant and as soon as he perceives any danger, he alarms with loud barking.

They are incredibly faithful and devoted, they are perfect family dogs.

Australian Shepherd Grooming

The Australian Shepherd Kelpie Grooming

Kelpie care is not problematic.

The coat is short, so it is enough to brush the dog occasionally with a special comb or a brush, preferably slightly moistened hair.

During the moulting period, we perform beauty treatments a little more frequently.

We make baths if necessary.

Kelpie feeding

Kelpie dogs are very energetic, so the dose and type of food should be adjusted to their activity.

They can get commercial food - preferably specially balanced for "sport" dogs, or we can prepare meals ourselves, remembering about supplementing vitamins and minerals.

The Australian Shepherd has a predisposition to disease

Kelpie are very healthy dogs.

Among the common diseases are:

Hip dysplasia

A disease involving defective shape of the hip joints..

Symptoms may appear in puppies as well as in older dogs - depending on how big the changes are in the hip joint.

The symptoms include:

  • reluctance to move,
  • stiff gait,
  • abnormal position of the limbs in gait,
  • pain,
  • it is rarely lameness.
Treatment can be conservative - that is, a change in lifestyle and nutrition, and surgical - and here also, depending on the degree and age of the dog, the appropriate method is selected.

PRA, Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Hereditary disease.

It consists in the weakening of the retinal vessels and remodeling of its epithelium.

It is diagnosed on the basis of electroretinography in a puppy age (6-8 weeks old).).

The disease is incurable and always leads to blindness.

Sick individuals should not be bred.

Due to their temperament and high activity, they can get injured - most often it is rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament .

It also happens dislocation of the kneecap.

Is it worth choosing Kelpie?

Is it worth choosing a kelpie?

Kelpie is certainly not a dog for everyone.

It is absolutely not suitable for inactive people living in a block of flats.

They are also not suitable for people who want to have a sandwich dog or "on their knees ".

Often, out of boredom, they can destroy the apartment, they need to be constantly provided with an appropriate level of exercise and mental work.

His upbringing can cause many problems, therefore dogs of this breed are recommended for experienced keepers.

He gets along well with children, he treats them very carefully, he is also a good house keeper.

The maintenance costs are medium high, while the cost of purchasing this dog is quite high.

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