ABOUT THE KELPIE BREED
❗❗❗PLEASE READ CAREFULLY❗❗❗ (⬇️ text v češtine nižšie ⬇️)
Translator's note: The article captures the current kelpie breeding situation in the Czech Republic and because of similarity with our breeding lines with the permission of the author we publish this text.
Source: Facebook page "Australian Kelpie in Czech Republic // Australská kelpie v České republice"
ABOUT THE BREED
Kelpies originated as sheepdogs to help out with livestock, so their original purpose was the same as for Border Collies, the only difference being that Kelpies worked more independently, on their own. In this group you might see the differentiation between the AK and the WK, these are abbreviations for the Australian Kelpie and the Working Kelpie. Originally, Kelpies were bred as one breed, however during the 1830s the working skills of show dogs have started to deteriorate, and in the end the Kelpies were bred separately as working dogs and show dogs. Nowadays, the working kelpies that keep their characteristic working skills are known as Working Kelpies, and the ones bred for their exterior features are known as Australian Kelpies. In the Czech Republic, we only have the Australian Kelpies, however, most of the studs do have a common WK ancestor imported from Russia with the name of Tiyanna Eraks. Thanks to him almost all Czech kelpies do have a share of WK blood, and thus the typical working abilities of a sheepdog breed have been partially preserved. Although some of the Kelpies today do have a share of the "working blood", rarely do they work in the old fashioned way of livestock breeding at farms. Still, their pure temperament, tirelessness, intelligence and willingness to cooperate is being used in various sports or in the role of an active, clever and hardworking canine companion. SUITABILITY OF THE BREED Kelpie is a very versatile dog that really doesn’t need to run tens of kilometres a day or have its own flock of sheep at home. It does, however, need an experienced and empathetic owner who can offer it the opportunities to use their energy and passion. While the original specialization of Kelpies is the same as Border Collie’s, these breeds are not identical and Kelpies are usually more difficult to train and they’re definitely not a dog suitable for a beginner owner. If you want to get a Kelpie, you should already have some experience with training dogs through positive motivation, a feel for working with animals and unlimited amount of patience. Kelpie is not a dog for everyone, but if you get along you won’t want anything else afterwards. If you do not get along though, then you will be both unhappy ... actually, you will probably be the unhappy one, as the Kelpie will always make sure she’s happy if the owner can’t ensure it himself. Of course it is possible to get a Kelpie only as companion dog without having any interest in sports or other dog activity. You should know, however, that in order to have a proper relationship with a dog the best way usually is through work/activities that the dog loves. So when you’re unsure about training your dog, it could be helpful to spend time with your dog doing something that not only you but especially the dog will enjoy, and at the same time you will be under the supervision of an experienced trainer who can advise you in case you might encounter an issue. It is well known that a dog doing a sport, work or otherwise busy will be a much better and less complicated companion in everyday life too.
❗Remember that dogs need rules but also kindness. It is even more true here, as when you’ll have a Kelpie at home, you will have a ball of energy with a very sensitive soul, that will try to do all the possible and impossible and will need firm and clear limits set out for it. At the same time you should try not to lose their trust in you. It will not be easy but you will have to do it and believe me it is worth it. CHOOSING THE BREEDING KENNELS AND PUPPY Once you have decided that you are ready to give your Kelpie everything it needs and are now at the point of choosing the breeding kennels please accept some advice first.
❗As with all other breeds this applies: do not accept a puppy handed over to you at a petrol station, by the road or at the front door of someone’s house. A proper breeder should invite you inside and show you the living conditions of the bitch and the puppies. You should make sure that the puppies live in contact with the family and other dogs and that their environment is stimulating enough (i.e. a safe and clean pen with plenty of toys, climbers, moving stuff making different noises, with different surfaces etc. placed directly in the living part of the house or in the garden). If the puppies are kept in a barn, cellar, non-residential part of the building that lacks all the above mentioned equipment, you should be careful. What the breeder neglects at the beginning in socializing the puppies, you will never be able to catch up with and you may end up with a dog (although it’s not always the case) that will be afraid of common things like using the stairs, underpasses or afraid of the noise of an engine or closing doors, and who will attack passing people for no reason while on leash, attack other dogs or be unhealthily scared of them, will chase after cars or cyclists etc. Living with a dog like that in a city might ensure your entertainment for some time, in the worst possible meaning of the word, so please be careful and choose wisely. Also be wary if the breeder only talks about the good things and doesn’t mention any difficulties associated with the breed or the puppies’ parents. Every dog has some weaknesses and you as the owner of the puppy do have a right to know those. If the breeder doesn’t share these with you, they either don’t know their brood bitch and they didn’t really ask about the stud dog, or they have a great interest in selling the puppy and they’re trying to make you buy it whatever the cost. A proper breeder will not try to make you buy the puppy, they might actually try to stop you from buying it just to make sure that you are really decided and ready to invest all your energy, love and patience into the puppy. And if this will make you doubt, you should probably let them stop you for your own good ;) When choosing the actual puppy you should accept the opinion of the breeder who spends the most time with the puppies and who knows them the best. If you chose a good breeder they will be able to advise you responsibly which of the puppies will suit your lifestyle. Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Test might be helpful to identify the temperament of individual puppies, this is usually done by the breeders themselves and they usually show you the results, or you can do the test yourself when seeing the puppies if the breeder agrees to that.