Are Australian Kelpies Good Family Dogs? – The Australian Kelpie Dog Breed Info Guide With Pictures

The Australian Kelpie Dog Breed Info Guide With Pictures

The Kelpie breed is an Australian sheepdog which is also a family dog. Initailly, the Kelpie dog breed was predominantly bred to herd livestock such as cattle, sheep, cattle, and goats. 

What breeds make up the Australian Kelpie?

The original ancestors of the Kelpie were British dogs known as Collies. After crossbreeding three working pure breeds, the Kelpie mixed breed was born. With their ability to be trained in various working dog skillsets, the Kelpie is not your average family dog. 

Kelpies are sporty, able to work as sniffer dogs and as a rescue dog for their good eyesight and tracking abilities.

This is a full pet guide of the Australian Kelpie, you will learn all the information you need to know about this breed such as:

  • The dog’s history
  • Physical appearance
  • Temperaments/ Characteristics
  • Grooming requirements
  • Health Concerns
  • Lifespan
  • And some interesting, fun facts about the Kelpies

History Of the Australian Kelpie

The origin of the Kelpie breed was not well documented, but it is said that the breed originated from crossbreeding three pairs of working Collies, which were imported into Australia by farmers. 

The first dog, which was identified as a Kelpie was a female in black and tan colors and also with floppy ears. 

Kelpies are now available in many countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Sweden, Canada, New Caledonia, Italy, New Zealand and Korea, the breed is used for different purposes but mostly for herding and as family companions.

The physical appearance of the Australian Kelpie

The Kelpie is a medium-sized dog breed, he stands 15 to 20 inch at the shoulders and weighs 25 to 46 pounds. 

The breed’s coat comes in 3 different varieties, it can be smooth, rough or short and comes in colors such as red, black, chocolate, black and tan, red and tan, smoky blue and fawn. 

The dog has prick eats ad an athletic appearance. He has a long narrow he’d that has a round skull, pointy ears, and brown, almond-shaped eyes. 

His neck is very strong , he has a deep they and a tail that curls up at the end.

Temperaments / Characteristics of the Australian Kelpie

If you’ve been considering buying or adopting this dog breed then it is very important to know it’s temperaments so that you can know if it is suitable for you and your family. 

The Kelpie’s temperaments make this dog the most sought after and outstanding family companion or a working dog. 

But that’s not all! Kelpie dog breeds are easy to train and always keen to learn new tricks.

The Australian Kelpie is very intelligent: This dog breed is known for being very smart. And their initial breed was intended to be used as a working dog. But also to work close with his owner, hence he is very obedient and attentive to his owner. 

The Kelpie is a fast learner and is always eager to learn new things and please his owner.

The Australian Kelpie is very energetic and Athletic: These traits make the Kelpie to be a very excellent companion for pet owners who like to keep company while jogging or hiking. 

The kelpie will need at least an hour of aerobic physical exercise s daily as a way to deal with the high energy levels. Also, make sure you take him to the dog park where he can socialize with other dogs.

The Australian Kelpie is prone to Boredom: When left alone for long periods, the dog will get bored and hence turn to do naughty stuff like chewing furniture or shoes. 

So in order to avoid such instances, make sure you always give the Kelpie something to challenge his brain, be it toys or brain puzzles that will need him to use his brains. 

Or you can as well involve him in canine activities such as search and rescue, disc dog, agility, etc.

The Australian Kelpie is very loyal to his family: This dog breed is one of the best family companions period! Kelpies are very loyal to their family and can form very strong bonds with all his family members and will always need to be close to them.

The Australian Kelpie is not excellent with small kids: Being a working dog, Kelpies are not excellent with small kids toying them around like they would with Chihuahua types.

This is why if you have the Kelpie as a family dog, kids will need guidance when around this dog. 

After all, regardless of what dog breed you have, large family dog breed or a small dog breed, you must teach your kids how to behave around the dog and avoid things like pulling his ears, tail or beating him up. 

Dogs instinctively are reactive in nature, and Kelpies are no different. If they feel threatened or receives such treatments, the dog may get offended and react inappropriately. 

But the Kelpie can be a very fun childhood companion for older, gentle and more mature kids who know how to handle him well.

The Australian Kelpie is Aloof with Strangers: The Kelpie is very sensitive and will not appreciate strangers around or in his home, so all the Strangers who happens to be your visitors have to be very patient with the dog and somehow win over his trust. 

This simply means that if you are looking for a dog that will be friendly with anyone who enters your home, the Kelpie is definitely not a good choice for you. 

Overall, this breed will need early training and socialization for him to behave in the best way possible.

Food requirements of the Australian Kelpie

The Kelpie needs to be fed for at least two times a day when at their adult age, when they are puppies, they should be fed three times a day instead. 

The food should be rich in nutrients, especially proteins, because they help build muscled and also maintain healthy skin and coat. 

There are plenty of dog food brands suitable for Kelpies on the market; however if you need a quick look at the top-recommended dog food for the Australian Kelpie. here they are in no particular order:

1. Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food.

The main ingredient of this dog food are chicken, Tapioca, ground flaxseed etc. 

Chicken is the main source of proteins in this food, Tapioca is the carbohydrate that provides the starchy stickiness necessary to form kibble in this meal. 

The chicken fat present in this food also provides enough level of omega 6 fatty acids responsible for keeping the dog’s coat looking healthy. 

This dog food is free of artificial, addictives, and is grain-free. And it’s said to be one of the best food for the Kelpie.

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage-Free Chicken Protein.

 The main ingredients of this food are chicken meal, real chicken, ground wheat rice, chicken fat, and cracked pearled barley. The chicken is the main source of proteins

Both chicken meal and chicken leading this recipe indicate a high degree of meat-based protein, the ground white rice replaces the standard corn, wheat, and soy ingredients that provide kibbles the starchy consistency necessary for formation.

The Chicken fat is a quality source for Omega Fatty acids and healthy fats in this recipe and provides the room with a healthy, shiny coat. 

This food is free of additives, artificial colorings, and is also grain-free. It is perfect for a growing kelpie puppy and also the full-grown adult size Kelpie.

Grooming requirements of the Australian Kelpie

The Kelpie’s coat can be rough, smooth or short, and it does not shed much. 

The Breed will only need frequent brushing when it’s spring because that’s the season when he sheds like nobody’s business. 

Overall, the grooming requirements of this breed are low to moderate, during shedding seasons brush him 3 to 4 times a week, frequent bathing is not necessary only do it when he is extremely dirty and smelly. 

Also, always check the dog’s ears and make sure they are always clean, this will help avoid ear infections. 

Trim his nails only when they have grown too long and make sure a professional does the job in order to avoid hurting the dog.

Health Concerns of the Australian Kelpie

Just like any other dog breeds, the Kelpie is prone to certain health issues such as:

Deafness: With this condition, the dog may have hearing issues. If the condition is not treated as soon as possible, it may lead to complete Deafness.

Luxation Patellar: This is a loose knee joint that can lead to lameness and knee arthritis; this health condition is hereditary.

Cerebellar Abiotrophy: This is a common neurodegenerative disease in dogs. And it affects the Kelpie when they are 3 to 7 weeks old. This health condition takes several forms but some dogs will not present with symptoms for several years. 

And for the dogs with this condition, their Symptoms progress in severity, including muscle tremors, seizures, confusion, blindness, and the inability to eat. 

There’s no known cure for this health problem. But researchers are still looking for ways to detect the disease at an early age and eliminate it.

Cryptorchidism: This is a health condition whereby one or both of the dog’s testicles descend into the scrotum; this happens when the dog is just two months old. There’s also no Know treatment for this health condition.

 Elbow Dysplasia: This is also a hereditary health condition that can be treated by surgery.

Collie eye anomaly: This eye problem is hereditary, and it has to do with the retina and choroid of the affected Kelpie. The results of this health condition is vision impairment and in worse cases, complete blindness. An autosomal gene and treatment cause this condition is not clearly known.

The lifespan of the Australian Kelpie

When well taken care of and in good health, the breed will live for up to 14 years.

Some Interesting Fun Facts about Kelpies

Kelpies as a dog breed never seize to surprise and impress, and there are lots of fun and weird facts about this dog breed you might want to know, and some of these are: 

Kelpies Are Long Distance Hikers And Runners

As an athletic and agile dog breed, Kelpies are long-distance hikers who are capable to sustain insane energy levels that allow them to travel as much as 50 kilometers (31 mi) in a day.

Kelpies Are Good Herding And Livestock Watchdogs

As avid livestock watchdogs, Kelpies are similar to their distant cousins, the Border Collie. 

The Kelpie and border collies are both  an intimidator type of dogs who tend to locks their eyes with animals they are herding. This is how they are able to impose supremacy over the herd and get all the  animal moving. 

But thats not all! Unlike the Border Collie, the Kelpie are synonymous with intentional nips at the heels of the herd and any animals that tries to fall behind or get out of line. 

So to get them inline and moving, Kelpies inflicts a soft bite, good enough to spook the animals to keep moving.

Kelpies Are Fast Runners And Great Show Dogs

With an average body weight of anywhere between 14 -20 kilograms, Kelpies are considered to have one of the most desirable athletic body frames to envy!

So, How fast can Kelpies run?

28 mph is the speeds Kelpies have been recorded to have been able to top. And if you thought that was impressiveKelpies are also excellent at endurance and agility trials when pitted with other show dogs. 

In a nutshell, Kelpies can run, able to swim effortlessly and are avid high jumping dogs with one of the Australian Show Kelpie was recorded to have set the world record for dog jumping at a staggering 2.95 metres.