The latter, a dog called Moss, carried a blue grey colour factor and was the first to produce blue or slate coloured pups. Brutus and Jenny, themselves black and tan, were the first to produce red coloured pups; these appeared in a litter born shortly after the parents' arrival in Australia and were the result of a mating of the two dogs on the way out from England.
The showing of Kelpies at Bench or Breed Shows has encouraged a section of breeders to concentrate on the production of either all red or all black pups. Selection over a number of years for colour alone, in preference to selection for sheer natural ability, appears to have caused a loss of working ability in some strains.
To meet the overall requirements of the Pastoral Industry, the Working Kelpie Breeder has had to maintain a very high standard of natural working ability in his stock. To achieve this, ability has taken precedence over colour.
Today, most of the best working strains carry a variety of recognised colour factors, including those responsible for tan markings. Because a range of colours is often produced in a litter, the Breeder may not be able to supply a pup of a specified colour at short notice.
Because natural and efficient working ability is the prime concern of us all, may we respectfully suggest that you indicate only a preferred colour, rather than a definite one, when negotiating for a Kelpie pup or dog.