Australian Kelpie(Kelpie, Barb)
Save search for breed
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!
Friendliness To Dogs
Friendliness To Other Pets
Friendliness To Strangers
Ease of Training
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
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