Australian shepherd kelpie – an agile and intelligent dog with two faces

Abundant in Australia, sheep had to be herded with the help of dogs – this is where the Australian kelpie sheepdog came from. Today, two lines of dogs have developed from it. What character does the kelpie have? Can it be kept in the house?
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The Australian kelpie sheepdog shares a common trait with the border collie – it can exert pressure with its eyes. Although he is extremely friendly and cheerful in contact with humans, with his eyes he can exert an incredible influence on the behavior of farm animals. Where did this breed come from in Australia?

What does the Australian kelpie sheepdog look like?

It is a medium-large dog with high paws and a narrow but muscular torso. Male and female dogs are very similar in size. The range of maximum height at the withers usually reaches 48-51 centimeters. The weight of individuals does not exceed 20 kg. The Australian Shepherd kelpie is a dog with a two-layered coat – it has a dense and short undercoat, as well as a hard and somewhat rough top hair. The coat is dark, ranging from black through blue-gray to light chocolate. Reddish colors are also encountered. Light-colored markings are rather rare.

What character does the Australian Kelpie have?

It is an extremely active, ubiquitous and even cheerful dog. He loves activity and can be called a “fidgeter”. He feels best in large spaces, where he can play with his owner. The Australian Kelpie does not get tired at all, despite its very active lifestyle. As befits a shepherd dog, it likes to bark and does it intensively. So it will prove itself in the role of a watchdog. He is taught to make individual decisions, but towards the owner he shows attachment and trust. It is not self-willed and can follow his commands well.

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Health and diseases of the Australian Kelpie

It is a dog endowed with very good health, hardy and strong. It usually lives up to 12-14 years. However, he happens to get some diseases, and some of them are genetic. These include cerebellar abiotrophy, as a result of which the dog may lose the ability to make smooth movements. The Australian Shepherd kelpie sometimes suffers from retinal atrophy and joint problems. However, these are marginal cases occurring in a small percentage of all Australian kelpies. In fact, this breed is considered to be very healthy. Accustomed to the Australian climate, it tolerates heat and capricious rainy weather well.

Care of the Australian kelpie sheepdog

For the potential owner, it is important that this dog does not require special treatment. His brushing can be done once a week. This will keep the coat in very good condition. Besides, the Australian Shepherd kelpie does not need to be bathed. However, it is demanding in terms of nutrition, because it will not swallow low-quality food. It has to be adjusted to the lineage of the dog – show dogs will require a different type of food than working quadrupeds. It’s best to consult a veterinarian or an animal nutritionist on this matter.

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How to groom an Australian Shepherd kelpie?

The good news is that the Australian kelpie is easy to groom. This means that even people without much experience working with dogs can successfully train such a pet. Moreover, the Australian shepherd kelpie likes to eat. This is a very good lead for people who want to teach him, motivate him or convince him to do a certain action. The use of treats will be a great way for training.

On the other hand, some consistency is also needed. Straw zeal and lack of determination will not speak in your favor. So, if you are already taking care of an Australian kelpie, take a very solid approach to regular training right from puppyhood.

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Australian Kelpie – price and breeding

Formerly used for herding cattle in Australia, it is now most popular in its homeland and in the USA. However, there is no need to import such a dog from abroad – there are litters of it in Poland, although they are extremely rare. What is the price of an Australian Kelpie? You have to reckon with the amount of 3500-4000 zł. However, maintaining the pet is not too expensive and slightly exceeds 100 zł per month.

History of the Australian Kelpie Dog breed

The descendants of the kelpie are the Scottish collie shepherd dogs. It is from there that they came to Australia, where since the 19th century they have played an important role in the lives of cattle breeders. The origin of the breed dates back to 1870. Less than 20 years later it was already very popular in its homeland. Some sources say that the Australian Kelpie was at one time also crossed with the most popular dog on that continent – the dingo.

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Who is the australian kelpie for?

Definitely, this dog is most often bought by physically active people. In addition to the working line, the kelpie is also a show dog. It can be a companion for a family living in a housing estate, but the condition is frequent and intensive walks. The Australian Kelpie feels best in an open space where it can use its enthusiasm for physical activity. He also gets along very well with small children, who will adore his eagerness to play. Older people should not opt for this breed unless they provide him with plenty of exercise.

Where will the Australian Shepherd kelpie fail?

As befits a working and extremely active dog, the Australian kelpie will not feel comfortable in solitude. He is a social dog and even if his owner is an elderly person living in the city, he will need exercise and closeness to humans. The Australian Shepherd kelpie is not a homebody. One walk a day is not enough for this rambunctious and extremely friendly pet.

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However, if you underestimate his needs and leave him at home alone, with time he may show destructive tendencies.

The Australian Shepherd kelpie and other animals

Here the Australian kelpie has two faces. One of them becomes apparent when interacting with cats that are in the house. If assimilation is not carried out early enough, the cat may become an object of pursuit for him. The best situation is for both species to grow up simultaneously from a young age, but this is not always possible in practice. An Australian Shepherd kelpie will live in harmony with a cat when it has interacted with it from puppyhood.

It is also worth raising the issue of contact of the Australian kelpie with other dogs. Although it is a very busy and basically ubiquitous pet, it is never the first to accost other representatives of the species. He is also withdrawn during the possible beginnings of conflicts. If the other dog shows disapproval or outright hostility, the kelpie sheepdog will move out of the way. Thus, he is non-conflictual in his life with other dogs and you do not have to limit yourself to one four-legged dog if you have the desire and conditions to have more of them.

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Interesting facts about the Australian kelpie sheepdog

The name of the breed comes from the first female bred in Australia, who was just named “Kelpie”. The name was originally reserved for her, but over time it came to be used universally. It is interesting that in Australia and Sweden kelpies intended for work are not presented at shows. Only in some European countries are the clear boundaries between the two lines blurred.

Australian Shepherd kelpie – summary

This extremely friendly and cheerful dog is a great companion for active people. Even seniors who like movement will feel great with him. The Australian Shepherd kelpie will also do well in such an atmosphere, returning the favor with a cheerful disposition and a willingness to spend time together. However, don’t buy him with the intention of locking him up for hours in your absence. The kelpie will not tolerate that.

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