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Kelpie and BC in Australia


INU
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My niece just got a kelpie in Australia. My husband's best friend has a BC and others have Kelpie too so he is familiar with both breeds down there.

 

We were talking about the difference between those two and he said the Kelpie are better herding dogs in Aus. He didn't know about them in the states but he has seen more kelpies working stock in Aus. Do they use BCs on stock or do they use other breeds like Kelpie? I told him that maybe because there are more show-line BCs that lost the instinct. kelpies on the other hand were kept close to how they were originally.

 

BTW, How are Kelpies like with people? There is this mix (BC/Kelpie) that is looking for another SAR home. I heard this dog was one of the best in SAR. I wondered if this dog got the brain from BC and the temperment from Kelpies. I am not familiar with the breed...

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Border Collies did not tolerate the harsh extremes of the Australian climate well; Kelpies were found to be more durable under these circumstances. Kelpies are believed to share ancestry with Border Collies and other traditional English herding dogs; more information on the background of Kelpies can be found at Kelpies

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hi there:

I have spoken to many folks in australia about the differences between kelpies and bc's there.

There are working bc's there, but there are also a lot of show bc's- most of the show bc's in this country are derived from australian dogs. Kelpies have always been considered the pre-eminent herding dog in Australia- they are built to handle high temps, cover miles of terrain, and think for themselves (and when you have million acre stations, you need that in a dog.) There is also a show kelpie variety. I have three kelpies. One completely show lines, one 1/2 show, and my third is almost pure working. I love them ALL. They are all great dogs. Very smart, athletic, and generally physically tough. When characterizing the two breeds, I say: the BC will ask what you want them to do, and the Kelpie will ask you when. Basically, the Kelpie wants to work, and is quite happy just doing it- they are biddable, but would love to show you how much they know by just doing it themselves. I compete in agility, and have just started with herding. Sam Weaver, who is also on this board, can tell you more about herding and Kelpies. They are a great breed. LOVE them.

Julie

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That explains... I looked at some of the websites. They are awesome looking!

 

Catu,

This mix is in training for USAR. I wonder if you can adopt from Chile. Several people on my team trained with her/him and thought it had everything you need for disaster work.

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Originally posted by INU:

That explains... I looked at some of the websites. They are awesome looking!

 

Catu,

This mix is in training for USAR. I wonder if you can adopt from Chile. Several people on my team trained with her/him and thought it had everything you need for disaster work.

It Would be great, but I really doubt. Shipping a dog is almost as expensive as a person ticket and by now I barely sustain myself. Maybe someday, when I live in a definitive place and that all.
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the Kelpie are better herding dogs in Aus. He didn't know about them in the states but he has seen more kelpies working stock in Aus. Do they use BCs on stock or do they use other breeds like Kelpie?
Yes, we use border collies as well as kelpies (and koolies, and huntaways, and smithfields), and no, I don't think you can categorically say kelpies are better than collies, or vice versa. Depends on who you ask, the job, and the dogs you're talking about.

 

I told him that maybe because there are more show-line BCs that lost the instinct.
It depends which "world" you are in- if you live in the city, compete in agility/obedience, it seems like most collies in Australia are Show BCs. In rural areas, working border collies are everywhere, and they certainly haven't lost any instinct. Border collies are still very common sheepdogs, predominate in some types of sheepdog trialling, and are very popular on farms. In overall numbers, I think the working collie would outweigh the Show BC a couple of times over.

 

You will hear some people say that border collies aren't as good for yard work, or don't have as much endurance, aren't as strong as kelpies etc, but I think that's totally related to the line of dogs. Some of the best yard-trial dogs are border collies, and our own border collies do the same work as the kelpies, with the same physical requirements.

 

kelpies on the other hand were kept close to how they were originally.
Sadly not. The VAST majority of kelpies in Australia are Working Kelpies, still bred for work by people who value and rely on working dogs, for people who want working dogs. But we also have the Show or Bench kelpie, which is as different from the working kelpie as the Show BC is from the working Border Collie, or more so.

There are lots of Show Kelpie breeders listed here:

Show Kelpie Breeders

There are also some show/sports breeders who mix up show and working lines, as Julie mentioned, to cater for people who want dogs for agility or similar sports, or who perhaps want to try some recreational herding, but want/need a show-registered dog for some reason.

 

The majority of kelpies in Australia are still bred for and living for their original purpose, and have no link to the show breed. There are different types and lines for different work, from pure yard line dogs to wide-casting paddock dogs (that's Australian paddocks = big fields maybe be 1000s of square kms). The same goes for our working border collies- so what sort of dog an individual favours for their work will vary.

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Great explanation mjk05.

 

From a pet point of view, I guess my preference would be for Border Collie or for a Border Collie/Kelpie mix, like my first dog, Jess. I like Kelpies, but from what I've seen, they tend to be a bit more serious and driven - to my eye, they don't seem to have as much of the goofiness and lovey-doveyness that Border Collies can display, and which I tend to like mixed in with the work ethic.

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Inquiring minds want to know, what IS recreational herding? To me, recreational herding is something that is done for fun, a hobby; not real work, that is, something that doesn't put meat on the table, but the dogs actually work, and the handler works too. Trialing dogs then, is recreational herding right? I mean, people's budget's aren't added TO by herding, rather, they are forking out money TO trial.

Julie

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I don't like these classifications - they don't serve much purpose in the real world and just end up making people mad.

 

People trial for different reasons. Border collie people made it the center of their culture to better the breed and improve stock handling (and it has done that). People still participate for that reason. There's a very wide range of alternate motives which interweave and sometimes conflict and sometimes complement each other.

 

Trialing complements working by providing an objective standard for working dogs and the people who breed and train them. It is our version of the bench show.

 

This is ideal. I know there are weekend warriors who trial professionally and have little interest in stockmanship - see above.

 

It is also not very helpful to classify "Work" as "putting meat on the table" and "not fun" and a "Hobby" as something done "for fun" and "not real work". I think of work as things that have to be done, and sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don't. My recreation involves the way I've decided to fill the time I'm not "working" and again sometimes it's fun and sometimes it's not. These two concepts intertwine so much that it's almost impossible to seperate them.

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Originally posted by kelpiegirl:

Catu:

there are working kelpies in Chile, imported from Winona Kelpie stud in Australia. If you do a search for winona kelpies, you can contact them and see who has them.

Julie

Thank's for the advice :rolleyes:

I know there are some, they are in Pta. Arenas. 3.090 km. from where I live.

Who knows, maybe someday I'll have one, the day I had the money and the space. Kelpies are one of the top breeds on my list of dreams.

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Inquiring minds want to know, what IS recreational herding?
Well, in Australia, "herding" is an activity done by people with pet dogs, often city people with no significant livestock experience, for fun, or to "prove" their dogs have "herding instinct". Some show-line breeders do it with their dogs to demonstrate their dogs "can still do what they're bred for".

 

Sheepdog trialling is a different activity, done mostly by people who make their living from livestock, or retired farmers/stockmen. Its not referred to as "herding", except by people from city/pet dog backgrounds.

 

Yes, for most people sheepdog trialling is a "recreational activity", in the sense that they enjoy it and do it in their spare time. And there are a number of people getting involved who don't have farming backgrounds, and live in cities (like me!). They almost all have working-bred dogs (with just a couple of exceptions). But still, for the majority of triallers, trialling is a way of testing their dogs and it does have important parallels in ability to work on the farm.

 

The most important difference in "herding" and sheepdog trialling here seems to be attitudinal- "herding" is about trying to show that your much loved pet dogs can "do what they're bred for", no matter how much of a stuggle that may be. Sheepdog trials are about the work, and testing dogs to see if they are up to scratch- no excuses if they aren't.

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You can use whatever term you want, Julie. That's just what "herding" means here. I know it must be confusing from a suburban pet-dog based perspective.

 

"Recreational working" is a good one, but that would be something different again for me... maybe the occasions when I choose to waste an hour or two moving a mob on foot, walking a few kms out in front so my young dog can learn to cover and force more than a few hundred sheep on his own, rather than taking the bike and doing it in half the time.

 

Re kelpies and border collies in Australia, I sent this to someone earlier, but its probably worth repeating here:

basically in Australia, its a parallel to the border collie situation in the US (and probably elsewhere).

AKC = ANKC (ie our show body, also runs trials for agility and herding)

Show (or bench) kelpies = Show Border Collies

Working border collies = working kelpies

ISDS or ABCA = WKC (Working Kelpie Council)

Sports-bred kelpies = sports-bred border collies

 

We have a few "dual registered" breeders, ie ANKC and WKC, but only a few, and the majority of them are not bred for working homes, even though they may incorporate "working lines"... in the same way many sports-type BC breeders may use ISDS or ABCA reg'd dogs. Fortunately our ANKC doesn't recognise WKC dogs, so ANKC breeders in general have no interest in WKC dogs, and the market for the very small number of "dual registered" dogs is non-working, sports-type homes.

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