Australian Kelpie


A small to medium sized Australian Kelpie
Australian Kelpie Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)17-20in (43-51cm)
Weight25-45lbs (11-20kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan10-14 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size4-7
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Australian Kelpie is a small to medium sized Australian Sheepdog with a compact and sturdy build. The body is broad chested and the head is long and narrow with wide-set, pricked ears. The weather-resistant coat comes in many colours including black and red, and fawn, blue, or chocolate. Tan markings may be prevalent. Australian Kelpies have a double coat that consists of a hard, straight outer coat and a short, dense undercoat.


Australian Kelpies are energetic dogs with great stamina and enthusiasm. Bred as a working dog, they are at their happiest when given a job to do. They are easy to train and so are suitable for experienced and non-experienced dog owners alike. They make great watchdogs and can also be trained to become guide dogs. Kelpies are generally good with children but do have a tendency to take orders from just one person. While they aren't aggressive, they will both protect and guard their own family and property. They will tend to try to herd other dogs, pets, and animals and are tireless workers. A great outdoor dog, if they aren't given enough space or training, they are likely to become bored and destructive.

History & Skills

Australian Kelpies originate from Australia but have their roots in Northern England, when Collies were exported to Australia in the latter half of the 1800s. The name Kelpie comes from the water kelpie that was mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped. They are tireless and skilled workers, who will respond to a signal or command from their owner even from a great distance.

Breed Specific Ailments

Australian Kelpies tend to live between 10-14 years and are pretty healthy as a breed. Some of the health concerns that have been noted include Progressive Retinal Atrophy.


Australian Kelpies are average shedders and their grooming requirements are low. An occasional combing and brushing is normally sufficient and they should be bathed only when necessary to avoid removing the natural oils in the hair and skin.

Exercise & Environment

Australian Kelpies are outdoor working dogs that can work till they drop, and so aren't suited for indoor life or small homes such as apartments. They are suited to a variety of climates and harsh weather conditions thanks to their weather-resistant coats and they can live in sheltered outdoor areas.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

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