The Australian kelpie is an interesting and affectionate pooch, whose physical capabilities are only matched by his remarkable intelligence and problem-solving skills. The kelpie also tends to form strong bonds with his owner, making him a wonderful addition to the family.
But while purebred kelpies can make great pets, kelpie mixes can also be wonderful little woofers!
We’ll share some of our favorite kelpie mixes and help you learn more about some typical kelpie traits below!
Australian Kelpie Breed Basics
Before we dive into the world of kelpie mixes, let’s get a sense of the amazing traits of the Australian kelpie.
The Australian kelpie traces its roots back to the late 19th century when Australian ranchers faced the challenge of herding livestock under very harsh conditions. The solution was the Kelpie, primarily born from crossbreeding the smooth collie and the border collie.
The resulting mix had the necessary qualities — intelligence, agility, and a strong work ethic — to get the job done. They’re most often found working on farms, but some owners simply keep them as household pets.
The Kelpie is a medium-sized breed with a sturdy and robust build. They typically stand between 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 35 to 50 pounds, which results in a small but powerful physique, which reflects the breed’s working-dog roots.
Kelpie coats come in a variety of colors, including fawn, chocolate, and blue, meaning that owners can choose the kelpie “flavor” they like best. It also means that kelpie mixes come in a kaleidoscope of color varieties. .
Australian kelpies are high-maintenance dogs, best-suited for active owners.
They function best when they have a job to do, and they’ll do it tirelessly. These dogs probably won’t be happy lounging on the couch at home all the time, as they’re high-energy doggos, who’re always on the move. So, be sure to keep them physically and mentally stimulated or they could become destructive to property.
High-octane personalities aside, kelpies are usually gentle and affectionate with children. However, they have strong prey drives, so they may not thrive in homes with other pets (particularly smaller ones).
Kelpies are smart doggos, who’re usually easy to train.
However, it’s important that you respect their intelligence. Once they learn a trick, they usually prefer to quickly move onto the next one. Repeat the command too many times, and your kelpie may become challenging to work with.
A firm yet consistent hand and positive reinforcement are the keys to unlocking your kelpie’s full potential.
Kelpies typically have a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years, but they can be prone to certain health concerns. One common issue is hip and elbow dysplasia, which can affect their joints.
Another condition to be aware of is cerebellar abiotrophy (CA), a hereditary neurological disorder that affects coordination and balance. Regular screening can help detect these genetic conditions so they can be treated early.
Kelpies are typically pretty low-maintenance in terms of their grooming needs. Their double coat consists of a short, dense undercoat and a water-repellent outer coat, which allows them to be active in different weather conditions.
Regular grooming involves brushing their coat with a firm bristle brush once a week to remove loose hair, and keeping their ears and teeth clean. Their activity usually takes care of filing down their nails but they should be checked every 2 to 4 weeks to see if they need a snip.
13 Great Kelpie Mixes!
Let’s explore the possibilities of mixing the Australian Kelpie with other beloved breeds. Here are a few of our favorites!
1. Labrador Kelpie (Australian Kelpie x Labrador Retriever)
Labrador kelpies are all about staying active and enthusiastic, so you’ll often find them jumping for joy at the prospect of an adventure. When socialized early, they tend to be even-tempered but destructive tendencies may pop up if they’re left twiddling their paws.
If they’re more like their Labrador parent, fetch is their jam, but the kelpie in them might eventually roll their eyes at the repetition. Be sure to keep them entertained with walks and playtime to avoid boredom-induced behavioral problems.
Sometimes, they can get a tad overstimulated, so it’s all about finding that perfect balance. These Lab-Kelpie pups are lots of fun, and with the right love and attention, they’ll be your ultimate sidekick!
Check out some more adorable Labrador mixes!
2. Kelpie Heeler (Australian Kelpie x Australian Cattle Dog)
The Kelpie Heeler is a fascinating mix of intelligence and energy. These pups are super smart, and always ready to impress you with their problem-solving skills. But that intelligence can sometimes lead them into mischief if they’re left with idle paws. They need mental and physical stimulation (aka canine enrichment) to thrive, as they may get bored easily.
They’re an exceptionally loyal breed and always on the lookout. This means they often make them excellent watchdogs, but they can also be a bit wary of strangers. A job or sport and plenty of exercise should help occupy both their sharp minds and their boundless energy levels.
Give them a purpose, and they’ll be content.
3. Golden Kelpie (Australian Kelpie x Golden Retriever)
The Golden Kelpie can keep you guessing. These pups can be a bit of a wild card because golden retrievers are known for their friendly and sociable nature, while kelpies tend to be more suspicious and favor solitude. This mix can result in a dog who is both sensitive and cooperative.
Golden Kelpies are often well-behaved and get along well with other dogs and kids, making them an excellent choice for a loving family. Their unique blend of characteristics adds an element of surprise many families love.
Check out these gorgeous golden retriever mixes!
4. Maremma Kelpie (Australian Kelpie x Maremma Sheepdog)
The Maremma Kelpie offers a delightful blend of qualities that can keep you on your toes. These pups can be a bit headstrong and sometimes clumsy, but it’s all part of their charm. Despite their independent natures (Maremmas are, after all, livestock guardian dogs, who’re bred to work without supervision), they are incredibly affectionate and loving when they choose to be.
Their independent spirit might make it a tad challenging to get them to follow commands at times, but you can combat this with early puppy training and socialization classes.
5. Kelpiedoodle (Australian Kelpie x Poodle)
Kelpiedoodles aim to please! They’re known for their strong desire to make their families happy, often going to great lengths to be affectionate and attentive. But they can be a bit standoffish because of their independent nature.
When it comes to grooming, Kelpiedoodles require some maintenance to keep their coat in tip-top shape, thanks to their poodle genes. Regular brushing and occasional grooming appointments will help keep them looking their best.
Check out these great poodle mixes!
6. Kelpie Mastiff (Australian Kelpie x Mastiff)
You never know exactly what you’re going to get with a Kelpie Mastiff; some might display high intelligence with a touch of neuroticism, while others may not be as sharp but make up for it with their friendly and sociable nature.
Patience isn’t typically the Kelpie Mastiff’s strong suit, so it’s essential to approach training and interactions with this in mind. Just be sure to start early, as it’ll make these potentially large dogs easier to manage.
Note that Kelpie Mastiffs vary in their willingness to cuddle. Some of them may enjoy affection on their own terms, but others won’t. Just remember that respecting your dog’s boundaries is key to building a trusting relationship.
7. Kelpie Border Collie (Australian Kelpie x Border Collie)
Kelpie Border Collies are often highly vocal and express themselves readily. They’re generally friendly and make excellent pets for families. When it comes to kids, they can sometimes be a bit skittish, but early socialization can help them become more comfortable and patient around youngsters.
Kelpie Border Collies can be a bit of a paradox. Some may be headstrong and independent, while others are eager to please, making training a mixed bag of obstacles and successes. Their energy levels are off the charts, and they’re not easily distracted, which is great for focused tasks. But they may not always be the most patient or even-tempered when things don’t go their way.
Check out these border collie mixes!
8. Kelpie Jack Russell (Australian Kelpie x Jack Russell Terrier)
The Kelpie Jack Russell is a big ball of energy and intelligence. These pups are exceptionally smart and tenacious, and they’re almost always up for a challenge. Their love for attention can vary a bit – they might be the life of the party one moment and aloof the next. That’s just the way they are.
These high-energy pups thrive on activity and need to have a job to do, whether it’s fetching, agility, or simply keeping an eye on the backyard.
Early training is key, with these doggos (as it is with most breeds). Starting early can lead to an eagerness to obey commands and tackle tasks with enthusiasm.
9. Kelpie Corgi (Australian Kelpie x Welsh Corgi)
Kelpie Corgis are incredibly loyal to their families, making them the ultimate companion for those seeking a devoted pal. On the flip side, they often have a strong aversion to being alone, and when left to their own devices, they may display destructive tendencies.
Family-friendly to the core, Kelpie Corgis are generally sweet with everyone they meet. They tend to have a passive rather than dominating demeanor, making them a harmonious addition to households. Their focus is unwavering, and they’re not easily distracted, which can be ideal for lots of different activities.
Check out these cute corgi mixes!
10. Australian Kelpie Husky (Australian Kelpie x Siberian Husky)
The Australian Kelpie Husky is very affectionate and loves to be the center of attention, but he may be prone to jealousy if he doesn’t get enough of it. They can have a stubborn streak but consistent training at an early age can help bring out their eagerness to please and align their goals with yours.
These dogs are alert and fearless, which allows them to showcase their strength and stamina. They thrive in an environment where they constantly have a job to do. Their agility is excellent, making them great candidates for many different sports and activities.
Just be sure you’re ready for a vocal dog anytime you include a husky in the mix!
11. Kelpie Amstaff (Australian Kelpie x American Staffordshire Terrier)
Kelpie Amstaff pups are social creatures who often prefer the company of their family over being alone. They may be very cuddly with loved ones, but they won’t necessarily extend the same affection to strangers.
These strong and energetic dogs can suffer from separation anxiety and exhibit destructive behaviors when left alone or when they’re bored. It’s essential to provide them with tons of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and prevent any unwanted mischief.
12. Kelpie Shepherd (Australian Kelpie x German Shepherd)
Kelpie Shepherds are robust and energetic, always up for a challenge or outdoor adventure. They are naturally watchful and have strong herding tendencies, which can lend to their protective instinct towards their family.
They’re also alert pups, thanks to their German shepherd parents. This makes them fantastic watch dogs, although this can also lead to reactivity. So, you’ll want to be sure to socialize your Kelpie Shepherd from an early age.
13. Whippet Kelpie (Australian Kelpie x Whippet)
The whippet kelpie is extremely energetic. This makes them great companions for activities, but they also have strong prey drives, which may cause problems for families with other (smaller) pets.
They generally don’t like being left alone and are attached to their family with fierce loyalty. Like many other kelpie mixes, Whippet Kelpies are happiest when they have a purpose to fulfill.
Kelpie Mixes: FAQ
Still have questions about Kelpie mixes? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Here, we’ll answer some of your burning questions about keplies and kelpie mixes.
What are kelpies mixed with?
Kelpies were created by mixing border collies with smooth-coated collies. They were primarily created to carry out various tasks farmers needed help with.
What dog is similar to a kelpie?
Kelpies are most similar to Australian cattle dogs, Australian shepherds, and border collies. These dogs are known for their high energy, intelligence, and herding abilities. As long as they get enough activity and simulation, they can make great working dogs and family members.
Are kelpie crosses good dogs?
Kelpie cross breeds can be wonderful dogs. It depends largely on their individual personalities and whether their needs are met. Training, socialization, and regular exercise can significantly impact their willingness to cooperate and maintain harmony with the family.
What is a kelpie poodle cross called?
Kelpie-poodle cross breeds are known by many names, including KelpiePoos, Kelpie Doodles, or simply as a kelpie-poodle mix.
Do you have any of these kelpie mixes at home? Do you agree with the traits we mentioned? Are there any we should have included? Let us know in the comments!