This dog breed is very active along with great stamina and suppleness. Standing only18-20 inches, he has the strong and solid look of a Shepherd. The female Australian Kelpie should stand from 17 to 19 inches in height. Most dog owners prefer a larger and longer version of this breed.
The Australian Kelpie is considered to be a very tough herding dog and is a quiet worker capable of moving any livestock, though chiefly suited toward sheep and cattle. They are athletic and live mostly independent. The Kelpie has too much energy to be kept solely as a pet, though they are notably affectionate, especially with children.
The Kelpie must be kept very busy and so if you plan on being an owner of this breed then you must take into account this dog’s strong herding instinct and realize he will not be happy if you and your family are all he has to “herd.” And though he is a tough dog that has an intimidating look for a small breed, he is not well suited as a guard dog.
The head is broad between the ears and the skull is flat which tapers to the muzzle. The ears should stand perky and be moderate in shape without spooning over. His eye spacing is considered to be wide for his face structure. They are shaped like almonds and are dark in color. The eye color may be light in some cases which will create a “mean looking” appearance.
The Kelpie’s neck is thick and strong and the shoulders are narrow that slope downward. The chest runs deep. His Hindquarters should show breadth and strength with a longer than short haunch. The tail bends in a slight curve, raised when excited. Coat is moderately short, flat with a good undercoat. Colors include black, black and tan, red, red and tan, fawn, chocolate, and smoke blue.
Health and Life-span
When it comes to the Australian Kelpie’s health he is one of high stamina. An amazingly athletic and adaptable dog, he does not suffer from any prominent genetic or hereditary conditions. This dog also possesses a strong defense against diseases. However, the one thing that will stress this dog’s mental as well as physical health is lack of activity. Plenty of exercise and mental stimulation are extremely important. If the Kelpie is not able to move about and exercise regularly then the stress resulting from being sedentary will literally cause him to self-destruct. The average life span is about ten years.