The ancestors of the Kelpie were simply (black) dogs, called Colleys or Collies. The word “collie” has the same root as “coal” and “collier (ship)”] Some of these collies were imported
The ancestors of the Kelpie were simply (black) dogs, called Colleys or Collies. The word “collie” has the same root as “coal” and “collier (ship)”] Some of these collies were imported to Australia for stock work in the early 19th century, and were bred to other types of dogs (possibly including the occasional Dingo), but always with an eye to working sheep without direct supervision. Today’s Collie breeds were not formed until about ten or 15 years after the Kelpie was established as a breed with the first official Border Collie not brought to Australia until after Federation in 1901. Kelpies have been claimed to have some Dingo blood; as it was illegal to keep dingoes as pets, some dingo owners registered their animals as Kelpies or Kelpie crosses. Kelpies and dingoes are similar in conformation and coloring. There is no doubt that some people have deliberately mated dingoes to their Kelpies, and some opinion holds that the best dilution is 1/16–1/32, but that 1/2 and 1/4 will work. The working Kelpie comes in three coat types: smooth, short, and rough. The coat can be almost every colour from black through light tan or cream. Some Kelpies have a white blaze on the chest, and a few have white points. Kelpies sometimes have a double coat, which sheds out in spring in temperate climates. Agouti is not unusual, and can look like a double coat. Working Kelpies vary in size, ranging from about 19 inches to as much as 25 inches and from 28-60 lbs. The dog’s working ability is unrelated to appearance, so stockmen looking for capable working dogs disregard the dog’s appearance.