Dog Breed Group: Working Dog
Life Span: 10-14 years
Weight: 35 pounds (15.5 kg)
Height: 18.5 inches (47 cm)
Origin of Name: The Australian Kelpie, or simply Kelpie, is an Australian sheep dog capable of mustering and droving with little or no guidance.
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After the opening of vast tracts of land in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria, the number of sheep increased so dramatically that some estates amounted to more than two million acres and ran over a quarter of a million sheep. In these areas widely, herring (originally carried by convicts) was impractical, wire fences were erected and sheep were left free. It was then necessary to have dogs to handle sheep in such large areas. A dog had to be developed to work under the conditions that existed in Australia. These conditions included heat, rough terrain, dust storms and vast distances. Kelippy was able to do the work of many men, who were tireless workers in the hottest and dustiest climate.
Like many breeds, the origin of kelpi is disputed. However, there is no doubt that the breed originated from dogs imported from Scotland. These dogs were black and tan, with long half-eared ears, medium-sized and Koli types. Others were smooth-haired with ears, but still of the Koli type. Litters from these dogs also produced red (liverbro) puppies.