The Australian Kelpie is fondly referred to as the workaholic of the canine family. This is a dog that will work till it drops and it loves it! This is a dog that literally LIVES to work! It is estimated that there are somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 Kelpies utilized on farms across Australia.
The Kelpie has a natural propensity to gather stock using its eyes, bark, and the occasional nip to move stock of whatever nature as conditions may warrant. This is a dog that doesn't care if it is snowing and cold or blistering and hot! The Working Kelpie has an abundance of energy and endurance. The Kelpie is more than capable of driving a herd of sheep over 37 miles (60 km) in many different conditions and climates, many of which may be extreme. It is not unusual for a Kelpie to cover that distance in a single day!
The Working Kelpie is keen, active, agile, and intelligent. It is an independent thinker and the Kelpie is a real problem solver. While herding, it will often look for the shortest way to get to the other side. Quickly thinking, it will often jump on the back of the nearest animal and run across the herd in order to reach the other side. It is also known to employ this technique while moving sheep through chutes. The Kelpie's motto seems to be "anything to get the job done!"
The Working Kelpie will gather stock from large pastures, gather them in the yard, and then push the stock through chutes. It will even help load the stock on trailers! Kelpies handle all types of livestock. In Australia, they are generally used as a sheep dog. However, in North America, they are used to work with cattle. But they are also used in some parts of the world to handle goats, pigs, poultry, and even reindeer! There seems to be nothing the Kelpie cannot handle.
Jobs Around the World - In Australia, the Kelpie is used for many different jobs. Of course, the Kelpie is used for herding sheep, but there is more to the Kelpie than just being a stock dog. The Kelpie is also used for quarantine and pets-as-therapy.
In Sweden, Finland, and Holland, the Kelpie is used for search and rescue.
There are reports of Kelpies being utilized as fully trained guide dogs.
Whatever the job, from herding to participating in pet therapy programs, the Kelpie will be eager to work and to do a good job.
Registration - The Working Kelpie is usually registered with the WKC or the Working Kelpie Council. If the Kelpie is not registered with the WKC, then they are registered with the State Sheepdog Workers Association.
It is important to note that the Working Kelpie cannot be shown in a dog show. This does not hurt the Kelpie's feelings. On the contrary, it is thrilled to be out working with the stock or the people it is serving with a smile. Indeed, the Kelpie will often complete a task and then seem to ask what you need it to do next. The Working Kelpie has a phenomenal work ethic that many, both animal and human, could learn from today.