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Thread: Thinking of getting a Kelpie

  1. #1

    Default Thinking of getting a Kelpie

    Hi all!
    Okay so straight to the point, I am wanting to get a Kelpie puppy.
    I realize that they need a lot of exercise, I have 1 acre of land and
    parks nearby that I can throw balls and such around as well as go for runs.
    If I do this almost daily, would that be sufficient?
    Also, what are some other things I should know about this breed?

    Best regards, Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Matt

    I've been thinking about getting another working dog for doing agility dog sport with and maybe a bit of herding.

    It's not just physical exercise they need. They also need mental exercise. If you just go for runs with the dog - you end up with a super fit bored destructo dog.

    I'd be looking at twice a day walks too and about 10 to 15 minutes of training something, which you can do in front of dog's dinner or while you're watching tv. We're working on a drop stay with a wagging tail right now.

    Just chucking a ball can be bad for dogs that face plant on the retrieve. Theres's been a few in dog sport like agility that playing chuck the ball and fetch has lead to broken shoulders and ACL and sometimes the jaw if they hit the ground face first. My dog - treats the ball much like she would a rabbit... she tries to trap it stopped before putting her mouth on it.

    Tho in the case of cornering an actual rabbit - she just barked at it from a safe distance while it sat still, exhausted and prayed for a quick end... I managed to find that bunny's owners - which may or may not have been a happy outcome for the rabbit.

    Australian Working Dog Rescue has lots of farm dogs including kelpie puppies available. You can find up to date info from them on facebook.

    Why do you want a kelpie and not another kind of dog eg a whippet?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    Welcome to the forum MattyK!

    Kelpies are wonderful dogs, I live on a farm so my Kelpie couldn't be happier. She spends every day helping my dad on the farm. The thing about Kelpies is that, yes, they need a lot of exercise every day, but you also need to exercise their brain, otherwise you'll just end up with an extremely fit, bored dog If you don't provide enough mental stimulation for a Kelpie they will become problem dogs (whether thats by being destructive or barking or anything) which is why so many of them end up at the pound. Short training sessions at home, and interactive toys are great for them. If you are willing, sports like agility and flyball would be brilliant for engaging a Kelpies mind as well as providing exercise.

    You say you can throw balls and go for runs almost daily... in my opinion.. almost daily is not enough. Opinions vary between people and of course individual dogs, but in my opinion, I'd say your average kelpie needs an absolute minimum of 1 hour exercise + mental stimulation every single day if not more. My Kelpie turns 10 soon, and she is still totally full on, If she didn't spend all day out with my dad on the farm, I'd have to engage her in at least an hours worth of exercise/games/training every day to keep her happy.

    As Hyacinth said, two walks a day is a good idea. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. As well as short training sessions.

    I know of a lot of people who have trained their Kelpies to have an off switch and be happy to just chill when they know it is not time to play, I haven't done this myself, but I will definitely be doing this with my next Kelpie. This doesn't mean that you can provide less exercise or mental stimulation, it just means that the dog won't be pestering you to do things when its not time for that.

    My next Kelpie will be an adult rescue, so that i can chose a dog who 100% fits my needs (you can't always guarantee a puppy will grow up to be perfect) and I will be doing agility with it which will be a great way to exercise both his mind and body.

    Feel free to ask any more questions you have
    Last edited by maddogdodge; 09-25-2014 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    I also have a kelpie and I use her on my sheep. I like to know about the parents. Some kelpies can be a really over the top and quite skittish and prone to becoming obsessive if their needs are not met. I like a kelpie that has an off switch and is calmer, which my kelpie is, but that is how she was bred. To work sheep calmly. She is a very easy kelpie to work with and comes from good working lines.

    Yes they do need exercise, that goes without saying, twice a day, but what they also really need is to be with you. I find the mental aspect can be taken care of if you do basic training but that the dog is included heavily in your life, so going places with you and taking part in your activities. There is nothing worse for a kelpie to be left in the backyard and not included in your life.

    Yes balls can cause injuries, I like to throw balls into water, making sure that there are no nasty snags hiding below but having said that I have thrown many a ball for my kelpie on dry land.

    Kelpies are what I call high maintenence dogs. I have seen a lot of kelpies with behavioural problems because their needs weren't met, but I have also seen many that are fine, but they are dogs that have been included in most aspects of the person life, and those people have always had very active lifestyles, camping , hiking, biking etc.

    Mine isnt but I live on a farm and she gets to work sheep and I also trial her in herding.

  5. #5


    Well I have never owned a kelpie but my neighbours have 2 and they drive me mad. They bark non-stop, attack dogs smaller than themselves and continually try to escape.

    But I don't blame the dogs, the owners never do anything with them. I think from the moment they came home they have never left their backyard. The point I'm trying to make though is that if you don't want to invest a lot in your dog, kelpie is probably not the right breed. Some dogs might be less energetic, more independent, less intelligent and less destructive when bored, not that any dog deserves the lifestyle my neighbour's dogs have but Kelpie must be one of the worst choices.

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