Main Content

Australian Kelpie

(Kelpie, Barb)
  • Save search for breed
Australian Kelpie

Form and Function

The Australian Kelpie is a lithe, energetic breed with hard muscle tone and effortless mobility, demonstrating his capability for relentless work. He has a knack for working sheep, whether in open fields or closed yards, and is versatile enough to withstand the demanding heat and dry conditions in Australia, where the breed originated.


Ready to see what dogs fit you best? Take our short quiz to find out!

Breed Traits

Energy Level

5 out of 5

Exercise Requirements

5 out of 5


4 out of 5

Affection Level

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Dogs

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Other Pets

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Strangers

2 out of 5


3 out of 5

Ease of Training

4 out of 5

Grooming Requirements

2 out of 5

Heat Sensitivity

2 out of 5


4 out of 5

Breed Attributes




31 to 46 pounds


18 to 20 inches (male), 17 to 19 inches (female)


Herding (UKC), Foundation Stock Service (AKC)

Area of Origin


Date of Origin


Other Names

Kelpie, Barb


The Australian Kelpie originated in the late 1800s as a descendant of British and Scottish Collie-type dogs. This active, tireless working breed is known for using his eyes, bark and bite to move livestock in Australia’s harsh conditions, including heat, dust storms, rough terrain and vast distances. The Australian Kelpie’s name came from the breed’s foundation female named “Kelpie.” Today, the Australian Kelpie is imported to the United States and bred by American ranchers and farmers as a working stock dog, as well as a dog to participate in herding trials, obedience and agility.


Alert, intelligent and loyal, the Australian Kelpie is an agile and active dog with boundless energy. He thrives on having a job to do, but also knows when to give it a rest, thanks to his on-and-off switch. Wholly devoted to his work, the Australian Kelpie is keen on working sheep and other livestock, yet his docile, friendly and easygoing temperament also positions him as a suitable house dog. A naturally cautious herding breed, the Australian Kelpie is a good watch dog, provided he receives plenty of socialization and training so that he doesn’t become wary or anyone or anything else.


A relatively low-maintenance breed, the Australian Kelpie has a thick, water-repellant double coat that sheds regularly. The coat should be brushed weekly to remove dead hairs and bathed occasionally. This highly energetic breed requires substantial daily exercise, both in the physical and mental senses. Jogging, walking and free running in a fenced yard are excellent outlets to help him burn energy. Agility, obedience and rally also are other good avenues for physical activity, as well as for keeping this eager-to-please breed mentally sharp.


Major Concerns: N/A

Minor Concerns: N/A

Occasionally Seen: N/A

Suggested Tests: N/A

Lifespan: 10 to 13 years


Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

Finding Australian Kelpies for You...

Do you have a dog?

Similar Breeds

Similar Breeds