The Kelpie is an Australian Herding dog successful at Muster (livestock) and droving with little or no command guidance. They are medium-sized dogs and come in a variety of colours. Kelpies have been exported throughout the world and are used to Muster (livestock) livestock, primarily sheep, cattle and goats.The breed has been separated into two distinct varieties: the show or bench Kelpie and the working Kelpie. The show Kelpie is seen at conformation dog shows in some countries and is selected for appearance rather than working instinct. Working Kelpies are bred for working ability rather than appearance.
Robert Kaleski published the first standard for the Kelpie in 1904. The standard was accepted by leading breeders of the time and adopted by the Kennel Club of New South Wales. Contemporary breed standards vary depending on whether the breed registry is for working or show Kelpies. It is possible for a dog to both work and show, but options for competition in conformation shows might be limited depending on ancestry and the opinions of the kennel clubs or Breed clubs involved.In Australia, there are two separate registries for Kelpies. This is one of the most popular sheep dogs in the world.
Working Kelpies are registered with the (WKC), which is the primary authority on the breed standard, and/or the State Sheepdog Workers Association. The WKC encourages breeding for working ability, and allows a wide variety of coat colours. The wide standards allowed by the WKC mean that Working Kelpies do not meet the standard for showing.
Show Kelpies are registered with the Australian National Kennel Council, which encourages breeding for a certain appearance and limits acceptable colours. Only Show Kelpies may be shown in Australia.
= Breed standards outside Australia
In the USA, the Kelpie is not recognised as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The, which promotes the dog as a working breed, does not want the breed to be promoted by the AKC. Kelpies are recognised by the (UKC) in the United States and may compete in UKC events. Kelpies are also recognised by the (CKC) in Canada and may compete in CKC events. The also does not permit Working Kelpies to be shown.
The Working Kelpie comes in three coat types: smooth, short, and rough. The coat can be almost every colour from black through light tan or cream. Some Kelpies have a white blaze on the chest, and a few have white points. Kelpies sometimes have a double coat, which sheds out in spring in temperate climates. is not unusual, and can look like a double coat.Working Kelpies vary in size, ranging from about 19 inches to as much as 25 inches and from 28-60 lbs. The dog's working ability is unrelated to appearance, so Stockman (Australia) looking for capable working dogs disregard the dog's appearance.A Working Kelpie can be a cheap and efficient worker that can save farmers and graziers the cost of several hands when mustering livestock. The good working Kelpies are herding dogs that will prevent stock from moving away from the stockman. This natural instinct is crucial when mustering stock in isolated gorge country, where a good dog will silently move ahead of the stockman and block up the stock (usually cattle) until the rider appears. The preferred dogs for cattle work are Kelpies, often of a special line or a Kelpie cross. They will drive a Herd of livestock long distances in extremes of climates and conditions. Kelpies have natural instincts for managing livestock. They will work sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, and other domestic livestock. The Kelpie's signature move is to jump on the backs of sheep and walk across the tops of the sheep to reach the other side and break up the jam. A good working Kelpie is a versatile dog—they can work all day on the farm, ranch or station, and trial on the weekends. Kelpies compete and are exhibited in livestock working trials, ranging from yards or arenas to large open fields working sheep, goats, cattle or ducks.