Australian Kelpie
#1
We recently had a chat about other working dogs including the Australian Kelpie. On Sunday I watched an Australian agricultural program called Landline and there was a large segment on the Kelpie.

One gentleman enthusiast invested a lot of time and personal money into researching this amazing dog. He has been able to establish that the founding bitch was bred in 1870 from an English sheepdog named Bess,thought to be a BC and crossed with a dingo. The genetic tests showed the existence of both mainland and the Frazer Island dingo's. The Frazer Island line is considered to be the purest in existence and is highly protected.
40 years ago I visited and camped on the island, reaching a remote spot on the protected side of the island with our own boat. We saw dingo's watching from the bush as we played football with the children on the beach. One morning when I rose early I found a dingo standing on the beach with the football it had obviously snuck in and taken from our camp at night. I just stood and faced it with approx 40ft between us. It watched for ages and then using it's nose flicked the ball towards me. It was truly one of those special encounters.
From my personal sightings of both Mainland and island dogs, I feel the island dog is a more slender, sleek dog. You can really see the resemblance between Kelpies and "island" dingoes, more so than the mainland dingo's.

Bess and the dingo produced the founding bitch who was named Kelpie as her personal name and from this the breed named the Australian Kelpie was born.

There was much discussion about the prosperity in Australia from the wool industry going back to early days and while many thank the introduction of sheep for this prosperity there was a strong argument that the true credit belonged to the Kelpie. There were fascinating interviews with old timers who talked of these dogs and were committed to the opinion that the wool industry in Australia would never have succeeded without the Kelpie and therefore the Kelpie is the true hero in respect to prosperity.. They claimed that no other dog could have coped with the working conditions and demands. They talked of owning dogs that worked so hard and became so sore that they didn't know which foot to put on the ground yet with dogged determination and in extreme heat and hostile terrain they forged forward in carrying out their duties. Never letting their masters down.

Just a little interesting trivia.
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#2
That's pretty cool! I'm always interested in genetics and breeding. Such a cool subject. It's always fun getting to see ancestors emerge!
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#3
Thank you for sharing Trifan, interesting.
And WOW what an amazing experience you had.
We have coyotes here. A few winters ago. I still had my GSD, He lifted a huge jack rabbit, a hare. I gave chase and sat up on a bank was a big male coyote who watched, fate had it that my GSD pushed the Jack rabbit in the direction of the coyote who took up the chase. Unfortunately it was deep snow so time we reached the top of the bank, both the coyote and hare were out of sight.
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#4
If you are interested in reading a blog by a sheep owner with working Kelpies
http://ranching-with-sheep.blogspot.com/
Gotta love 'em.
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#5
That was really interesting. Seeing the Kelpies in the snow is such a contrast to how we see them in Australia working in temps up to 42-45 celsius ( 107-113 F). What an amazingly hardy and adaptable dog.
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#6
I thought you might like that. Where I'm at it doesn't get quite that hot, but it's still a huge difference from Canada in the winter.
Gotta love 'em.
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#7
It doesn't get that hot where I live either, but when I travelled western NSW I experienced 42 C and in central Australia 43 C where I first saw Kelpies working and I thought I was going to die LOL. I don't know how the people or the dogs cope with it. Just bloody tough I suppose.
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#8
Thank you for sharing! I also did not know much about the Kelpies. All i knew is that they are excellent at mustering and droving with little or no guidance. They are also pretty successful at agility trials.
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