General Information

Dog NameAustralian Kelpie
Other NamesBarb
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeShepherd
Country of OriginAustralia

Physical And Size

Min Life Span10
Max Life Span13
Min Ideal Weight for male11
Max Ideal Weight for male20
Min Ideal Weight for female10
Max Ideal Weight for male20


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentAlert, Smart, Independent
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyMedium
Cat FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyLow
Senior Citizens FriendlyLow
Service DogLow
Search and Rescue DogLow
Biting PotentialMedium
Country of OriginAustralia
Nicknames and Other NamesBarb, Kelpie, Australischer Kelpie,
Australian Sheepdog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeShepherd
Bred ForHerding livestock
Life Span10-13 years
Ideal Weight25-46 pounds
Ideal Height17-20 inches
Fur TypeShort
Common ColorsRed & Tan, Red, Black & Tan, Black,
Chocolate, Fawn, Blue
AvailabilityEasy to find
AchievementsPlayed in the movie “Red Dog”
Suitable for ApartmentsNo
Used in World WarUsed to alert the Military of the
Approaching Enemies
Most Similar ToWorking Kelpie

Australian Kelpie is a capable and muscular dog with full of life and energy. They are extremely devoted and protective to their families. One of the smartest of dog breed makes challenging to live with. Australian Kelpie are agile dogs which will thrive in human counterparts.

Kelpies are workaholic, they are best suited for homes where they can get enough time to exercise and offered a job to do. As we all know a tired dog is always a happy dog. Having the Australian Kelpie in the home means living a healthy life with proper amount of exercise sacrificing your busy schedule.

Origin and History

The Australian Kelpie exists since the late 19th century. During that period, the sheep and wool industries in Australia were becoming huge success and the ranchers needed dogs who could handle the unruly sheeps.

It is believed that the Australian Kelpie were crossed between the wild Dingoes to produce a strong, agile and muscular dogs. Kelpies were brought to North America about hundreds of years ago. The first Australian Kelpie ever purchased was a black-tan female litter by the man named Jack Gleeson during the early 1870’s.

Today, thousands of Australian Kelpies are employed for herding livestock every day in their home of Australia as well as in the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world.

Temperament, Behavior And Personality

The Australian Kelpies are independent streak which is beneficial while working in a field. They are very focused and highly intelligent breed which needs to be challenged both mentally and physically. Despite their independent nature, they should not be left alone for longer periods.
Happy Little Australian Kelpie.

Talking about their personality, Australian Kelpies are lively, full of energy and loyal dog breeds. They are very sensitive dog which will not respond to harsh behavior or punishments. They are friendly and non-aggressive with everybody but are quite reserved with strangers. However, they will not attack them but may bark to make you alert.


Training the Australian Kelpie is easy as they were bred as a working dog, they will thrive during the training session and will happily obey your commands. These breeds are quick learners as they are very intelligent and smart.

Australian Kelpie Agility Training.
Image Source- AKC

Australian Kelpie needs to be trained with soft tone of voice followed by treats. Training should be consistent and should be made fun and interesting.


  • It is believed that they were named “Kelpie” after the mythological figure from Celtic folkfire. Kelpie translates the Gaelic word Water Sprite.
  • All Black Australian Kelpie is known as “Barb”.

Health issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesHip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation,
Cerebellar Abiotrophy, Collie Eye Anomaly
Vaccination RequiredCanine Parainfluenza, Rabies,
Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus, Leptospirosis,
Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus
SheddingModerate Shedding
DroolingLow unless sick or hurt
GroomingEasy and minimal required
Weight Gain PotentialLow to Average
Separation AnxietyAverage Chance
Diets and SupplementsCalories- 900
Omega-3, Glucosamine

The Australian Kelpie is a healthy breed. Since they were bred to work in the Australian climate without supervision, these breed are very healthy. However, they may suffer from common health issues as they age such as, hip-dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and collie eye anomaly.

Are they child-friendly?

Yes, Australian Kelpie dogs are child-friendly because these dogs are energetic, playful and lively. They have great sense of humor which will make them a good pair with children. They are very friendly and gentle with kids.

Australian Kelpie Excited About Its New Friend. Image Source- Instagram @laceynickers.

Remember, you should always supervise you child while playing with a canine. With Australian Kelpie, they have a tendency to nip and herd the children.

Different Color Patterns

The Australian Kelpie coat come in different colors . They are:

  • Black,
  • Chocolate,
  • Red,
  • Smokey blue
  • Fawn,
  • Tan


Australian Kelpie can give birth to 5 puppies.

origin of australian kelpie, facts of australian kelpie, health issues of australian kelpie , personality of australian kelpie
Australian Kelpie dogs puppies together.


The Australian Kelpie puppies cost from about $500-$1000 USD.


The weight of Australian Kelpie is about 30-45lbs and are 43 to 48cm tall.

Which dog breed are they similar to?


It is required to brush the Australian kelpie’s coat once or twice a week to remove dead hair and keep shedding to a minimum. Some have a double coat that sheds heavily in the spring.

Nails should be checked time to time and should be trimmed weekly. Broken nails might cause irritation and infection as well.

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