Dog Breeds 101: Australian Kelpie

Dog Breeds 101 - Australian Kelpie - WP
Photo – Wikipedia (PD)

In mythology, a Kelpie is a magical water spirit with bad intentions towards humans – however the Australian Kelpie dog is everything but that! Bred of course in Australia, the dog is popular for being a clever and capable herder, both in its homeland and in the United States, where it is also popular. The Kelpie was created by crossing Collies with other herding breeds resulting to the perfect livestock herder and guardian. [1]

Many believe that the Kelpie is the result of crossing the Dingo and Border Collie but recent evidence seems to suggest that they are actually descendants of the English North Country Collies of the Rutherford Strain which were imported to Australia in the latter part of the 19th century. [2] The first dog of the breed was born in Australia in 1872. She was named “Kelpie” after the mythological water spirit. Since she was the first of her kind, the breed was named after her. [3]

About a century ago, the first Kelpies were brought to America and had no trouble adapting to the different terrain, climate, and livestock. They still excel in herding and thousands of them are still being used to work in farms and ranches all over the world. They are, however, rarely seen as family pets. For most people, the Kelpie is a dog made to work and that’s that. The breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club and is yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. Aficionados of the breed are aiming to preserve the Kelpie’s natural working ability, temperament, conformation, and good health. [1]

This is a breed that won’t be happy living small spaces because they were bred to run and herd all day; the Kelpie needs a lot of room so it can stretch its legs. These dogs also hate to be left alone for long periods and they crave plenty of positive attention. It has an average lifespan of 14 years and is generally healthy but can develop minor health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. [4]

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