The Working Kelpie Council of Australia

Breed Society for the Australian Working Kelpie


Welcome Message

Welcome to the home of the Working Kelpie Council. We are a national organisation dedicated to the continued growth and excellence of the Working Kelpie breed.

From humble beginnings, the Working Kelpie developed to the stage where it has now been exported to Russia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, USA, South America, South Africa, New Zealand, Germany, France and the Netherlands. These dogs have been successfully used to manage a variety of stock, including reindeer, goats, cattle and, of course, sheep. Kelpies in Sweden have gained police dog titles and pulled sleds. They are also being widely used as search and rescue dogs.

We have a wide selection of information in our Website including the history and origin of the breed, training methods and characteristics of the breed. Want to buy a pup? We have the current list of pups for sale in the Breeders Notes. Looking for a breeder? We have an excellent search engine (Locate a Breeder) to help you find a breeder near you.

Do you own a Livestock working dog? Then, get involved

The Farm Dog Project is a collaboration between The University of Sydney, Meat and Livestock Australia, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and The Working Kelpie Council of Australia.

To date, over 800 Australian farmers have been involved in the project, working to advance our knowledge of the value of the working dog to livestock industries and the qualities of a valuable dog.

Behaviour and genetics database There is now a unique opportunity to create a database of Australian, and international, Livestock working dogs and their particular temperament and Livestock working traits. This will be a powerful resource for working dog societies to learn more about how these traits are passed on from parents to progeny and also to investigate the genes responsible for the valuable behaviours.
To get involved rate your dogs’ behaviour and personality using the Livestock working Dog Assessment Form.
It only takes 5 minutes per dog.

Access the form online here:
  1. Be honest and critical of your dogs’ natural behavior. It is only possible to look for genetic differences if we know about variation in behaviour.
  2. Indicate on the form whether you are willing to provide a DNA sample from your dog.

Initially, only samples from Livestock Working Kelpies are being sought.

  1. If you consent, we will send you a simple cheek swab kit and a reply paid envelope for you to collect and return the sample.
  2. Repeat this process for as many of your dogs as you can.

Include the good, the bad and the ugly so that undesirable traits can be investigated too.

In addition, you have the opportunity to have your dogs genotyped for free. This data may be of great value to you if you have enquiries in the future on particular genes or recessive traits of interest.
Can I lose?  No!
The information you give about your dogs will not be connected to your name or your dogs’ names without your permission. Dogs are assigned a number to de-identify them from their names and their information goes into a pool of data comparing dog behavior and genes. It will not be made public how you score your dog or what genes emerge.

Selection Of Your Pup Or Dog
Extract: “Training notes for farmer” by John Gedye

I have put this near the beginning because of its importance. Your selection should be based around the following:

  • Your own temperament
  • Your mode of transport when working the stock
  • The type and number of sheep and/or cattle you run
  • The size of your property and location re terrain and also temperature zone.
  • Whether you have other working dogs or it is to be your only one
  • Or its main purpose is for trialling

read the full article

The Inaugural Eilan Donan Yard Dog Trial
  • The Inaugural Eilan Donan Yard Dog Trial

The Inaugural Eilan Donan Yard Dog Trial was held at the Prince of Wales show Grounds in Bendigo during the Australian Sheep and Wool show. The trial was run over the on the 15th, 16th & 17th July 2016

The trials Commenced on the Friday with the start of the Novice event under the astute watchful eye of the Judge Lee Micken from Loxton SA in a field of 41 Novice runs with the top 10 running in a final to eventually be placed in our 6 places getters finishing on Saturday morning.

The sheep were recently shorn so they proved to be challenging for younger dogs. The fastest individual time was achieved by David Lindsay (Laggan NSW) and Hawkesbury Ella with a time of 5min 53 secs. Fastest Time over the two runs combined Roland Pell (VIC) min 11 min.

The Open commenced around 12pm Saturday. Having 38 preliminary runs and was worked down to the top 16 which was then run down to a final judged by the accomplished Judge Rod Cavil, the Victorian Yard Utility Farm Dog Association Inc. Vice President.

First Place getter in the Open was, Anthony Attard (Young NSW) with Buck, a total of 183 score over 2 runs. Fastest time was Matthew Sherwood (NSW) with Crush min 6 min 35 sec. Fastest Time over the two runs combined Anthony Attard (Young NSW) with Buck min 14 min 01 secs.

Winning the Open trial at Bendigo, Anthony Attard and Buck have qualified to enter the Victorian State Yard Dog Championships to be held at Den (near Ballarat) on 17 – 18 September.

We would especially like to thank our two accomplished Judges, Lee Mickan and Rod Cavill, also, Dean Morrisson and Tom Morrissey for helping to let the Sheep out over the 3 days. Also, our Sponsors, O’Sullivans Transport Elmore for supplying the sheep, MetalCorp for the use of their Sheep Yards, Majors Trailers for the use of the Trailer for the Open, McKean Mc Gregor, Rodwells Bendigo, Coprice, Hilton Park Kelpies and Combi-Clamp and Adrian Ryan for the Trophies.

We would also like to thank Brian Leahy with his informative commentary over the 3 days on informing people how the yard dogs worked.

We are very thankful for the interstate competitors, Lee Mickan, Matthew Sherwood, Anthony Attard, Jenny Sant and David Lindsay for making the effort to travel and compete in this trial. We are looking to make this a featured trial and to attract more interstate competitors with increase prize money and sponsorship over the coming years.

Luke Twigg

The First Decision - Which Kelpie?
late Mike Donelan

A bloke once asked Tommy Smith advice on buying a good horse. Smith's reply was "Save up your money and buy the best bred one you can find". I give the same advice to the Kelpie owner starting out - buy the best! The dog may not turn out to be a champion but you've got more chance with a well-bred one, than one off the neighbour or "getting one out of Bill Jones' good bitch", or "a pup by old Tom's good dog".

read the full article

New videos recently uploaded

The 2017 NKFTC finals video are now online for you to view... Click here

NKFTC Winners 2017
  • NKFTC Winners 2017

National Kelpie Field Trial Championship Alexandra VIC

Adam James with Tundabardi Buster
Kevin Howell with Karana Tige II
Adam James with Myamba Moss
Greg Walton with Karana Max VI
Gary White with Whites Fella II
Jake Nowlan with Amos Zone
Adam James with Yarrabee Scout
79+X  =79

Is this the start of a new era?
Over many years, Gary White and Kevin Howell have dominated the National Kelpie Field Trial Championship (NKFTC). In 2017 that has all changed. A young man (Adam James with Tundabardi Buster) from Victoria not only won the trial but managed to get three dogs into the final. Adam remarked at his winning speech that he had been too busy on the farm, before the trial, to do any special training with his dogs. A remarkable feat. Hopefully we see more of Adam and his excellent dogs in years to come.

The 2017 NKFTC was held at the picturesque Alexandra Showgrounds, hosted by the Upper Goulburn Working Dog Group from the 3RD to the 5th of March. There were 22 competitors working 67 dogs in the trial, with representation from WA, SA, NSW, Tas and Vic.

The weather was excellent all through the trial with beautiful autumn mornings, warm days and cool nights.

The ewes supplied by Fox Pastoral at Merton were very strong and consistent throughout but were touchy through the mid afternoons of each day.

The Course was first-rate and the length of the cast was 140 meters. The cast was a little tricky with some natural obstacles (trees) to negotiate, the three ewes were brought through a nine-metre delivery circle and then into a holding pen. The yard work was then completed with twelve ewes worked through a simple drench and draft race. The three sheep that were picked up on the cast were then let out and worked around the course comprising of a gap, Y race and pen.

Throughout the final, the sheep were very sensitive to the position of the dog and did become very difficult if not treated well.

The Judge, Norm Severs from Bairnsdale Victoria did and exceptional job over the competition and his scoring was consistent over the whole tournament. Congratulations are in order for doing a remarkable job in consistent 30-degree heat.

The members of the Committee and the organizers of the provisions must be thanked for the excellent food provided for the trial. All the food made available throughout the day plus hot food for breakfasts and lunches were excellent. They also catered for dinner each night. All dinners were an excellent standard.
Finally, the let-out people and the organizers in the yards did a skilful job with first-rate releases.