The Australian kelpie is an attentive dog who likes to work. They are quick and agile, if the situation demands they can also move quietly and slowly. The Australian kelpie has an excellent stamina and are used for herding and guarding large sheep herds. Moreover, the Australian kelpies are extremely vigilant, fiery and very intelligent. Their nature is best described as soft and docile, the dogs have an inexhaustible energy and are very loyal to their boss. They have a great sense of duty. The Australian kelpie is good as a pet to keep, as long as the dog has a good outlet for his energy. This can be arranged, for example, by practicing various dog sports such as agility, flyball, obedience or herding.
The Australian kelpie is the type that is recognized by the FCI. The colors chocolate, black, fawn, blue, black and tan and red and tan are recognized for the FCI. The coat is double and consists of a dense, short undercoat and a hard, weather-resistant outer coat. The ideal weight for an Australian kelpie is between 11.5 and 20.5 kilograms, with males being heavier than females. The height at the withers must be between 43.5 and 51 centimeters, with males being larger than the females.
It is a typical shepherd dog with a perfect appearance. The body is compact and slightly longer than high. The legs must be well developed according to the breed standard and the musculature is hardened and wiry, and must be clearly visible under the shiny coat. When you look at the kelpie, you should see a very supple dog, which has a hard musculation that must be accompanied by smooth movements. The dog must also be tireless, this must also show his body. Every trace of weakness on the body is seen as a serious breeding error.
The head should be in good proportion with the rest of the body according to the breed standard of the Australian kelpie. The skull is lightly curved and should be wide between the ears. The forehead gradually turns into a stop that is clearly pronounced. Cheeks are neither heavy nor excellent, but must be smooth. The color of the nose must match the coat color (a black dog may not have a light nose and vice versa). The teeth are healthy, strong and evenly placed. The incisors in the lower jaw should be placed behind the incisors in the upper jaw, but they should just touch each other.
The eyes have the shape of an almond, and are medium in size. They must be sharply marked in the corners and an intelligent and fiery gaze must be present in the eyes. The eye color is different shades of brown, but must be in accordance with the color of the coat. Kelpies with a blue coat may have slightly lighter eyes. The ears stand upright and extend into a thin tip. The skin of the ears is thin, but strong, bends slightly outwards and is slightly arched at the edges. The ears are medium to moderate in size. If you look at the inside of the ear, a rich hair should be visible here.
The neck of an Australian kelpie is moderately long, strong, slightly curved and should gradually pass over the shoulders. Throat skin is not desirable with this breed. The shoulders are well formed and muscular, are well angled and the tips of the shoulder blades are close together. The upper arm should be at a slight angle to the forearm, with the elbows running parallel to the body. The forearm must also be muscular, and the bones strong, but fine. When you look at the dog from the front, the legs must be perfectly straight. The middle feet must have a slight angulation from the side.
The hindquarters must radiate width and strength. The croup must be quite long and slanted. The knees are well bent, the hips are placed quite low and run parallel to the body. The feet are round and strong, have thick cushions and well closed and arched toes. The nails must be short and strong.
The chest of the Australian kelpie is deeper than that it is broad, the ribs must be well vaulted, but a barrel form is seen as a serious breeding error. The back line is firm, the loins strong and well muscled, the flanks are pretty deep. When the dog is at rest, the tail should hang in a slightly curved shape. When the dog is in action or excitement, the tail may be carried higher, but may never rise above the back line.
Common diseases and conditions
Just like with any other dog breed there are unfortunately diseases at the kelpie.
The most common are: Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, PRA, Heart problems