Working Kelpie

The Working Kelpie is extremely alert and highly intelligent. It is friendly and playful, always eager to please its human companions.

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

The Working Kelpie is an extremely active breed, bred to work hard all day long. This being the case, this breed requires a significant amount of daily exercise – one daily walk will not suffice.
This breed does best when given some type of job to do, so training for agility is recommended. Australian Kelpies also make great jogging companions.

Feeding Tips

Given that the Kelpie is a naturally active breed, you should consider providing him with dog food formulated for active dogs.
They should do well on high-quality dog 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

The majority of Working Kelpies are healthy dogs. Working with aresponsible breeder, those wishing to own a Working Kelpie can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. 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 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.


Historically, it is interesting to observe that the dogs which formed the foundation of the Australian Working Kelpie sheepdog were not owned, as one might expect, by shepherds, but land/property holders who were members of highly-respected and well-known families.
George Robertson and his cousin John G. Robertson came from Scotland to Victoria; the 5 Rutherford brothers immigrated to Australia in the mid-1800s and are from a very well-established sheep farming family in Sutherlandshire, NSW; Gilbert S. Elliot and William Allan were both sons of very well-connected families in England and Scotland.The foundation of the Kelpie breed happened by sheer chance and the results have been of tremendous value to the Australian pastoral industries.
The breed’s origins begin with apair of black and tanCollies, named Brutus and Jennie, who were brought from Jedburgh, Scotland by Arthur Robinson for his brother-in-law Gilbert Elliot. Following the death of Gilbert Elliot, William Allan took Brutus with him to Queensland. Caesar, one of the litter born on the way to Australia, became the property of Mr. John Rich of Narriah station, a property that adjoined Yalgogrin. It was while Jack Gleeson was managing Yalgogrin that he mated his dog, named Kelpie, to Caesar to produce the litter of which Kings Kelpie was a part.
Because of the short time between the arrival of Brutus and Jennie, Gilbert Elliot’s death, and Williams Allan’s move to Queensland, the bloodlines of this imported Collie pair was limited and, to date, the only records held are that Caesar mated to Gleeson’s Kelpie producing Kings Kelpie; Nero owned by James Cunningham of Kildary station; Swan ll and Wylie ll all of which bred on well; Laddie, Caesar’s litter brother, was mated to King’s Kelpie to produce the dam of The Barb and a couple of unnamed dogs bred and owned by R M Macpherson.
During the 1800s, these early ancestors of the Working Kelpie were shown and displayed at various sheepdog trials and other competitions, where they won not only the competitions, but the love and admiration of the people who watched them work so quickly and effortlessly.
Kelpies have been exported throughout the world and are used to muster livestock, primarily sheep, cattle and goats. They were brought to North America around the turn of the century to expedite livestock handling.