Australian Kelpie

The Australian Kelpie is a lithe, active dog, capable of untiring work. He is extremely intelligent, alert, and eager with unlimited energy.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Brush the Kelpie’s coat once or twice a week to remove dead hair and keep shedding to a minimum.
Some Kelpies have a double coat that sheds heavily in the spring. You’ll need to brush him more often to keep the loose hair under control. Active Australian Kelpies often wear their nails down naturally, but it’s a good idea to check them weekly to see if they need a trim.
Otherwise, just keep the ears clean and give him a bath if he gets dirty. Brush his teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Exercise Tips

Australian Kelpies need a lot of exercises to be their happiest selves. A good jog or long workout combined with the mental exercise of obedience lessons should be done daily.
Kelpies prefer to have a job to do (they will try to herd other dogs, pets, even children), but they also have an “off” switch. They can do a five-mile run, then settle on the couch with the family to watch a movie. Kelpies are not suited to apartment living as they need space for their limitless energy.

Feeding Tips

The Australian Kelpie is a naturally active breed, you should consider providing him with a dog food formulated for active dogs.
They should do well on a high-qualitydog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval.
Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to gettingoverweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity.
Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

Most Australian Kelpies are healthy dogs.Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Kelpie can gain the education they need about specific health concerns. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.


Originally bred as a working dog, meant to herd livestock without direct supervision, the Australian Kelpie does well in training. These dogs are highly intelligent and respond very well to training, especially if it is started at an early age. This breed learns very quickly so, if you provide firm and consistent training you may be amazed at how much this dog can learn and retain.
These dogs have even been trained for search and rescue and as scent dogs. It is important to keep in mind that Australian Kelpies were bred to be independent, so you need to account for that with your training. These dogs do not take as many repetitions to get the hang of a task as other breeds, so avoid being overly repetitive during training or your dog may become frustrated.


The Kelpie came into being in the late 19thcentury, probably around 1870. The sheep and wool industry in Australia was becoming big business, and ranchers needed tough dogs who could not only handle the unruly sheep but also the harsh environmental conditions and vast acreages. The Kelpie’s ancestors include the “Coley,” a British herding-type dog that may also have contributed to the development of theBorder Collie, the English Shepherd, and theAustralian Shepherd.