Australian Kelpie - Highly Energetic, Active and Super Intelligent Herding Dogs

Also known as Barb, the Australian Kelpie or simply Kelpie is an Australian sheep dog that can drove the cattle efficiently with hardly any guidance. It is highly smart, active and medium-sized dog which is found in a variety of colors. The breed is domesticated all around the world and used for droving out cattle.

Australian Kelpie Facts

  • They belong to herding breed group work to manage cattle and sheep
  • They are energetic, friendly, alert, intelligent, loyal
  • They live up to 10-13 years
  • Their height ranges 17 – 20 inches and weighs 31-46 pounds
  • Thousands of kelpies are employed to herd livestock in US, Australia, Canada and other parts of the world


The ancestors of Kelpie were black dogs known as Collies or Colleys. They were said to be the direct descendants from Dingoes. 3-4% of their genes are from the native Australian dog. When the breed was originated, it was legal to domesticate dingoes. It was the time when some dingo owners registered their pets as Kelpies crosses or Kelpie. Dingoes and Kelpies resemble closely in color and adaptability. Kelpies have been exported to many countries including Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Sweden, United States and United Kingdom. They were trained as scent dogs and they were excellent at tracking and rescue work.



It was way back that opening of vast areas in the Australian States of Victoria and New South Wales, the sheep numbers were increased so much that the people began to look for checking the menace done by the sheep. It was then that the wire fencing was done and the dogs were left in the large areas to handle them. Kelpie was very efficient in herding, was tireless and capable of withstanding the most adverse weather conditions like dust storms, heat and rough terrains etc.

The origin of this dog breed remained disputed. However, one thing was for sure that they were imported from a part of Great Britain called Scotland. These dogs were very active, black and tan in appearance and have semi-pricked ears. Litters from these dogs were red-brown puppies.


They are soft-coated dogs that are generally medium-sized. They have prick ears and have athletic appearance. Their coat colors include, black, tan, black and tan, red, red and tan, blue and tan, fawn, gold and white. They weigh 20 kilograms roughly and measures 51 centimeters approximately.



Kelpie is a herding dog and it is intensely loyal and devoted towards its duty. It has a natural instinct and aptitude for working in herds. The breed was originates from Collie and was imported from the Scotland. The breed was created to withstand dry and harsh conditions in Australia.

Temperament And Personality

The breed is immensely alert, eager, active and are always brimming up with energy. People love to domesticate this dog because it is very loyal and devoted towards its work. They have a high level of intelligent and they are known to be very capable of herding.

He always love to remain active so you can expect the dog to carry out a range of activities for you right from bringing the newspaper to your slipper or to keep the dirty laundry at place. They are highly energetic and they need to vent out this energy so you need to keep them indulgent in some active work or dog sports all through the day or he may turn out to be destructive. He is very intelligent and gets trained with time. Once you are through with his training you can expect your dog to carry your orders and obey them carefully. You need to remember that they are herding dogs by nature and are highly active so make them play a lot of outdoor games with you. This way you will be able to utilize his energy in a positive way.



They need to be feed up with high quality dog food, whether it is manufactured commercial or prepared at the home. Puppy, adult and senior all may have the same kind of food; you need to keep in mind that as they grow in age they become prone to get overweight so you need to watch the calorie consumption of the dog to prevent it from getting overweight. Certain types of human foods are safe for this dog; you need to consult your vet.


The dog has a double coat with dense and short undercoat. The outer coat is close and their hair are straight, hard and lie flat, they need to be brushed and combed frequently to remove the dead hairs and the occasional bath can keep them clean. It is a low maintenance breed.


They are good at herding and need to indulge in plenty of exercises to remain happy. They should make to jog and should be made to do a lot of mental exercises and the lessons on obedience. They should learn how to obey the rules and they hate sitting idle. They prefer to herd cattle and other pets. They are good with children and can prove to be good companion. They can turn off from the activity also and can sit idle for hours together. They can do run over 5 miles without getting tired or can sit idle for hours together. They are not suited for living in the apartments as they have endless energies and they need to vent out.

Australian Kelpie Characteristics

  • They are also known as ‘Australian Kelpie’
  • Comes in several color combinations such as Black & Tan, blue, brown, chocolate etc
  • They are friendly, loyal and intelligent
  • Comes in medium size and average weight
  • Mostly, Barb dogs have short double coat