I got Keely from the pound . They figure she's a Kelpie cross Cattle Dog. She's got the cattle dog speckles on her paws and chest but as for the Kelpie part, she's got the personality and ear markings. However her ears are floppy. Don't Kelpies have pointed ears? Her head and muzzle are also differently shaped and she is a fairly delicate build so am not sure! Any ideas?
Leo from Sydney, Australia
Would be good to see a photo, however I have had cattle dogs in the past that haven't had pointy ears (apparently this is normal when they are puppies and sometimes they never stand up as they get older) Could be she's a mix of all sorts of dogs.
Hi! Sounds like a great dog. Often Blue Heeler or Queensland dogs can be crossed back to contribute stockiness, and by accident - but I think there may be a Pointer in the woodshed! They can be smallish, gracile and definitely have the ear-flop. Just a guess! Have fun! - Bonnie, allhappydogs.com
Both ACD's and Kelpies normally have rigidly upright ears when they are looking at something (they fold back whenever they want, but are not flopped forward). So there could be a third breed in her background expressing itself. Just google Kelpie or Australian Cattle Dog to see nice photos. ACD's are stocky because the three root breeds are Dingo (the Australian feral canid, not a dog), Dalmation (hence the speckling) and English Bull, giving the lung power to run 50 miles a day in the 100 degree heat. Can't you tell I have one and love her very much? Best blessings to you and your Kelpie X!
Thanks so much for all of your feedback. I'm sorry my photo didn't come through, I will try again. If you have any further sparks of thought with the visual to help, please send a response - thanks again so much, glad to see there's a lot of kelpie cross fans out there! Leo :)
This is a description from Wikipedia, the original Kelpie had floppy ears....:
The precise origins of the Australian Cattle Dog are not known, but they appear to have been a distinct breed as early as 1897. It began when Smithfields were originally used in Australia for mustering cattle. They were noisy and bit too hard, so they were bred with the Dingo, a wild dog prevalent in Australia. The resulting crosses were known as Timmins Biters, which were quieter, but still bit hard.
The resulting Cattle Dog was of a slightly heavier and more muscular build than the Border Collie and of less temperamental nature, with good herding ability, the stamina to withstand extremes of temperature and the resourcefulness to forage and to feed itself on an omnivorous diet like a wild dog. Physically the Heeler has inherited a big broad head and strong jaws from the Bull Terrier. From the dingo comes the distinctive sandy colour of the legs and rather large pricked ears.
Like the Koolie, the Australian Cattle Dog is fearless with cattle and has a tendency to nip their heels to keep them moving when mustering. This trait is undesirable when the dog applies it to humans and horses. It is rumoured that in order to create a breed that had a strong natural affiliation with horses, the Cattle Dog was crossed with the Dalmatian, which although not a working dog, was popular during the 19th and early 20th century as a carriage dog, running beside the horses. As a result of Dalmatian being introduced Australian Cattle Dog pups are born all white and rarely some adult dogs will have floppy ears, although undesirable it is purely superficial and won't affect their abilities.
It was thought that the breeding with the Dalmatian led to the spotted colouration in some Blue Heelers, though this is considered undesirable and is most commonly seen in mixed breed dogs that have Australian Cattle Dog in their ancestry. For many years "Blue Heelers" commonly had large black patches on the body, as well as the Collie's mask. It was also common for them to have ears that lay back against the head like some Collies. The flat ears are now considered undesirable for conformation showing.
History of the Australian Kelpie(see the notes about the Floppy Ears )
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 1800s, and were bred to other types of dogs (including the occasional Dingo), but always with an eye to working sheep without direct supervision. Today's Collie breeds were not formed until about 10 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.
Some people claim that Kelpies have some Dingo blood; as it was illegal to keep dingoes as pets, some dingo owners registered their animals as Kelpies or Kelpie crosses. It should be noted that Kelpies and Dingoes are very similar in conformation and colouring. There is no doubt that some 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. As the Dingo has been regarded as a savage sheep-killer since the first white settlement of Australia, few will admit to the practice.
The first "Kelpie" was a black and tan female pup with floppy ears bought by Jack Gleeson about 1872 from a litter born on Warrock Station near Casterton, owned by George Robertson, a Scot. This dog was named after the mythological kelpie from Celtic folklore. Legend has it that "Kelpie" was sired by a Dingo, but there is little evidence for or against this. In later years she was referred to as "(Gleeson's) Kelpie", to differentiate her from "(King's) Kelpie", her daughter.
The second "Kelpie" was "(King's) Kelpie", another black and tan bitch out of "Kelpie" by "Caesar", a pup from two sheep-dogs imported from Scotland. Again, there are legends that these two sheep-dogs may never have seen Scotland, and may have had Dingo blood. "(King's) Kelpie" tied the prestigious Forbes Trial in 1879, and the strain was soon popularly referred to as "Kelpie's pups", or just Kelpies. The King brothers joined another breeder, McLeod, to form a dog breeding partnership whose dogs dominated trials during 1900 to 1920.
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