Australian Kelpie Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Australian Kelpie so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Working Dogs
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Australian Kelpie dog profile picture
OriginAustralia flagAustralia
Other Names
What other names does the Australian Kelpie have?
Australischer KelpieBarbKelpieAustralian Sheepdog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Purebred

Australian Kelpie Price and Availability

Price
How much does the Australian Kelpie puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? How much money is an Australian Kelpie?
$500-$700
If you choose to purchase the Australian Kelpie, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Australian Kelpie for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Australian Kelpie gets to a happy place.
Availability
How easy is it to get a Australian Kelpie? How many Australian Kelpie are there in the world?
Rare: You may rarely see each other in everyday life, but you might catch a glimpse of each other at dog shows.

There are very few of them, and there have been times when they have almost drifted to the brink of extinction, so few are left.

Australian Kelpie Size

Size
Is an Australian Kelpie small, medium or large dog?

How big do Australian Kelpie get?

Medium
Weight
How much does the Australian Kelpie weigh? How much should the Australian Kelpie breed weight? What is the normal weight of an Australian Kelpie?
25-45 pounds (11-20 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of an Australian Kelpie?
35 pounds (15.5 kg)
Height
How tall is the Australian Kelpie? Australian Kelpie height:
17-20 inches (43-51 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of an Australian Kelpie?
18.5 inches (47 cm)

Australian Kelpie Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Australian Kelpie have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
Double
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Australian Kelpie's coat?
Blue ChocolateRedTanBrownFawnBlack
Grooming
How to groom the Australian Kelpie and how often?
Effortless: The Australian Kelpie requires minimal grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary.

Ears and eyes should be cleaned sometimes to avoid infections. Australian Kelpie is one of the best choices if you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of a high-maintenance dog.

Highly recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Australian Kelpie dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Australischer Kelpie?
Australian Kelpies shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Australian Kelpie need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Australian Kelpie every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.

Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Australian Kelpie Personality / Temperament

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Australian Kelpie have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
AlertEnergeticIntelligentRobustEagerFriendlyLoyal
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Australian Kelpie? Is the Australian Kelpie breed dumb or smart?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.

The Australian Kelpie ranks average in the intelligence ranking of dogs.

Trainability
Are Australian Kelpie dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Australian Kelpies are very easy to train. They easily find out the association between commands and actions.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
The Australian Kelpie is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Australian Kelpie sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Australian Kelpies don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well.

They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is an Australian Kelpie a good family dog?
Average: Australian Kelpies are average dogs regarding their affection level. Some breeds are forthcoming and friendly, while others are independent and don't bond too closely with their owners.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Australischer Kelpie need? Australian Kelpie social needs:
Australian Kelpies need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Barking
Do Australian Kelpie dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Australischer Kelpie bark?
Low to Average: The Australian Kelpie rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Watchdog Ability
Is Australian Kelpie good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Australian Kelpies are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Australian Kelpie dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Australian Kelpie dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Australian Kelpies are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect its territory so the Australian Kelpie can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Australian Kelpie will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Australian Kelpie bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Australischer Kelpie? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Australian Kelpie? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Australian Kelpie has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Australian Kelpie has a hard bite? What is the bite force of an Australian Kelpie? How much bite force does an Australian Kelpie have?

Between 200 and 400 PSI

Australian Kelpie bite force: Ordinary. Average dogs have a bite force between 200 and 400 PSI.

The Australian Kelpie, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained.

However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.

Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Australian Kelpie do?
Australian Kelpies have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Australian Kelpies need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Australian Kelpie to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Australian Kelpie roam?
The wanderlust potential of the Australian Kelpie is strong enough to escape from home. They have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Australian Kelpie have high prey drive?
Australian Kelpies have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Australian Kelpies are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Australian Kelpie good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
It is not recommended to keep the Australian Kelpie breed in the home. It does best in the garden, but if you do want to keep it indoors, it should be exercised thoroughly with long daily walks, so you can keep the Australian Kelpie indoors by introducing daily routines.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Australian Kelpies adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can an Australian Kelpie be left alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.

Australian Kelpie Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Australian Kelpie temperament with other people:
Australian Kelpies are not the most stranger-friendly dogs.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Australian Kelpie dogs get along with other pets? Are Australian Kelpie dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Australian Kelpies are generally with other pets.
Child Friendly
Are Australian Kelpie dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Australian Kelpie temperament with children:
Australian Kelpies are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Australian Kelpie dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Australian Kelpie breed live with a cat?
Australian Kelpies are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Australian Kelpie good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Australian Kelpie dogs get along with other dogs?
Australian Kelpies are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Australian Kelpie breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Australian Kelpie breed suitable for first-time owners?
Yes
Australian Kelpies are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Australian Kelpies good office dogs? Do Australian Kelpies make good office friendly dogs? Can Australian Kelpies be office dogs?
No
Australian Kelpie is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Australian Kelpie dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Australischer Kelpie temperament with senior people? Are Australian Kelpie dogs good for elderly owners?
Australian Kelpies are usually recommended for elderly people.

Australian Kelpie Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Australian Kelpie dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Australian Kelpies tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Australian Kelpie breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Australian Kelpie breed? Most common health risks of Australian Kelpie:
Cerebellar AbiotrophyCollie Eye AnomalyHip DysplasiaOsteoarthritisPatellar LuxationProgressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Australian Kelpie breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Australian Kelpie see the vet?
Frequent
The Australian Kelpie should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Australian Kelpie dogs live? How old can a Australian Kelpie be? What is the age limit of the Australian Kelpie? How many years can the oldest Australian Kelpie live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of an Australian Kelpie?

10-14 years
The average lifespan of Australian Kelpie: 12 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Australian Kelpie breed hypoallergenic?
No
Australian Kelpies don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Australian Kelpie have? What is the activity level of the Australian Kelpie?
Australian Kelpies are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does an Australian Kelpie need? How much exercise do Australian Kelpie dogs require per day?
Australian Kelpies need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Australian Kelpie breed need?
Australian Kelpies don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does an Australian Kelpie need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does an Australian Kelpie breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Australian Kelpie? How much food should I feed my Australian Kelpie?
1 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.An Australian Kelpie diet should be formulated for a mid-sized breed with high energy and intense exercise requirements.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Australian Kelpie risk for obesity:
Low to Average: The Australian Kelpie has a low to the average risk for obesity. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight change, consult your veterinarian to make a meal plan, and measure the Australian Kelpie's weight regularly.

Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather
Dogs that tolerate hot and cold weather are typically those that have a double coat of fur. Dogs with a double coat of fur have a layer of fur that insulates their skin and helps protect them from the cold and the heat.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?

Medium

The Australian Kelpie has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Australian Kelpie drool?
The Australian Kelpie is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Australian Kelpie could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Australian Kelpie.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Australian Kelpie As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Australian Kelpie be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Australian Kelpie is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Australian Kelpie be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Australian Kelpie be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Australian Kelpie is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Australian Kelpie be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Australian Kelpie is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Australian Kelpie be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Australian Kelpie is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Australian Kelpie be a boat dog?

Not really

Australian Kelpie breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Australian Kelpie be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Australian Kelpie is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Australian Kelpie dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Australian Kelpie Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is an Australian Kelpie pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Australian Kelpie breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Australian Kelpie: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Australian Kelpie have in a litter? How many puppies can the Australian Kelpie breed have for the first time? How many puppies does an Australian Kelpie have? How many puppies can an Australian Kelpie give birth to?
4-7 puppies

Australian Kelpie Recognition

AKC Group
Is Australian Kelpie recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Australian Kelpie recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Australian Kelpie breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainAmerican Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel ClubFoundation Stock Service

Australian Kelpie Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Trainability: Australian Kelpies are very easy to train.
  • Grooming: Effortless: The Australian Kelpie requires minimal grooming.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Australian Kelpie is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Low to Average: The Australian Kelpie has a low to the average risk for obesity.
  • Watchdog Ability: Australian Kelpies are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Adaptability: Australian Kelpies adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Australian Kelpies are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Australian Kelpies are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Australian Kelpies are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Cons
  • Health Issues: Australian Kelpies tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Australian Kelpies don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: It is not recommended to keep the Australian Kelpie breed in the home.
  • Mouthiness: Australian Kelpies have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: The wanderlust potential of the Australian Kelpie is strong enough to escape from home.
  • Office Friendly: Australian Kelpie is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Australian Kelpie History

The word “kelpie” is derived from the ancient Celtic mythological folklore, it is used to describe a shape-shifting water spirit in a form of a horse, bearing ill will towards humans. Yet, this has little to do with the Australian Kelpie’s development and its original purpose.

The Australian Kelpie can trace its origins back to Australia. In the beginning of the 1800s, now-extinct Black-and-White Collies were imported from England mainly to the Australian States of Victoria and New Wales, with the intention of herding livestock there too. Around the 1870s, these imported Collies were cross-bred with some indigenous Dingoes. The introduction of the Dingo breed seemed counterintuitive at that time, for the reason being that the Dingo was considered a natural predator of the sheep. However, the gamble paid off positively, because the herding gene got more powerful after a few generations of Dingo crosses. The result was a hardy breed which had powerful stamina, and which could work tirelessly in the tough climatic conditions and in the harsh environment of Australia. The Australian Kelpie quickly gained appreciation from the farmers and ranchers for their ability to work independently and for their intelligence.

One of the earliest breeding programs was also named Kelpie after its owner, consequently, the name stuck for generations. Later, the first dog named Australian Kelpie was bought by a man named Jack Gleeson in 1872, from a Scottish man named George Robertson. George Robertson is credited with naming the breed, after the Celtic word. The Australian Kelpie is thought to be exported to other countries during the early 20th century. The breed quickly became well-esteemed in herding a range of livestock including cattle, reindeer, goats, and many others in different parts of the world. The Australian Kelpie was especially well-renewed in the United States, where the breed could adapt itself to all of the climatic and environmental conditions the whole country offered.

Nowadays, two different strains of the Australian Kelpie emerged, the show Kelpie which is less lean and athletic, and the working Kelpie which is currently can be seen on farms fulfilling active working duties. Australian Kelpies can be found all around the world, performing multiple tasks efficiently around the farms and ranches. However, the breed is also used in detecting works, as service and therapy dogs, and in sports like herding or agility, thanks to the breed’s versatility. The Australian Kelpie is rarely seen just as family companion because it is a very clever and energetic working breed, which requires a lot of mental, and physical stimulation from a very young age in order to avoid destructive or even wild behavioral patterns. Today approximately 100,000 Australian Kelpies are used in accordance with their initial purpose in Australia. Despite their well-established breed standard and their long history, just a few of the major kennel clubs recognize the breed, including the UKC (United Kennel Club).

Rate The Australian Kelpie Breed

Australian Kelpie Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Samantha

    Jul 1, 2020, 5:19:01 AM:

    I have one in Miami, FL. If you can keep up with this dog who is a machine powerhouse! Amazing in agility/speed & tireless; if you run/go outdoors are patient go for it. Good with kids and small pups. Will keep you on your toes. Not a dog for amateurs.

  • Kbob

    May 14, 2020, 1:09:59 AM:

    My kelpie was an amazing dog- loyal, affectionate, and smart. She was very trainable, smart, and lived for many years. She was definitely not a first-dog breed. She had lots of needs for walks, needed her attention kept, and loved to be worked.