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.

National Kelpie Field Trial Championship

The 2016 NKFTC will be held at the Showgrounds in Nyngan (NSW) between 9-14 August. The Entry Form is now available here....

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...

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

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".

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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.

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.

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