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Australian Kelpie
The Australian Kelpie is most familiar to most in the US as a dog that looks alot like the Australian Cattle Dog, and no doubt the two are closely related.  While the Kelpie has more of a pariah type dog conformation with a moderate amount of bone, height to body length ratio and neck proportion, the ACD is shorter on leg and heavier in bone. The standard and most other support for the Kelpie is somewhat inadequate, while it is understandable that an organization whose focus is the working ability of the breed might take minimal interest in other "conformational details" it is inexplicable that they lack breeder ethics, fancier ethics and a rescue.  As one of the more "natural" breeds (without physical characteristics that are exaggerated) it is very likely that the Kelpie is quite healthy.  With its working attitude it is also very likely that the breed is very ill-suited as the companion of a typical two career family in the US and this should be communicated.
By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Primitive-PariahHerding Height: 17-23 inches
Weight: 26-45 pounds Longevity: midteens
Colors: solid colors, black and tan, red and tan, etc. minimal white preferred Coat type: smooth and short
Recognized Registries: NAAKR, the Australian Kelpie Registry of North America
Overall Appearance: Lithe and moderate in build, the Australian Kelpie with its prick ears and athleticism seems the "typical dog". However, their working ability and drive to work will drive most households to distraction. This is definitely a dog that should be working with its owner all day. Anything less will likely lead to a variety of behavioral issues as the dogs strives to achieve their need for a job.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high
General Nature: good but can be reactive
  with Children: generally good but needs lots of activity and work
  with other pets: generally good
  with dogs: generally good
Socialization requirements: relatively high
Ideal home characteristics: One that is working with the dog several days a week.
Temperament Notes: Alert and active with impressive problem solving abilities
Training requirement: Moderate but typically as a part of the work that is required of them
Trainer notes:
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 1800s
Country of Origin: Australia
Original Function: herding
History: Various theories abound but apparently the first
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes:
Health Testing:
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Kelpies?
  • What attracted you to Kelpies?
  • What would you consider the ideal Kelpie?
  • What is the most important trait in a Kelpie?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you select for in your breeding stock?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • What health issues do you screen for in your breeding stock?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you send your pups to their homes?
  • What would you consider an ideal Kelpie home?
  • How do you select the pup that goes to the individual home?
Web Sites: It is a serious critique of North American Australian Kelpie Fanciers that no rescue for this breed can be found. There is no reference to rescue on any breeder page (so they are willing to produce them but not help them if they are lost or abandoned?).  This is critical because this breed is easily one that could be a handfull for many typical canine homes.
Other Resources
Breed standard: Standard as per the American Rare Breed Association

Breeder Ethics: Code of Ethics by the Australian National Kennel Council.  No breeder in North America is required to follow these guidelines but it would be a good place to start.

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