The Working Kelpie: A Complete Guide

The Working Kelpie is a capable and clever herding dog used to work sheep and other livestock.

The lithe, hard-muscled Working Kelpie can work stock for many hours and cover long distances in heat and dust without giving in.

One of the smartest of all breeds, the Working Kelpie can also be one of the most challenging to live with.

His exceptional intellect, independence, intensity, and passion for work are his most admirable traits. These are also the traits that make him unsuitable for most homes.

This sharp-eyed, quick-thinking, fanatical workaholic must be allowed to do his job with livestock, to learn advanced obedience or agility, to accompany you jogging or biking, or to chase balls or Frisbees.

They become quickly bored and overly active when they don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation.

They will drive you crazy with obsessive, destructive behaviors as they seek creative outlets for their energy. High intelligence means they learn quickly. They are master escape artists.

With this very intelligent dog, you should always be one step ahead. A lot of people are just not up to the task!

Working Kelpie Puppies – Before You Buy…

The Working Kelpie is an energetic, intelligent, and loyal dog.

What Price are Working Kelpie Puppies?

The price of Working Kelpie puppies is between $300 and $600.

How to Find Reputable Working Kelpie Breeders?

Reputable breeders focus their efforts on the health and development of a breed.

Usually, a litter of puppies will cost a reputable breeder more than they will make back by selling their puppies.

This is due to the cost of breeding, the cost of care, medical screening, medical care, premium nutrition, and the maintenance of raising healthy dogs.

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If you want to find a reputable breeder, try attending dog shows.

Well-bred dogs are featured in these dog shows, which means they’re also a great place to get referrals when it comes to quality breeders.

Ask for references. Reputable breeders will have plenty of great references, and they won’t mind providing them to you.

Ask your vet for referrals as well. They see plenty of purebred dogs come through their clinic, and they are familiar with their veterinary history.

You can also contact local breed-specific organizations. These can be rescue groups, breed clubs, or kennel clubs.

They will be aware of local legitimate breeders that are known for producing healthy dogs.

If you have friends who are familiar with the particular breed that you want, ask them for a referral to their breeder.

3 Little-Known Facts About Working Kelpie Puppies

  1. The Working Kelpie became popular in the late 19th century.
  2. Australian ranchers required strong dogs who could handle unruly sheep as well as the harsh conditions and large acreages.
  3. The Working Kelpie’s ancestors include the “Coley,” a British herding-type dog that may also have contributed to the development of the Border Collie, the English Shepherd, and the Australian Shepherd.

Physical Traits of the Working Kelpie

The Working Kelpie is an excellent pet.

The Working Kelpie is a medium-built dog that has very sharp eyes and ears.

He has an athletic appearance. He comes in many shades like red, black, red, and tan, black and tan, fawn, blue, fawn and tan, blue and tan, and cream.

The Working Kelpie is long and muscular. His neck is very strong, and his head is long and narrow. It’s a dog that has a very beautiful look.

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Occasional brushing will remove excess or dead hairs from the coat. Bathing the Working Kelpie should only be done as needed.

How Big is a Full-Grown Working Kelpie?

Male Working Kelpies grow up to 46 to 51 centimeters and weigh 14 to 21 kilograms.

Females stand 43 to 48 centimeters in height and weigh 14 to 21 kilograms as well.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Working Kelpie?

The life expectancy of the Working Kelpie is 10 to 13 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Working Kelpie

The Working Kelpie is extremely alert and eager with a mild, tractable disposition and an almost inexhaustible energy.

He is noted for his loyalty and devotion to his work. He is a highly intelligent and capable dog. He likes to have a job to do, and whatever it is, he will do it well.

Be ready to give him work that will satisfy him, whether it’s retrieving things for you, competing in obedience or agility tests, going with you on your errands, or helping you watch the kids at the park.

If you can teach it, the Working Kelpie can learn it! Because he is naturally a herding dog, this dog’s instinct is to work independently and think for himself.

In his mind, you are a partner, not a boss. Take that into account when you are training him.

Respect his intelligence and don’t drill him over and over when it’s clear that he already knows something.

This is a dog that is accustomed to and capable of working on his own with little or no supervision. Working Kelpies are herding dogs who work. They are not commonly kept as pets.

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Their instincts make them wary of strangers, a good attribute for any watchdog.

However, if you want to keep one as a pet, he will need consistent socialization to judge real threats better.

He is incredibly independent and intelligent, and known for being able to learn almost any command or task.

The endless energy, stamina, and strong desire to work add up to a dog who requires an active and involved family to whom they are very loyal.

The Working Kelpie is not aggressive, but he won’t hesitate to protect family members, animals, or property.

The Working Kelpie’s Diet

The Working Kelpie can easily become bored.

Since the Working Kelpie is very active, he needs foods that can provide him with the energy that he requires.

You might want to feed him meat products like chicken and meat. You can also give him fresh fruit. When he finds it difficult to chew food, you can give apples or carrots to chew on.

How Much Exercise Does a Working Kelpie Need?

Working Kelpies need mental and physical stimulation that can last them for hours. This is why a working role is ideal.

Don’t underestimate your Working Kelpie’s stamina and endurance. This is not a breed for apartment life or for dog owners who don’t have the time.

The Working Kelpie loves to work and will happily perform tasks as directed.

Working Kelpie Health and Conditions

The Working Kelpie is more likely to have problems with his teeth. It starts with tartar build-up on the teeth and progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth.

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Working Kelpies are also susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. But many of these infections are preventable through vaccination.

Obesity can be a significant health problem in Working Kelpies. It’s a serious disease that may cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain, and heart disease.

Different kinds of bugs and worms can get in your Working Kelpie’s body. Ticks, fleas, and ear mites can also infect his ears and skin.

Hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms can get into his system in a number of ways.

Preventive medication is necessary to keep him healthy and protected. Hip dysplasia is also common in Working Kelpies, as well as patellar luxation.

Cerebellar Abiotrophy is a genetic neurologic disease that affects certain breeds of dogs, including Working Kelpies.

The problem can start in early puppyhood, with affected dogs usually beginning to show symptoms between 6 and 16 weeks of age.

This condition causes affected dogs to lose the sense of space and distance and become uncoordinated.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disease in which the eyes are genetically programmed to go blind.

Unfortunately, Working Kelpies are a bit more likely than other dogs to have this condition.

My Final Thoughts on the Working Kelpie

For anyone who wants an energetic, intelligent, and loyal dog, the Working Kelpie makes an excellent pet.

But before you decide to buy or adopt a Working Kelpie, you should seriously think about whether you can take care of him in a way that will produce an outstanding dog.

He is bred for work, not for the show bench, and needs to use his natural energies both mental and physical activities.

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He needs companionship.

Though he is content to stay for hours on the chain, he also needs to be with you for some time each day for exercise, walks, or games.

You should not expect this dog to be happy staying outside with nothing to keep him busy.

Inevitably, he will set about looking for an occupation. This can be chasing cars, trying to ‘work’ them as he would control sheep.

A Working Kelpie makes a fine family dog. He gets on well with his humans, especially the children.

Because they are kind and gentle by nature, almost all Working Kelpies will live harmoniously with other family pets.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

8
Cost to Buy
8
Cuteness Level
7.5
Family Safety
7.5
Friendliness
5.5
Health Concerns
6
Life Span
4
Exercise Required
6.5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.6 / 10

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