Working Kelpie


Overview of Working Kelpies

  • Working Kelpies have a herding style where they run along their sheep’s backs so they can maneuver the flock through areas of tighter fits.[17]
    Trustworthy Source

    American Kennel Club
    The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a purebred dog pedigree registry in the United States.

  • Working Kelpies are registered with the Working Kelpie Council (WKC)[17] and/or the Australian Sheepdog Workers Association.[18] The WKC encourages breeding for working ability, and allows a wide variety of coat colours.
  • Working Kelpies are able to register with the Working
    Kelpie Council of Australia or can also be dual registered with the
    Federation Cynologique Internationale as a Working Kelpie.
  • Working Kelpies are extremely high energy and might be too much for average dog owners, while show Kelpies are slightly less wired and may settle better into life as house dogs.
  • The Working Kelpie is a healthy breed who is susceptible to certain conditions more than others, just like any other pedigree dog.
  • Working Kelpies work all kinds of stock including sheep, cattle, goats, poultry and reindeer (just to mention a number of).
  • Working Kelpies vary in size, ranging from about 19–25 in (48–64 cm) and 28–60 lb (13–27 kg).
  • Working Kelpies are not ideal for typical families, and only serious ranchers will reach out to purchase a pup.
  • The Working Kelpie is an incredibly hardworking dog, and one of the most energetic dog breeds on the planet.
  • Working Kelpies come in almost any color with 3 types of coat: smooth, rough and short.
  • Breed

    If you want a dog that will little more than eat and sleep and be available if and when you want him then there are other breeds; but you are prepared to give just a little then the Working Kelpie is the dog to own as your pet.



    That being said, all Kelpies are in essence working dogs and will require a decent amount of time outside with space to burn their energy.Their ability to make good house pets depends largely on what stock they come from.While still relatively rare outside of their native Australia, Kelpies have been imported all across the world as working dogs, show dogs, and pets.



    Now you know about the Working Kelpie and his personality, intelligence, and suitability as a family pet, here are his daily needs.


    It is entitled Basic Obedience for the Sheepdog and is available by contacting the WKC.The Working Kelpie Council has a booklet which gives advice about the general principles of early training.

    Are kelpies difficult dogs to keep?

    We don’t think they are difficult to handle, but they do have high work spirits and are grouped under the FCI 1 dogs (shepherds and sheep dog).The kelpie does have a few clear breed characteristics and raising them in a consequent and confident way is recommended.Mainly people with no dog experience can have some trouble keeping this breed.However we find that people used to keeping bearded collies, Labradors, golden retrievers, etc, sometimes experience more problems keeping this breed than people without any experience at all.The kelpie is a dog that needs to be kept busy, physically as well physiology.

    Are kelpies family dogs?

    Yes they are.Kelpies are in general very fond of children and turn out to be fun play mates.A lot of our kelpies found homes in families with young children.

    Are These Dogs Good for Families? ??

    The Working Kelpie is ideal for working families who are looking for a ranch hand.He is also an excellent pet for active families who have the time and energy to exercise them for several hours every day.If you cannot offer this, the Working Kelpie is not the breed for you.

    Are we obligated to show our dog?

    No you are not! We are not fond of dog shows ourselves.Not only because we and our dogs do not enjoy these events, but also because people get wrong impressions.On a show health and character are not taken into account and not important.The focus is completely on the appearance of the dog (and while shower the dog as well as the shower).A dog that is not healthy but is showed in a good way can become a champion.

    Are you a society?

    No and we have no intentions to become one.There are many dog societies one can join, each with their own specific goals.

    Can you keep the kelpie as a house dog?

    Of course, this the way in which we keep our dogs.Our dogs are a lot outside, but they also spent a lot of time indoors.Our experience is that they are well kept inside when provided with enough exercise and attention.

    Do kelpies have health issues?

    Of course kelpies have, like any other breed, health issues.However because of the relative small population size there are relative few health problems in this breed.The breed has gained in popularity the last few years and one can see that some breeders are starting to take less notice of health aspects when breeding the dogs.It remains a question for now what the future will bring for this breed.Our dogs are all tested for HD, PRA, heartdefects (Color Doppler) and MDR1 gene deficiency, making it less likely for those problems to occur.It does occur that the testes of the males do not always descend.Sometimes demodex (yought scabies) occurs, but this is very treatable, dental problems, brain disease (CA, although this is very rare and sometimes gets mistaken for epilepsy), epilepsy, food allergies/intolerances, heart problems, etc etc.In general all of these problems are, luckily, very rare and all our pups get examined by a vet before leaving to their new homes.More important is that we always look at family histories (this includes health aspects) before breeding any dog.

    Do kelpies interact well with other animals?

    If you socialize your dog with other animals it is usually not a problem.Some kelpies behave dominant towards other dogs (usually of the same sexe), but this seems to be more individually than breed bound.

    Do kelpies swim?

    Kelpies are no swimming dogs in origin, but if you accustom the dog with water from a young age it might start enjoying it.

    Do the dogs have a pedigree?

    We only breed Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognised dogs.Our pups therefore will get a pedigree of the ‘Raad van Beheer’, the Dutch Kennel Club.

    Do you give guarantees?

    Yes we do.However most people would like to see a life long guarantee and a 10 years maintenance contract and even though that would be ideal, it is not possible.Because the descending of the bal is a returning issue in the breed, we do offer a compensation when the problem occurs.If they are not descended after a year we will, with a written declaration of a vet, return part of the price.The same is valid if the dog develops a clear over or under bite.Pups can leave with a perfect set of dentals, but can obtain an over or under bite because of irregular growth.The other way around is possible as well, they can leave with a small irregularity in their dentals, but this could be corrected during growth.If sincere inheritable diseases occur in the first year (for example CA) we will, after consulting a vet, return a big part of the price.This is also based on a bit of trust and therefore we ask people to keep us updated.If we are not aware of the problem we can’t assist or take it into account for our breeding programme.We rely on the information we receive from buyers.

    Do you have a waiting list?

    This is a regularly asked question.And yes, in general, we do have some people noted down with an interest in kelpies.A waiting list is constantly changing however, people can change their minds or at the moment pups are available it might turn out not be the right time.Furthermore detailed preferences can make it more difficult, because it someone for example wants a bitch, we do not take into account that a male might be a possibility as well.If that is the case it is better to say that the preferred dog would be a bitch but that a male will be considered as well.Good communication is very important!
    It is very useful if you want to be noted down on the list to keep showing interest and come to visit the kennel at least ones to meet the dogs.The way we work is that as soon as a litter is born we contact the people on the list.If the preferred dog is not in the litter we will let you know as well.

    Do you, as a breeder, follow up on the dogs?

    We like to stay in touch with our buyers, but it is not an obligation! We feel that the first year of development of the dog is important to know.Most inheritable diseases will start showing a dogs first life year.If something really problematic occurs we can keep this is in mind for our breeding programme, assist the buyer and if necessary compensate.Last mentioned is only possible however if the buyer keeps us updated and assist in a respectful, normal relationship trying to solve the problem.Working with life animals means that sometimes things happen that can’t be foreseen or prevented.

    Does the name for the dog need to start with a certain letter?

    We will give the pups their official names.

    Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

    Yes, as long as he is socialized well, and you don’t have pet sheep or cows, this guy gets along well with other household pets.He may try to herd them, though, and this behavior should not be tolerated.Not only is it annoying in the home, but it can also lead to pet squabbles.

    Exercise ??

    It goes without saying that the Working Kelpie is an energetic dog breed who needs at least 90 to 120 minutes of intense exercise every day.Come rain or shine without fail, this dog needs an energy outlet.Otherwise, he will become depressed and problematic.

    Food & Diet Requirements ??

    The Working Kelpie needs plenty of energy to keep him sustained throughout the day.He will typically eat between two to three cups of food every day.His diet should be well-balanced, but it needs to have a high protein, fat, and energy content.

    Grooming ??

    The Working Kelpie has a relatively simple grooming regime, and his coat is smooth, short, and double-layered.He sheds relatively low all year round and moderately during the shedding season.Use a brush once a week to remove the dust and dirt he has picked up on the ranch, and this will suffice to keep him looking his best.

    Health and Conditions ??

    The Working Kelpie is a healthy breed who is susceptible to certain conditions more than others, just like any other pedigree dog.Here are the primary health conditions to watch for in the Working Kelpie.

    How do you deal with complaints?

    If people have serious complaints and communicate those to us in a normal way, we will definitely take them serious.With normal we do not mean someone calling us while being under influence and shouting.Besides this we will also have a better idea of the illness when people have stayed in touch (even if it is just occasionally) and not tell us about a problem after three years for example.Like discussed before we have reasonable guarantee arrangements.Of course we do assume these are used in a trustworthy manner.Vet declarations are necessary and in some cases we accompany the owners to the vet, especially if we can learn something from it.If people have trouble raising their kelpie and have questions, we are more then willing to offer help and answers.Unfortunally you also get people who should not buy a kelpie, or any other living animal for that matter.We try to inform possible buyer thoroughly and sometimes get told that we focus to much on the negative sides of the breed.We have this rather than people getting rid of their dog after two years however.If we do not know anything we can not help with complaints! This is also impossible if we have no idea at all of the disease and disease development.

    How does the payment work?

    We are asking for a pre-payment of 400 when you planned to collect the pup at the age at 8 weeks and 600 Euro when you planned to collect the pup at the age of 15 weeks, as soon as the pups are born and appear to be healthy.This pre-payment can not be refunded under any circumstances, unless the dog dies premature.Why do we ask for a pre-payment? Unfortunately we have the experience that some people cancel on us in the week the pups are supposed to be picked up.In the mean time other potential buyers have been notified about alternative litters and investments have been and need to be made concerning health care, socialization and training (house training, etc).New efforts have to be made as well to find a new buyer.With the pre-payment we cover our costs in the first eight weeks and hope to avoid people who impulsively buy a dog.The rest of the payment can be transferred before the pup is picked up or paid in cash at the pick up day.

    How would you describe the character of the breed?

    We experience the kelpie as an active, open and friendly dog that mostly enjoys being in the company of people.

    I can see that you often use the same male dogs, why is this?

    This is corrects, we often use the same male dogs if they are healthy and produce healthy offspring.We have also used male dogs from outside our own kennel and as long as they are healthy and produce healthy offspring with character, we have or will use them more often.We offer serious guarantees and like to offer dogs as healthy as possible, keeping in mind that we work with living animals.That does not mean we don’t want our buyers to get a dog that has a good possibility of growing up to life a healthy life.A couple of times male dogs outside our kennel have produced pups with ‘unwished’ characteristics.We don’t want to apply that this is all to blame on the male dog as also the breeding combination could be genetically wrong.Anyway we don’t see any harm in repeating a breeding combination if the resulting pups are to our liking.For the genetic variety in the population it would be better to diversify the combinations as much as possible, but not everyone is interested in breeding.On the other hand we will drive over 2400 km if necessary for a breeding combination we think will give a good litter.In our kennel we have five male dogs of our own .

    I see that you use some bitches more than others, why is this?

    We stick to the rules of the “Raad van Beheer” (Dutch Kennel Club).These have been recently altered giving us more factors to keep in mind whilst breeding besides the health and condition of the dogs.We have a preference for mating a bitch on an early age and than leave her for a couple of years.After a couple of years (dependant on health and condition) we will have her mated a couple times in a row.This because we have the opinion that an adult bitch, when in good health and condition, can easily have a few litters in a row.A young bitch however first should get the chance to grow and develop before having a litters.Besides this it gives us a chance to see how the pups from the first litter will develop and grow into adulthood.Because of the new rules from the “Raad van Beheer” this isn’t possible anymore, unless you want very few litters with your bitch.The maximum amount of litters a bitch, no matter what breed, is allowed to have is five.As can be seen on our website we have only one bitch so far who has had five litters.Up till this day she is still in very good condition despite the fact that she has been sterilized in the mean time.Most of our bitches will most likely never have as many litters as five however.Furthermore we do not focus on the number of litters a bitch has, but on the amount of pups in a litter.A bitch who has had litters of three, five and six pups in twenty-one months is an entire different story from a bitch who had litters of nine and eleven in the same amount of months.These last numbers are not the litter sizes we expect from our dogs, we think mainly because they have a lot of freedom to express their natural behaviors in our living area.The new rules of the “Raad van Beheer” state that their should be a minimum of ten months in between each litter.We do agree to this rules, because there will also be breeders who will not care as much in what condition their dog is.There are big differences as we are concerned in the appearances of the individual dogs.Some meet the breed standards a lot better than others do in our opinion.We also take this into account thinking about the number of times we will use a bitch to breed with.

    Is everyone allowed to join the activities offered?

    We organize a couple of kennel activities each year.Those are mainly aimed at our buyers or buyers from befriended breeders.The goal is primarily to have a good time and give people the opportunity to exchange experiences.If you do not have one of our dogs and we have not met before but you would like to join, please ring us and ask information concerning the possibilities.

    Is it necessary to sport with the dog?

    No, it is not necessary to participate in any of the different types of dog sports.More important is that you provide the dog with sufficient exercise and diversion.This can also be achieved, when old enough, by walking, cycling, etc with your dog.

    Is The Working Kelpie Child-Friendly?

    The Working Kelpie does well with children and can be a good companion for them.However, they may not be best suited in a house with small children.They have a high herding instinct, so they can nip and chase small kids.Therefore, close supervision is needed while letting them interact with each other.

    So what’s the Difference?

    Show dogs are quite different from the original working dog in many ways, they have different temperament, behaviour, looks and body shape.In the Kelpie, they have a short dark coat, in solid colours with no white or tan markings.Show people are very keen on dark chocolate brown or deep red.They are generally shorter in the leg, of very solid build with a broad chest and head, and pricked ears.In the Border Collie they go for the long flowing coat, predominately black with white markings (some tri-colours), short legs, bent ears and generally an all-round smaller dog than the genuine Working Border Collie.The Show Dog can only be bred with other Show Dogs and never back to the original Working Dogs.That means that they cannot be crossed with genuine Working Dogs — while not illegal, it just won’t produce a well-bred dog — and why would you do that anyway? Better to breed from excellence if you are looking for excellence.Unfortunately, very few people overseas get to see the genuine working Kelpie and Border Collie.In the past there have been unscrupulous breeders who passed off Show Dogs as genuine Working Dogs to overseas customers but hopefully, that practice has ceased.Once anyone has seen the genuine Working Kelpie or Border Collie in action, then there is no question that they would instantly recognise the difference.

    Training ??

    The Working Kelpie does not see his master as his master.Instead, he sees him as his colleague, who work together to control the flocks on the ranch.This means that he is not the most obedient of dogs outside of the working environment.He shouldn’t challenge his master for the top dog position in the family pack.But equally, he will not obey your every command outside of work.

    What are the costs of a pup?

    Currently they cost 1000 Euro excluding 21% VAT (total 1210 Euro) when they leave at the age of 8 weeks, despite gender, colour or breeding combination.All of our pups are worth the same.When they leave at the age of 15 weeks the costs will be 1410 Euro including VAT (the amount of 200 Euro is for the extra vaccinations) .If the dog leaves for his new home he has been checked by a vet and had all of his first injections, by 15 weeks all his vaccinations including Rabiës.They also have pedigrees and in case of a foreign transaction an export pedigree and a European passport.

    What do you take into account breeding dogs?

    Before breeding any of our dogs HD and PRA (eyes) examinations and also heart examination are conducted.We do not breed dogs with eye problems.Before breeding we have the eyes examined and we will repeat this after a couple of years.Because the population of Australian kelpies is relatively small we will breed dogs with HD A and HD B, we try to match HD B dogs with HD A dogs where possible.Sometimes this means we have to travel for miles to get the right breeding combinations.Besides this we also keep up with research into the MDR1 gene deficiency and patella Luxatie.We will also keep family resemblances in mind.Besides the health and family aspects we value a working attitude and a friendly character in our dogs.Kelpies are social dogs and we like to keep it that way.

    What do you use to wean the pups?

    We have a strict policy concerning the birth and feeding of the pups.It starts with the fact that we will not bottle feed any of the pups although it is hard to see a pup slowly die.Still we are of the opinion that the start of any pet should be a good one.This means that if a pup is not able to develop on its own we do no intervene, we have lost several pups this way.Depending on the development of the pups we start feeding Bambix (preferably vanilla as they enjoy this) with Roosvicee one to three days a week if the pups are three weeks old.Later on in the development we will start feeding soaked puppy feed from Eukanuba and some other brands, such as Proplan fish, Duck energique or Renske.Preferably we give them a variety of feeds to offer a complete diet.

    What feed do you use?

    At the moment we mainly feed our dogs Eukanuba lamb & rice and meat from Ropadog, Renske meat and a variety of ready made fresh meats, such as Duck.We also have good experiences with Farm Food (biological feed).Of course there will be more good dog feeds on the market, but these are the ones we have good experiences with.

    What is your opinion about Barfen?

    This seems to be very popular at the moment.It is a good way of feeding your dog if you make sure that you are consequent in the preparation and add the necessary minerals & vitamins.This method is more expensive however than feeding A brands such as Eukanuba Lamb & Rice or Proplan Salmon.Unfortunally we often hear that people choose the cheap option and pick up left over meat and ‘forget’ to add minerals & vitamins.Inconsequential preparation of this type of feeding can have harmful consequences on the long run.Pity!
    We are therefore not really fond of Barfen.

    What kind of dogs are part of your family?

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    What’s the Price of Working Kelpie Puppies?

    The price of a Working Kelpie puppy will start from approximately $1,000.There isn’t a lot of information available online, as many reputable breeders will not disclose the prices of their pups.Working Kelpies are not ideal for typical families, and only serious ranchers will reach out to purchase a pup.

    What’s your primary interest in dogs?

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    When am I allowed to pick up the dog?

    You can pick them up with 8 weeks or with 15 weeks.

    Why are we still occasionally attending these dog shows?

    Primarily because we are expected to go there and we received a lot of critics when we stopped completely.Secondarily because those events do provide good shopping occasions.The results we receive are very varied; usually the results are rather negative when we show the dogs ourselves and positive when we asked experienced handlers to show them.

    Why are you not members of a recognized kelpie organisation?

    We are of opinion that, just as in many other organizations, there are to much conflicts of interest.Furthermore we do not feel that such organizations have to offer us something more and substantial, our priorities are different.In our kennel the dog is our main focus, it concerns health and character.Furthermore we are of opinion that there should not be any breeders part of the board, because of the earlier mentioned conflicts of interest.

    Why are you such a large breeder?

    This is not a question many people ask, but we do have the idea that it comes to a lot of peoples mind, therefore we are happy to answer it.First of all; large is a subjective word.Perhaps we have relatively a lot of dogs, but without wanting to sound arrogant we think we can afford having this many kelpies.We live in an agricultural area with half a hectare around the house and the passion and energy to work with our dogs.Some of our dogs have been sterilized because of their age, but their age does not mean we want to get rid of them! We also don’t like to put them down, so as long as they can still enjoy a qualitatively good life they can grow old with us.Then we also have a couple of male dogs, so the actual number of breeding bitches (we don’t really like to refer to them this way) is not that large.Furthermore we are not really fond of placement dogs, although we can see that a lot of breeders don’t really have a choice looking at their living circumstances.With a placement dog we mean a dog of which the breeder remains ownership and is allowed to use the dog for breeding.This is a different story from a dog that is sold with a breeding clausal (this means the dogs use for breeding by the breeder is limited, for example one litter, before the buyer gains complete ownership of the dog).Besides the fact that we think we can afford to have this many dogs, for the previously mentioned reasons, we also think that it is a good way to get a complete picture of a breed.True the many different dogs the breed characteristics and individual differences will show.Experience and knowledge in keeping and breeding dogs is just as important as theoretical knowledge.

    Will you watch my dog while we are on holiday?

    No, we do not take dogs in boarding! We do not have the means to provide this service and it does not mix very well with our own pack of dogs.

    History of Working Kelpies

  • In 2012, Tasmanian breeder Matthew Johnson sold Kelpie dog Tom to set a $12,000 Australian record price at the Casterton auction.
  • In the 1800s, cattle ranchers in the Australian Outback found the sheep herding dogs they brought from England weren’t well suited to the harsh environment.