Australian Kelpie Dog

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Australian Kelpie Dog

Australian Kelpie Dog Scientific Classification

KingdomAnimaliaPhylumChordataClassMammaliaOrderCarnivoraFamilyCanidaeGenusCanisScientific NameCanis lupus

Australian Kelpie Dog Conservation Status

Australian Kelpie Dog Locations

Australian Kelpie Dog Locations

Australian Kelpie Dog Facts

Fun FactKelpie can travel more than 30 miles in one day.TemperamentAlert and intelligentTrainingShould be trained from an early age and should be firm but fairDietOmnivoreAverage Litter Size5Common NameAustralian Kelpie DogSloganFriendly, intelligent and energetic!GroupHerd Dog

Australian Kelpie Dog Physical Characteristics


  • Brown
  • Red
  • Black
  • Tan

Skin TypeHairLifespan10 to 13 yearsWeight25 to 45 poundsHeight17 to 20 inches

Australian Kelpie Dog Images

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Australian Kelpies, or Kelpies as they’re affectionately referred to, were bred in Australia to work as a shepherd to handle a large number of sheep in New South Wales and Victoria.

They were bred to take care of the sheep primarily on their own with no real guidance from any shepherds or other individuals. In addition to herding sheep, this breed is also good at herding cattle and goats.

Today, there are two different varieties of Kelpies. The first variety is working dogs that continue working as shepherds and herding livestock. The second variety is Show Kelpies. Show Kelpies are bred for their appearance for dog competitions. Kelpies are very intelligent animals who can make a good family pet so long as they are also given a job as their instinct to be working is very powerful. If they get bored, they may also become destructive.

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Owning an Australian Kelpie: 3 Pros and Cons

Easy to groom: Kelpies are easier to groom than many other breeds and only need to be brushed about once a week.High activity needs: Kelpies do best when they are active and given a job. They are not a good dog to just sit around the house with.
Excellent working-dog: Kelpies make an excellent working dog and do well when they are given a job.Can be destructive: If Kelpies don’t get the mental stimulation and exercise they need, they can exhibit destructive behaviors.
Loyal: Kelpies are loyal to the people they trust.Not always good with young children: Without proper training, Kelpies may try to ‘herd’ or nip at younger children.
Red and tan Australian Kelpie herding a group of sheep.

Australian Kelpie Size and Weight

Australian Kelpies are a medium-sized dog breed. Both males and females generally weigh between 25 and 45 pounds and are between 17 and 20 inches tall.

Height (Male)17 to 20 inches
Height (Female)17 to 20 inches
Weight (Male)25 pounds to 45 pounds
Weight (Female)25 pounds to 45 pounds

Australian Kelpie Common Health Issues

Unfortunately, Australian Kelpies face more potential health issues than some other dog breeds. Learn what to look out for so you can offer the best care possible to your dog.

One potential health concern for this breed is progressive retinal atrophy. This is an eye condition where the retina deteriorates over time. At first, a dog will lose their night vision, but daytime vision will follow as the disease gets worse.

Patellar luxation is another possible health concern for Kelpie. This is a disorder where the bones of the knee cap (patella) are not properly lined up. This causes them to slip, which can make it challenging and painful for a dog to walk, especially with more severe cases. Surgery may be required for these more severe cases.

Health and Entertainment for your Australian Kelpie Dog

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Hip dysplasia, which is a genetic disorder, is another potential issue to be on the lookout for. With this condition, the bones around the hip aren’t properly formed which causes them to rub together and cause a Kelpie pain. Dogs may also begin to limp or experience lameness in one of their legs. Surgery may also be required for this condition.

To review, these are some potential health problems that may impact a Kelpie:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hip dysplasia

Australian Kelpie Temperament and Behavior

Australian Kelpies have a pretty even temperament. This breed exhibits very loyal traits and can be very devoted to the members of their family.

Kelpies are also very intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation along with regular exercise. If these needs aren’t met, they can exhibit destructive behaviors. They were bred to herd livestock and still do best as a herding dog or when they are given a job to do. Kelpies also have a very alert and active personality.

How to Take Care of an Australian Kelpie

Keep a Kelpie’s health concerns, temperament, dietary needs, activity needs, and more in mind as you prepare a care plan. This dog breed is unique and will require different care than what you would give a different breed.

Australian Kelpie Food and Diet

Always choose a high-quality dog food for your Kelpie. Check with your vet to confirm which brand or type of food will best suit the individual needs of your dog. The exact amount of food your dog will require each day can vary based on his or her weight, age, activity level, metabolism, health concerns, and more. Again, your vet is a good resource to make sure you are feeding your dog the right amount of food.

After an Australian Kelpie Puppy is weened, they will need to eat very small meals more frequently throughout the day. This is because a puppy has a smaller stomach than a full-grown dog. Younger puppies should eat between three and four times a day. By the time puppies are six months old, two meals each day should be sufficient. Choose a high-quality puppy food for your Kelpie.

Australian Kelpie Maintenance and Grooming

Kelpies are relatively easy to groom. They have a denser undercoat with a flat, water-resistant outer coat. You should brush your Kelpie about once a week to take off any looser hair or other debris. You may also find that your Kelpie needs a bath once in a while to keep him or her clean and smelling good.

It is also important to trim a Kelpie’s nails so they don’t become too long and make it painful for the dog to walk. Their teeth should also be brushed a few times a week to prevent dental disease.

Australian Kelpie Training

Training an Australian Kelpie from a young age is important. This can keep them from becoming too territorial and can help them learn what is expected of them. Keep in mind that Kelpies do best when they are given a job and will respond well to training aimed at teaching them this job.

Australian Kelpie Exercise

Australian Kelpies are very active dogs who are used to getting a lot of exercise each day. It will be important to help make sure your Kelpie gets sufficient exercise. This can include long walks, play sessions, or completing their assigned tasks.

Australian Kelpie Puppies

Kelpies can be very destructive if they get bored, so it will be very important to make sure your home is puppy-proof. Remove anything that could be a potential safety hazard or that you don’t want to see ruined by your Kelpie. In addition to puppy-proofing your home, make sure that you select a trusted veterinarian to bring your dog to after you bring him home.

The change in environment can cause stress to a Kelpie puppy, so be sure to give them plenty of attention. It will also be important to start training and socializing your dog from a young age so they get used to different people and places and learn how to act appropriately.

Australian Kelpie puppy lying in the grass

Australian Kelpies and Children

Kelpies can make a good family pet under proper conditions. Since they are herders by instinct, they may try to herd younger children if they aren’t properly trained or socialized. Without proper training, they may also nip at children. However, they can make a great family dog so long as they receive the training, socialization, and stimulation they need.

Dogs similar to Australian Kelpie

Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, and Border Collies are three breeds that are similar to the Australian Kelpie.

  • Australian Cattle Dog: Australian Cattle Dogs and Kelpies were both bred to herd livestock in Australia. Both are a medium-size dog, through the Australian Cattle Dog is about 10 pounds heavier with an average weight of 46 pounds compared to a Kelpie’s 35 pounds. Kelpies have a double coat while Australian Cattle Dogs have a denser coat.
  • Australian Shepherd: The Australian Shepherd is a larger dog than the Kelpie. The average weight of a male Australian Shepherd is 57.5 while the average weight of a male Kelpie is only 35 pounds. Both breeds are territorial and can make an excellent watchdog.
  • Border Collie: Border Collies and Kelpies are both excellent shepherds for livestock. They are also about the same size with an average weight of around 35 pounds. Border Collies require more grooming than Kelpies and can be more affectionate.

Famous Australian Kelpies

Australian Kelpies are seen at many dog shows. Some of the more famous members of this breed include:

  • Coil: Coil was a Kelpie who won a sheepdog trial by earning the greatest maximum number of points in 1898 in Sydney.
  • Koko: Koko the Kelpie played the role of ‘Red Dog’ in a film with the same name. Red Dog was a well-known and loved Kelpie in Australia during the 1970s.

Below are some of the most popular names for an Australian Kelpie:

  • Dingo
  • Boomerang
  • Dusty
  • Archie
  • Aussie
  • Milla
  • Isla
  • Pippa
  • Sienna
  • Kiwi

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