As you may have guessed, the Australian Kelpie originated in Australia, where she mostly works as a sheepdog (there are rumors that the Kelpie has some Dingo blood in it, but very few would actually admit to cross breeding with Dingos, given their predatory nature in the outback!). The Australian Kelpie has two registries in Australia — working dogs and show dogs — but is not recognized as a registered breed by the American Kennel Club in the United States.
As a working dog in Australia, the Kelpie stands at about 20 inches at the shoulder and stays busy guarding and managing almost every type of livestock. Sheep, cattle, goats or pigs – you name it, the Australian Kelpie will manage it! His signature move is walking across a flock of sheep on the sheeps’ backs – without his paws ever touching the ground!
The Kelpie as a whole is friendly and loyal, but he needs to be kept busy. Without an outlet for mental and physical energy, he can become destructive and high-strung. For this reason, Kelpies are not appropriate for apartment living. Luckily, grooming is easy with this short-haired dog – an occasional brushing is all he needs.
Energetic though they are, Australian Kelpies are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Kelpies are prone to include eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy; knee problems like medial patellar luxation; brain conditions such as cerebellar abiotrophy; muscle conditions such as cutaneous asthenia; and developmental problems such as cryptorchidism.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Australian Kelpie inherits more than a strong herding instinct, you’re covered.