The Working Kelpie Council of Australia

Breed Society for the Australian Working Kelpie


Celebrating 50 years

The Working Kelpie Council was formed in 1965, although the need for such an organisation had been discussed continuously during the previous decade. With the natural loss of the men who have successfully brought the breed through to modern times, it was felt that unless something was done the reputation of the pure-bred Working Kelpie would be affected and the existing background pedigrees tracing to the foundation would be lost. The Working Kelpie Council was formed to counteract the buyer resistance to the registered show (pure-bred) Kelpie and to ensure the future of the breed as a working sheepdog for all time.

Formed along the lines of other breed associations, the Council operates as a service to the man on the land as well as the Breed. From the very beginning emphasis and encouragement was given to the need to register and record breeding activities and individuals were encouraged to think in terms of developing small studs rather than just to breed for their own needs.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Founding Members attended a Special Dinner and Award Presentation that was held after the annual AGM. 28 March 2015.

See the video of the Awards Presentations here...

The Cake
The Cake
  • L to R Perina Giles, Erin Caterson, Gordon McMaster, Barbara Cooper, John White, Tim Austin, Mary McCrabb and Colin Gibson
  • Warila Kelpie Stud
  • Mingah Kelpie Stud
  • Received a special award (Golden Kelpie) for continuous support and work for the WKC
  • Spinifex Kelpie Stud
  • Warila Kelpie Stud
  • Wyreema Kelpie Stud
  • Warila Kelpie Stud
  • Whites Kelpie Stud
  • Avenpart Kelpie Stud
  • Warila Kelpie Stud
  • Meson Kelpie Stud
  • Elfinvale Kelpie Stud

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.

Bloodlines Search

The 2014 registrations have been added to the bloodlines database (main register only). Search the bloodlines of 40,000 dogs registered over the last 15 years here...

New videos recently uploaded

2014 National Kelpie Field Trial Championships

Australian Yard Dog Championships - Mar 2014

Kelpies Hard at Work

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 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

2104 NKFTC Finals Videos

The 2014 National Kelpie Field Trial Championships (NKFTC) were held in Tailem Bend SA. Some of the best working dogs in Australia were competing for the most prestigious and highly contested perpetual shield.

The NKFTC has been ongoing for over 45 years, and the 2014 NKFTC was one of the most challenging on record.

Now you can see the best of the best in action. The 2014 NKFTC Final are available on DVD. Order your copy today!

The Ideal Man and Dog Relationship
By John White

A remark frequently heard at a lot of trials is "It all comes down to Control" which refers to the handlers ability to completely control his dog at all times. The theory that you have to take all the initiative out of a dog and replace it with your own is commonly referred to as making a dog 'mechanical'. Many dogs that have a lot of inborn natural ability are 'blown-up' or have their self confidence completely destroyed by trainers who will not let a dog use its initiative.

Undoubtedly there are some dogs that have ability but are untrainable because they will not co-operate or will resent the fine tuning that is required in the top trial does of today. There is no denying that in all types of trials obedience to commands is a major factor in a dog's ability to be a successful competitor. It is very noticeable that most of the top handlers have realized that a dog Does have a Mind of it's Own and also the Ability to Work Out Situations and then Make the Correct Moves, and so finally end up with a much superior work mate or trial dog.

read the full article

Membership Renewal

January is the time to renew your membership. An easy to complete online form is available here...

Not already a member? Why not join today? All it costs is $45. Become part of the historical Working Kelpie Council as it celebrates its 50th year.

An online application form is available here...

Breeder Directory Renewal

Don’t forget to renew your Breeder Directory status. The Breeder Directory listing is one of the most popular pages on this Website. Breeders are reporting they are receiving many more inquiries for pups after listing their stud on the Breeder Directory Webpage. An easy to complete renewal for is available here…

Not already on the Breeder Directory list? Don’t miss out, for a limited period new applications are being accepted now. An easy to complete form is available here…

Going Green

January next will be the Council’s and its News Bulletin’s 50th Birthday Year. With one exception the News Bulletin has been compiled, printed and posted every month since the Councils inception. Over this time there have been some minor changes especially to the printing - our first News Bulletins were produced on a Fordigraph a spirit and type duplicator, then on a series of Gestetner machines duplicators which were capable of producing photographs of sorts and currently now produced on Ricoh printers which produce digital master directly from the Computers and produce digital type half tone photographs. These printers are capable of printing very large numbers of anything from single documents, Bulletins, Stationary including Stud Book certificates, Export Certificates, Envelopes. Booklets like the recently issued Code of Welfare for Livestock working Dogs was printed with the exception of the coloured cover, collated and bound in house.

January 2015 will also see a change to the way future Bulletins are delivered. From January Membership will include email versions on the Bulletins. Whereas previously Membership included posted Bulletins. From January onwards Bulletins will be sent by email to all members who have an internet connection. Members who do not have an email address will automatically get their copy by Post. Members who particularly want a hard copy in addition the emailed version can request same but a $12.00 postage charge will be incurred.

There are a number of advantages to following the lead of other large and small associations - apart from a way to reduce ever increasing costs and thereby reduce the need to increase membership fees every year. (Our postage costs over $12,000 a year aside from printing costs labour etc. The real advantages for members is that photographs will be in colour, the overall size of the Bulletins will not be governed by postage regulations and delivery will be quicker.

2015 Renewal forms will provide space for email addresses or update of addresses, Space for members to request copy by Australia Post and space for members who want hard copy as well as email.

We look forward to having your assistance and support.

Animal Welfare Code

The new 'Code of Welfare for Australian Livestock Working Dogs' is now available for download here

The many thousands of dogs working on a daily basis make an enormous contribution to the efficiency of livestock management in Australia’s large agricultural sector, which is responsible for approx 30% of GDP.

The $ value of the work these dogs perform in Primary Production is undefined but would run to $millions annually.