Since the advent of the movie Red Dog there has been a spike in interest in the Kelpie as a breed. The Australian Kelpie is essentially a working dog which became popular because Australian sheep farmers needed a special type of dog for working sheep on vast outback properties under harsh conditions.
However, many pet lovers, attracted by the appeal of Koko, the ‘actor’ who played Red Dog, are wondering what sort of pet this breed would make. For people looking for a delightful dog on or off the land, we have good news: A kelpie makes a fantastic pet – active, alert, highly intelligent and [like Red Dog] wonderfully loyal. Kelpies respond excellently to obedience training and have participated in pet therapy and companion animal programs.
Facts about Kelpies
The Kelpie is a short-haired, relatively low maintenance dog, free from most inherited diseases. They are easily house-trained will eat almost anything. What a Kelpie craves most is companionship. And being a working breed, he needs both physical and mental exercise.
Remember this is a very intelligent, active breed, so if you want to own a Kelpie, you must be prepared to take him for walks, play games and keep him busy. If he is bored he will find things that express his innate tendencies, like chasing cars as he would sheep on the farm. Make sure your property is securely fenced, because he has a keen sense of curiosity and high energy levels.
Having said that, if you train a Kelpie puppy correctly from the start and don’t give him the opportunity to misbehave, you won’t have to punish him. Once he knows your commands he will obey them without causing problems.
Because of their loyalty and intelligence Kelpies are highly protective of their family and its property, hence make excellent watchdogs. And speaking of the ‘one person dog’ behavior attributed to Red Dog, this was no exaggeration. Kelpies do become completely attached to their owner and family and are very good with children. All they want in return is love and attention.
If you are thinking of buying a Kelpie pup make sure that you have the time to give him what he needs from you and he will reward you amply.
How to care for your Kelpie