Kelpie Welfare UK
Supporting Kelpies across the UK
What is an Australian Kelpie?
The Australian Working Kelpie is a highly intelligent breed, used predominantly in Australia (but increasingly through the rest of the world) for herding sheep and cattle. They are extremely versatile and once they understand their job, can be relied upon to carry it out with minimal instruction and supervision.
They have become increasingly popular in the UK for ‘dogsports’ - Agility, Canicross, Bikejor, Flyball etc - And many have excelled and reached the pinnacle of these disciplines.
They make superbly versatile farm dogs - Working sheep, cattle, and other livestock with extreme skill and ability. They will work tirelessly for hours, in extreme conditions if required. They can be left to work alone, gathering sheep from out of sight on hillsides and valleys. They can have the strength to move large bunches of cattle and deal with stubborn sheep, yet can have the skills and gentleness to move a single sheep and lamb. They will work in yards, with their trademark ‘backing’ sheep along a race, and fetching the sheep at close quarters - Their exceptional balance can help them ride on quad bikes, with many enjoying the ride!
So they’re like a Border Collie?
Many people report them as being the equivalent of the Border Collie - Yes there are similarities in their requirements, they often need significant physical and mental stimulation, but their traits vary greatly. Trying to train a Kelpie like a Border Collie will likely confuse and frustrate both dog and handler. Refer back to once a Kelpie understands the job - they need minimal instruction and supervision - Try to hold a Kelpie’s hand, and instruct every inch of work, through a job time and time again and you’ll find you have a severely confused dog on your hand - Why would you teach him to do something, then closely monitor him every time - He’s likely to think he isn’t doing it right, so will try something different! Cue huge frustration for the handler!
The cleverest of breeds!
Learning comes very easily to the Kelpie - For a unprepared owner, this can mean they quickly learn the bad stuff as well as the good - And can often outwit even the most dog savvy owner.
They are by no means a dog for the fainthearted - Yes, many will make great family pets in an active home, but the majority need far more than this. They need a job to do and a highly driven one will need very regular work, training, activity and discipline in its life.
Brains as well as beauty…
Stunning dogs, smooth coated and in a variety of colours. Very striking, proud dogs and with personalities to die for. Generally outgoing, friendly, happy dogs who are often good with children and other pets (herding instinct aside!) They are sensitive souls too, and love affection and playtime!