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Kelpie sheepdogs

Last post Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:34 by Tim.Relf. 13 replies.
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  • Wed, Jun 16 2010 18:14

    Kelpie sheepdogs

    What are they like with cattle?  I quite fancy trying one as I know they're good with sheep but I,d need something dual purpose. Any experience out there?   There are a few websites devoted to them including this one.

    http://www.llwyfen-kelpie.co.uk/

  • Thu, Jun 17 2010 7:09 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

     Kelpies in Australia work cattle too. My experience with them is that they are all individuals, no matter what breed. My kelpies are all very different (like people) with different skill sets. They  vary on yard versus paddock ability, how much push, how much eye, how much bark, whether they'll back the sheep and if they'll go under them down the race. Some are no good with cattle some are no good with sheep, some are pretty hopeless altogether and some are stars all-round.

    For cattle you'll need one with decent push and not fearful.Nevertheless, kelpies are widely used with cattle in Australia.

    I have given up on getting puppies to train, as I won't shoot unsuitable dogs. I now only buy ready-trained dogs that I try out to see that they do what I need. In Australia, this is about $1000 to $2000 for a dog about 2 year old.

    And don't think they won't transfer to you becasue you haven't had them since a pup. Of course there could be some that don't adapt well, but I've not heard it happen. Mine sleep in or on bed with hubby and me - as far as they are concerned they are now in doggy heaven. I just got a 7 year old excellent yard dog a year or so ago, who was an outside working dog, lived on a chain etc. Her previous owner left and she looked totally bewildered for about one minute when I started giving her commands, then she just started working and has never looked back. She has now discovered the joys of having her ears and face poked and massaged and makes cute snorty sounds of contentment.

    And such "spoiling" makes no difference either. My other kelpie girl lived in a battery of kennels (but was well cared for and exercised), never went in a house, was never fed at the table etc, was 2 or so when I got her, she is now a 7 year old. All our dogs come inside in the evening and she sleeps on the bed and gets kissed and cuddled a lot, and gets given tidbits to eat - she has not become disobedient, she has in fact become even better with maturity and ongoing reinforcement of her training.

    Kelpies and collies are quite different too. If you are used to collies you need a change of mindset to work with kelpies. Good Border Collies in general tend to be more command driven and wait for direction. Good Kelpies tend to want to think for themselves more, so that they will appear to be less obedient than a collie.

    I hope you can find a good one.

     

  • Thu, Jun 17 2010 18:03 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    Thanks for replying. It's good to hear peoples experiences.

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010 12:00 In reply to

    • alyb
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Jun 4 2009

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    Hi Davysboy,

    Kelpies can definately work cattle - although apparently they need to be trained with sheep first. I have heard some farmers have bought dogs to work with dairy cattle as well.

    You can find out more about the Kelpie through Kevin Reeves at http://www.lyndhurst-kelpies.co.uk/ - he will be able to tell you more about Kelpies working with cattle and may be able to get you in contact with someone using them for ths purpose.

    Aly

  • Sat, Jun 19 2010 7:56 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    Thanks alby. Thats another interesting site to look at.

  • Sat, Jun 19 2010 14:10 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

  • Wed, Jun 23 2010 23:44 In reply to

    • old mcdonald
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Male
    • Joined on Mon, Oct 27 2008
    • Near Castelo Branco, Portugal

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    davysboy, I am quite prepared for people to decide I should be lynched for what follows. I ran about 1500 sheep and 400 head of cattle in Australia, plus a smallish Angora flock. The whole area worked as a team at mustering both cattle and sheep, I think the most we dipped in one morning was 6000. Beer at 8 am never tasted so good. I found kelpies far too strong for sheep, and I never ever saw the need for anyone to use a dog with cattle. Dogs upset cattle very easily, especially cows and calves. A horse will work wild cattle far more gently, and tame cattle (which you should have in the UK) will follow you. 

    jaffakatie's post above is very informative, but do you really want your farm dogs to sleep on your bed????? If you are that close to them, then I think you could probably have absolutely any breed of dog in the world do as you want so there is no problem.  

    www.oldmcdonaldsolives.com
  • Thu, Jul 1 2010 20:34 In reply to

    • charliemoo
    • Top 150 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Sat, Feb 21 2009
    • Brecon Beacons, Wales

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    old mcdonald:
    I found kelpies far too strong for sheep

     

    From my trip to Oz (when i fell in love with the kelpies) that seems very true Old Mac, the sheep farms i went to had collies, the cattle farms kelpies.

     

     

    old mcdonald:
    I never ever saw the need for anyone to use a dog with cattle. Dogs upset cattle very easily

     

    Thats just what my dad says! I suppose in Oz running a couple of dogs off in a 100 acre paddock to muster a herd would save the horses, thats the only reason I can think they use them... the farmers i saw then tied the dogs up when it came to working with the cattle in the holding pens.

     

    One thing i noticed over there was that temperaments varied hugely from strain to strain. many kelpies were hyper, yappy things- horrible. One farm i went to bred them and it was obvious when the cattle were being handled in the pens, the dogs would just lay down in the shade, no barking, no chasing... i asked the man about the difference and he said that some strains of the breed have been bred to be more hyper. I dont know what the standard of imported kelpies is over here, i imagine you would find out when you turned up on the yard and were either mauled and deafened or not!

     

    What work were you thinking of doing with it/them Davysboy? If you get one, post some pics- they are lovely looking things! Big Smile

    Charlie
  • Fri, Jul 2 2010 11:36 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    Alyb's article on the different breeds of dogs appeared in today's FW, incidentally. Read it here.

    For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day
  • Fri, Jul 2 2010 22:54 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    Thanks Tim. I'd olny just read the article in FW.

    Hi Charlie, I farm 130 sucklers plus followers and 1600 ewes more or less on my own with my two collies but I fancy having that extra bit of bark when it's needed. I can't say the same as old macdonald. The collies are a must for me when moving large bunches of cows and calves. The odd cow may have a bawling session at a dog now and again but they don't get over upset.

  • Fri, Jul 2 2010 22:59 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    Incidentally Charlie, I see you are in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Do you know of these breeders? 

    http://www.llwyfen-kelpie.co.uk/

  • Mon, Jul 5 2010 22:20 In reply to

    • charliemoo
    • Top 150 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Sat, Feb 21 2009
    • Brecon Beacons, Wales

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    No i hadn't heard about them.... may have to sell something to get a new pup now!! :D

    Charlie
  • Fri, Aug 6 2010 15:17 In reply to

    • alyb
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Jun 4 2009

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    Did anyone see them working at the sheep event, Malvern?

  • Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:34 In reply to

    Re: Kelpie sheepdogs

    There's been a story in the Daily Mail about a Kelpie cross Doberman that picks up litter!

    For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day
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