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.

2020 NKFTC

Here is the 2020 NKFTC entry form

History Of the Glenville Stud 1959-1988

The Glenville Stud was first started in 1959 when I purchased a 5 month old pup from Walter King for 15 pounds; the last dog Walter had. He was an old man then living in retirement in Albury. This dog, Kyleston Cobber was a red and tan bred by Gordon Richmond at Bombala in the Monaro District by Scanlons Bill a litter brother to Scanlons Polly and from Karawarra Jill.

He turned out to be a very good station dog, he would work sheep or cattle as well as being a very good yard and shed dog. I was not interested in working trials then as I was too busy trying to make a living to support my wife and two young children. At the time I had a very good black bitch named Jess, bred from station dogs, who produced some very good station workers until she was poisoned with a bait.

Read the full story here....

How to Choose Your Dog

The Australian countryside is full of farmers who plan their homes, their fencing, their watering points and wool sheds. They buy good rams and bulls and yet don't even think of their dogs on whom they depend to run these enterprises almost every day.

A good dog is one of the cheapest investments you can make on your property. He is an important labour saving device in this era of high cost labour. Find a breeder who has dogs that do work similar to your own. Ask the breeder for references of dogs bred by him working in your area, on your type of country. If he is a responsible breeder, he will be more than willing to meet this request.

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Sequential Analysis of Livestock Herding Dog and Sheep Interactions

Simple Summary

Although livestock herding dogs have contributed significantly to Australian agriculture, there are virtually no studies examining the interactions between dog and livestock during herding. One statistical approach that may assist our understanding of such interactions during herding is lag sequential analysis that reveals links between one event and the next. Using high-definition video recordings of herding in a yard-based competition trial and software to code the main dog and sheep behaviours, we identified several significant behavioural interactions. These included the dog ceasing all movement followed by the sheep also ceasing movement; the dog chasing the sheep and a group of sheep escaping the main flock; a single sheep escaping the flock and the dog chasing; sheep initiating movement followed by the dog following; foot-stamping followed by the dog ceasing all movement; and, foot-stamping by the sheep and the dog lip-licking in response. Further statistical analysis found no significant sex differences in the herding styles of the dogs included in the study. Of benefit to livestock herding dog handlers and breeders was the identification of trial score as a predictor of efficient performance. ....
read the full article here....

Photo kindly supplied by Kirby McPhee. Many more 2019 NKFTC photos available here.

50th National Kelpie Field Trial Championship - Carcoar 8th - 11th November 2019

1 Gary White
Whites Chrissie
2 Adam James
Myamba Moss
3 Gary White
Whites Benny
4 Gary White
Whites Jimmy
5 Greg Walton
Karana Jed
6 Daniel Pumpa
Whites Cosmo
U/P Chris Egan
Anntre Ray
U/P Les Everleigh
Nix Bundy

The NKFTC for 2019 was held in Carcoar NSW.

The WKC started the National Kelpie Field Trial Championships over 50 years. The first trail was held at the Golf Club at Mildura. It is now held in a different State each year.

The WKC thanks the hosting committee for the planning and hard work that resulted in a most enjoyable trial. With a record of 107 entries the trial finished on time due in part to time saved by the use of golf buggy by the Judge. The merino sheep were good trial sheep who tested the dogs but responded kindly particularly at the obstacles if handled calmly and allowed to settle. Congratulation to all concerned on a great hosting.

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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‘Dog Breeding Science’ CA TESTS.

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Members recently drew our attention to an announcement on Facebook that an Australian Company is now offering Kelpie DNA testing for Cerebella Abiotrophy ‘CA’ and query why there was no mention made in the November News Bulletin. That there was no mention in the Bulletin was because we were not aware or informed of a DNA testing service being offered.

We have no idea why the Working Kelpie Council was not given prior advice of the service now being offered especially when you take into account the extent of the active financial and ‘in kind’ research support which has been given since ‘CA’ was first recorded by J B Thomas, Murdoch University WA and Don Robertson Muresk Agricultural College, WA and published in the Australian Veterinary Journal , Vol.66 # 9 September 1989. Without WKC support it is highly unlikely that research would have continued to the stage where tests could be offered.

Concerns are raised about the value of the testing and we asked Prof Claire Wade to help and she kindly explained:

‘There seem to be at least three different disorders that result in the disorder that people label as CA. They all behave as recessives, but the early onset one seems to have a big range of severity so that some ‘affected’ or ‘at-risk’ animals by genotype might appear to be nearly entirely normal, while others have the symptoms that most people associate with CA. The late onset form has higher penetrance, meaning that most dogs that will test as ‘affected’ or ‘at-risk’ will demonstrate disorder symptoms. The European version also appears to have reduced penetrance as one member of that family was reported to be normal but had an ‘affected’ or ‘at-risk’ genotype.

When I say either ‘affected’ or ‘at-risk’, I mean that the animal has two copies of the risk variant. Animals that have only one copy are normal. There may yet be another disorder that shows these symptoms too, as we observed one family that had a different gene’.

‘Dog Breeding Science’ is a private company that is owned by a former PhD student from our faculty - Dr Kao Castle ‘

‘If the mapping paper(s) get published then the tests will become more widely available. We understand that because these disorders are not simple, that people will likely think that the tests do not work, but the statistical support for them is very very strong.’

Code of Behaviour and Practice

Recently the WKC developed a Code of Behaviour and Practice for WKC registered breeders and members. It was published in the News Bulletin recently. The document is now available online here.

We recommend downloading a copy for your records.

Kelpies Respond To Body Language

Article about Late Jack Body breeder of the well known and very successful Glenlogie strain dogs. (Reprint from January 1990 Bulletin)

If anybody knows how to speak to a Kelpie, Holbrook's Jack Body does, it is the language of 70 years of handling some of the best sheep dogs in the country … soft, warm and exact.

Dog height, down on one knee he stretches his hand out and calls quietly, 'come, come'. 'I like to talk to my dogs,' he says. 'I want him to come a little bit at a time. If I say to a dog 'come here', I want him here and he has to be here now; not tomorrow. 'If you ask him to come six inches, you don't want six feet'. Jack Body has had dogs since he first started working on stations at the age of 11 in 1920. It was a matter of necessity, he says.

'I've just gone 80 years and I've always had good dogs. And I've always had a crook arm, so my dogs had to be better than the other blokes' dogs to get the jobs.'

Only once was he really at loss for a dog, Working on Kinross Station at Holbrook, young Jack was penning up for 16 shearers in a shed where 186 sheep a day was dragging the chain. With the wool flying off the wethers and without a decent dog, Jack was in the firing line from a shearer who was held up for sheep. It was the last time Jack didn't have a top dog. He promptly bought a rough haired red Kelpie appropriately called Ruff for a pound from Kinross boundary rider, Les Anderson, and the situation abruptly changed. Only 12 months old, Ruff showed his form and the same shearer had to lift his first sheep over the door as they were packed in so tightly.

From then on through the 1930's, Jack broke in, trained and sold dogs through a variety of jobs including boundary riding on Wyanawah station at Holbrook. By the 1950's Jack was working in town and it wasn't until the early 1970's that he showed his true form as a sheepdog trials man.

With a few acres and fewer sheep to train the Kelpies from his Glenlogie stud on, Jack set out to take on the world. The sport has taken him through every state in Australia except Western Australia, twice to Tasmania and twice to New Zealand.

It was across the Tasman where he met with his greatest triumph with his best trials dog, Glenlogie Rex. He was placed 11th in the world in the big Rotorua Expo International Sheep Dog Trial in 1978. Rex, he says, was the most intelligent dog Jack owned and was placed 40 times in trials, going on to sire numbers of top trial dogs. Glenlogie Mandy, by Rex, was Australian Champion with Jack at Mudgee.

Among the best Tex sired is Glenlogie Lucky owned by Chris Stapleton of Oberon who was the current National Kelpie champion, twice Australian Yard Dog Champion and twice NSW Yard Dog Champion. All in spite of the fact that Jack is not a yard dog fan.

But, Jack says, it does not matter how good or well bred a dog is, they have to be trained. 'A dog is only as good as the bloke that owns it and if the man's no good, the dog's no good.'

And how does he choose a top dog? 'In a pup, you don't,' Jack says. 'Anybody that says they can pick a pup at four, five, six months of age; nope, they're having themselves on. 'But as a general rule I like a good wide head that shows brain capacity. 'If you are breeding cattle you are breeding for beef, if you are breeding sheep you are breeding for wool or mutton and if you are breeding dogs, you are breeding for brains. But he's got to be working for you; he could have his brains working against you.'

But the people in the Know say Jack Body's dogs always work with him and it shows in his natural love of a great working dog. 'I've always had a dog, penning up, working on stations -- even if I wasn't competing, I'd still have a sheepdog -- they're wonderful mates.