what is an australian kelpies

Are you a dog lover? If yes, you must definitely know about this amazing Australian dog breed named – Australian Kelpie. The Australian Kelpie is a medium-sized dog breed that is very active and intelligent.

This breed was created to resist the extreme heat and dry conditions of Australia’s huge open areas; however, it was initially derived from Collie-type dogs imported from Scotland.

Here, we will share the complete details of Australian kelpie dog breeds.

What Exactly is an Australian Kelpie?

Now, let’s see what is an Australian kelpie exactly.

The Australian Kelpie, or simply Kelpie, is a sheepdog native to Australia that can muster and drive sheep with little to no assistance. It is a medium-sized dog that is available in several colors. You can find Australian kelpies in many colors like red Kelpie, black Kelpie, etc.


Australian Kelpie Dog Overview

Breed Name /Group: Australian Kelpie / herding

Height: 19 to 25 inches

Weight: 28 to 60 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Coat: Short

Color: Red, Brown, Cream, Black, Fawn

Temperament: Gentle, Friendly

Needs for Grooming: Weekly brushing, occasional bath, and nail trim.

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Australia


Let’s jump and study the characteristics of the Australian Kelpie.

Energy LevelHigh
Barking TendencyHigh
Amount of SheddingHigh
Affection levelHigh

As you would have noticed, the level of each characteristic is high. The reason is that the Australian Kelpie is a very active dog.

Australian Dog Scientific Classification

Scientific NameCanis lupus

Breed History

australian kelpie Breed History

The breed’s name is Australian Kelpie, but the species’ origin is Scottish. Some of the dogs of the breed were exported then to Australia in the late 1800s to help the farmers of Australia in managing their enormous flocks of thousands of sheep in difficult weather conditions.

The breed’s founding female was given the name “Kelpie,” which is also the name of a shape-shifting aquatic creature from Celtic legend.

Even though the breed is a well-known working dog in Australia, the Australian Kelpie is not recognized in the US as they are rarely kept as pets.

Interestingly, the Australian Kelpie is not recognized by the American Kennel Club but is part of the AKC foundation stock service. It is a positive sign of its full recognition. The United Kennel Club, which includes the Australian Kelpie in the Herding Dog Group, has given it full recognition. The Fédération Cynologique International, an international kennel club, also recognizes the breed.


Appearance of australian kelpie

Since its beginnings, the Kelpie breed has split into two distinct varieties: the original Working Kelpie and the more modern category of “Bench Kelpies,” who were produced primarily for the show ring and are frequently treated more like pets than working dogs.

The head has a medium-length tapering nose, a distinct stop before the huge, pointed ears, and a slightly rounded skull between them. The teeth should be big, with a slightly overshot bite, and the lips are clean and tight with no extra fluff. The eyes are oval in shape, medium in size, and dark in color.

The dog is tall and has a solid and muscular neck and back. The chest is deep, and the ribs are moderately sprung.

You can also see Australian kelpie videos to know their appearance exactly.


Temperament of australian kelpie

The Australian Kelpies are friendly, intelligent, and loyal. They have a lot of energy, are always willing to perform physical activities, and are always devoted to their work. Although the Australian Kelpie enjoys working with sheep and other livestock, his docile, amiable, and laid-back nature makes him a good choice for a home dog.

Training and Care


If you choose to keep the Australian Kelpie as a pet, you must be prepared to spend a lot of time with the pet to exercise the dog. The dog must be trained in physical activities like jogging, hiking, swimming, etc.

If you are into running and want a companion for the same, an Australian kelpie puppy can be great company.


Grooming australian kelpie

The short, weatherproof coat of the Australian Kelpie is machine washable and wearable. You need to brush the dog once a week to reduce the shedding. And when it comes to bathing, you should bathe your Kelpie when he becomes dirty.

Check the nails of the dog and trim them when required. Also, regularly clean the ears of the dog; do it with a pet ear cleaner and cotton balls. Let’s see the grooming tips that you’ll love.


The Australian breed dog is smart and intelligent. They can be easily trained and taught any skills.

Training is a good way to put your pet’s mind to work. Australian kelpie puppies require a lot of early socialization to develop a positive attitude towards pleasant strangers and a sense of security in a city setting. In addition, they may bark a lot if not trained properly. Thus, training is very important for Australian Kelpies.

Health Problems

Health Problems of australian kelpie

The Australian Kelpie is a very healthy breed. However, just like all other breeds, they have some genetic problems. Some of these problems are:

1. Cerebellar Abiotrophy

It is a rare condition. However, it comes on a hereditary basis in the breed. It involves the central nervous system’s Purkinje cells, which play a key role in balance and coordination, degenerating. The symptoms come at a young age when the dogs are between 6 to 12 weeks old.

Puppies with the condition have clumsy, awkward movements. The ailment is generally not lethal but does progress to a certain extent. However, it makes the animal extremely vulnerable to mishaps and harm.

2. Collie Anomaly

It is a situation that can lead to various problems in the eyes and may include vision loss as well. In this condition, the signs of thinning of the retina can be clearly visible. The thinning effects are the thing that can cause blindness in the dog.

3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy

It is a word used to denote a collection of connected, blinding degenerative eye illnesses. The process starts happening in the dog in middle age. Although it might be self-limiting, it sadly frequently worsens to impair vision seriously.

4. Hypothyroidism

When Australian kelpies are in middle age, they may show lethargy, unusual weight gain, hair loss, skin diseases, etc. All these problems happen due to the immune-mediated destruction of thyroid tissue.

Before these signs start developing, the owners must try and notice the behavioral changes in the dog, such as aggression. It happens because of inflammation within the thyroid glands in the neck.

5. Microphthalmia

On rare occasions, Kelpie puppies are born with undeveloped or impaired eyes. Usually very small, these eyes may also have other anomalies, including hair growth inside the sockets. Both unilateral and bilateral conditions are possible.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition of australian kelpie

The Australian Kelpie needs an energy-rich diet to fuel its body for physical activities. You can ask a vet if you need to be made aware of their diet. But don’t compromise on their diet.

Even though kelpies engage in so much physical activity that obesity is unlikely to affect them, older kelpies or recovering from an accident may require a lower-calorie diet to prevent weight gain.

Where to Adopt or Buy?

Where to Adopt or Buy? australian kelpie

Most of the Australian kelpies are similar, but the different Australian kelpie breeders specialize in different types of working abilities. So, for instance, if you want an Australian kelpie to work on a big sheep ranch, herd cattle, or help out on a tiny hobby farm, you could choose a dog with varied attributes.

The Australian kelpie price for a puppy will range from $500 to $1500. So, be ready to pay this price if you want to buy this breed.

Popular Names of Australian Kelpie

Here are some of the most popular names for Australian Kelpie:

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

Pros and Cons of Owning an Australian Kelpie

Pros and Cons of Owning an Australian Kelpie


  • Easy to groom
  • Excellent Working Dog
  • Loyal Dog


  • High activity needs
  • Can be destructive
  • It may not always be good with children

Further Research

Further Research on an australian kelpie

The Australian Kelpie is an extremely attractive dog, but because of its physical requirements and reproductive habits, keeping these dogs indoors is challenging.

You’ll enjoy the following breeds if you enjoy the Australian Kelpie:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Blue Heeler
  • Border Collie


1. How to Differentiate Between Australian Kelpie and Australian Koolie?

The Australian Kelpies are smaller compared to the Australian Koolie. They are also easy to groom and can even be trained easily.

2. What Family Does the Australian Kelpie Belong To?

The Australian Kelpie belongs to the Canidae family.

3. What Is the Canine’s Scientific Name?

The Australian Kelpie is known scientifically as a “Canis Lupus.”

4. The Australian Kelpie Is Made Up of What Breeds?

The Scottish Collies and Dingos in Australia are the ancestors of the Australian Kelpies.

5. Are Australian Kelpie Dogs’ Herbivores, Carnivores, or Omnivores?

The Australian Kelpie dogs are Omnivores.

Final Thoughts

At last, we would say that the Australian Kelpie can be fun as a pet. However, only keep them as a pet if you are ready to spend time with them for physical activities, as they are super-active dogs. And, for the rest of the information – you have this blog, and you will get all the details about this popular dog breed – Australian Kelpie!

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