Buying or Adopting an Australian Kelpie
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Is a DOG really the right pet for you?
I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.
Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?
Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:
Is an Australian Kelpie the right breed for you?
Are YOU right for an Australian Kelpie?
Can you provide what this breed needs?
- Someone home most of the day
- Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
- No cats in the household
- Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
- Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Australian Kelpie stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
- "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, herding, flyball, frisbee, musical freestyle); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
- An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
- A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a smaller dog
- An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Australian Kelpies are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
- An owner who is okay with moderate shedding
- Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Australian Kelpie to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
- Commitment to establish the proper Leader-Follower relationship with your Australian Kelpie, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say
Should you get a male or female Australian Kelpie?
Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?
Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?
Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Australian Kelpie be?
Where can you buy or adopt an Australian Kelpie?
Australian Kelpies are uncommon in the United States – very hard to find.
Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
I'm not aware of any Australian Kelpies available from a Dog Rescue group.
Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Same as above.... I'm not aware of any Australian Kelpies appearing in an animal shelter or humane society. Certainly you'll see dogs who look something like Kelpies, but these will be general shepherd-type crosses and mixes.
Buying From a Dog Breeder
You might be able to buy an Australian Kelpie from a show breeder, who breeds Kelpies to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. These dogs typically have a milder temperament than Kelpies from a performance breeder, who emphasizes strong "prey (chasing) drives" for working with livestock, or participating in sports like dog agility, flyball, and frisbee.
Some breeders are a combination of show/performance, though how they prioritize those two goals can vary greatly.
Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of an Australian Kelpie puppy should have:
- a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
- a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Australian Kelpie ends up with cataracts or hip dysplasia.
Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
I have never seen an Australian Kelpie in a pet shop. Which is good, because I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!
How To Choose a Good Australian Kelpie Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Australian Kelpie puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.
AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Australian Kelpie puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?
To help you train and care for your dog
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.