Australian Kelpie

Narrated from: Dog Breeds

The Australian Kelpie is an adorable small to medium dog that was bred to work. He is double coated and can be found in many colors from black and red to fawn as well as chocolate and blue. His undercoat is short and dense and he has a longer straight coat on top. His outer coat is water repellent. He is a very compact little dog that is always tireless and enthusiastic and is not suited for sedentary families or apartment life. They are keen while on the job and are very work minded. He is extremely trainable but he needs a firm and consistent trainer who has all of the confidence it takes to be a strong leader. If you are up to the task, this dog responds to signals given by his master from great distances with tremendous accuracy.

This is a very challenging breed to have. They want nothing more than to work all day, and they are tireless. Hot weather or cold, every day this dog simply wants to work. Perfect for herding all sorts of livestock the Australian Kelpie has an uncanny ability to find the shortest route and drive his herd in that direction. If you do not have livestock for him to herd you will want to find something equally engaging for him to do with his time. They are smart enough to be trained as Seeing Eye dogs and they do make excellent watchdogs but this alone is not going to keep him busy enough to be truly happy. He needs both mental and physical challenges on a daily basis. He also needs a calm, firm trainer with plenty of experience. If you are unable to be the boss he will take over and behavior problems will arise.

The Australian Kelpie is a small to medium size breed and will only reach approximately 20 inches in height at the shoulder. Working off all of the calories he is able to take on, you rarely see one that exceeds 45 pounds in height and you can expect about 14 years of companionship from this breed. The only real health problem you must be aware of is the likelihood of the dog contracting Retinal Atrophy which is a disease that causes the degeneration of the retina that usually results in at least partial, if not complete blindness.

The breed is certainly not recommended for apartment life and will do best with plenty of room to roam. They are content with an outdoor living space but they may sleep inside as they are better able to be the watchdog they like to be. They are instinctually protective of their property and human pack even when they are properly trained and well socialized. Before bringing him in for the night make sure he is worked out enough to be tired. He will make an excellent jogging companion or he would do very well in any animal related sports activities such as agility, fly-ball, Frisbee or anything else that will help him burn off energy. This breed has no limitations in his abilities or his energy levels. He is also a groomer’s dream, needing only a brushing from time to time. Bathing him too often will dry out his weather resistant coat, so do so sparingly.

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