Acquired: Bred dog myself
Posted March 28, 2014
Having grown up on a working sheep farm, we had numerous dogs – most of which were Kelpie’s which were used exclusively for sheep work, not pets.
All the dogs we had were trained by my Grandfather, who was so experienced in training sheep dogs that he was able to train them to do specific tasks based on specific whistles he would give.
On in particular, Lady, was so well known in the area as the best working dog that her pups would sell for a small fortune once trained by my Grandfather.
As a young teen, my Grandfather taught me to train Kelpies also, although I was never able to master the whistle based approach but instead used words – ‘get behind’ meant to get back from the herd and to get behind me, “go ‘round” with an arm pointed in the right direction and the dog would automatically go in that direction to round up any sheep that were lagging behind. The best part about training the new puppies was that they are incredibly intelligent and Lady, the oldest and by far the most experienced dog, would take the new puppies under her 'wing', so to speak, and they would learn by watching and following her.
Although incredibly loyal dogs and affectionate when allowed to be, I strongly believe that Kelpie’s should not be kept in any city as a ‘pet’. These are dogs that can easily run at quite at a very fast pace for hours on end, only stopping for water and a quick break. They will automatically stop and lay on the ground to have a ‘break’ but at all times will continue watching the sheep herd to make sure they are going where needed.
In order to have a Kelpie as a pet in the city, an owner would need to have at least three hours a day where they could run the dog – usually throwing a ball which the Kelpie can then bring back. Either this or the owner would need to have a hobby farm or very, very large back yard where the Kelpie could run around in all day.
Kelpie’s are incredibly intelligent dogs and need constant stimulation. They are particularly good with children and excellent guard dogs however because of their extreme energy levels, these are not dogs that should be kept cooped up in small areas and walked occasionally. They need daily runs, not walks, otherwise they can literally go insane with boredom.
These dogs really should be used for their intended purpose - as working dogs. After watching many kelpies work for many years, I never once saw a Kelpie less than overjoyed to be working.