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Old 04-18-2012, 01:54 PM
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Default Kelpie vs Koolie vs BC vs English Shepherd??

I was aware of Kelpies and Border Collies before I joined this forum. Now I'm intrigued by Koolies and English Shepherds and would love to hear more information about them. I am not adding one anytime soon I am just really curious and would like to hear the similarities and differences.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:37 PM
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Linds will be able to answer better than I can but I put the koolie temperament somewhere between Border Collies and Kelpies. Border Collies are very intense, have insane focus but with that can come some crazy issues that I'm not a huge fan of. They also herd with their eyes and have that famous border collie crouch. They are also very dependent and responsive to their handlers. Kelpies are independent because they were bred to gather stock out of sight of the handler, they also tend to be pushier than border collies and they do not herd with their eyes. They are more likely to nip stock and are used a lot on cattle. Koolies are somewhere in between, not as dependent on handlers as border collies but not nearly as independent as kelpies. That is what I want in agility, I want a dog to be responsive to me but without the obsessiveness of a border collie. I was looking at kelpies for a while but the independent tendencies made me look elsewhere. The way I see it, a good koolie should be the best of both worlds without the extremes. We'll see what I say after I get my girl
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:04 PM
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Actually all the kelpies I have seen work are strong eyed dogs, much like a typical border collie. The USBCHA trials I've gone to have had kelpies run and they all do the crouch, stare, and stalking that BCs are so famous for. I get the feel (could be totally wrong) that English shepherds are very loose eyed and that koolies don't use as much eye as kelpies.

To make it even more confusing, check out Welsh sheepdogs. There's a few of them around here and they are pretty well settled between the BC and ES temperaments. They're loose eyed dogs though.

For the record, I have never been around kelpies outside of watching them at stockdog trials.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:08 PM
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Too bad nobody around here has any Koolies and even if they did, they probably wouldnt' have loads of crazy stories with pictures as proof anyway.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:29 PM
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Well this forum has umpteen million border collies, soon-to-be three Koolies plus an honorary one (owned by family members of members), an English Shepherd and some honorary ones...

Where the heck are our Kelpies? We clearly have a Kelpie shortage...



Oh and for what it's worth, I wouldn't necessarily even put English Shepherds in the same group with Koolies, Kelpies, and BCs. The later seem to be herding specialists on the working side of things, whereas English Shepherds seem to be meant more as all-in-one, jack-of-all-trades generalists. Herding generalists (drive or gather, loose eyed heeler), some livestock guardian tendencies, some gun dog and treeing work...basically a bit of all the sorts of work one might expect to find on a small working farm.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:58 PM
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Aren't kelpies similiar to but less, erm, assholish as cattle dogs?
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:07 PM
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I agree, we need more Kelpie around here.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Aren't kelpies similiar to but less, erm, assholish as cattle dogs?
I have to say they seem to work a lot more like a border collie than an ACD from what I've seen (which is not all that much). The kelpies at the trials I went to did work a little bit more aggressively than the BCs in my newbie eyes. They would go in for a heel or a nip more often, but they relied primarily on eye. I can't think of another breed other than BCs and kelpies that are really typically strong eyed. I'm assuming that's why USBCHA trials (that I've been to) are mostly border collie with a few kelpies thrown in. You never see any other breeds running them.

I do agree that English shepherds in my mind belong more with Aussies and other 'all purpose' kinds of herding dogs.

I really wish Welshies were more common over here. I'm not sure how they compare to living with a BC or if they're too similar but the ones I know of are running low 4's and 3.9's in flyball. They're really neat dogs.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Oh and for what it's worth, I wouldn't necessarily even put English Shepherds in the same group with Koolies, Kelpies, and BCs. The later seem to be herding specialists on the working side of things, whereas English Shepherds seem to be meant more as all-in-one, jack-of-all-trades generalists. Herding generalists (drive or gather, loose eyed heeler), some livestock guardian tendencies, some gun dog and treeing work...basically a bit of all the sorts of work one might expect to find on a small working farm.
This was going to be my input.

For example, I would be crazy enough to own an Australian Shepherd or an English Shepherd...I think a working bred Border Collie, Kelpie, or Koolie would be a little bit too much for me. LOL
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:19 PM
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I've been fortunate to see examples of all work, and here is what I noted:

Koolies: Independent, nutty personality, typically smooth coat, high incidence of double merle/merle. They are loose and upright workers, and heel more than head. I've also watched two Coolies at a Flyball tourney and was not particularly impressed by their personalities. They have a lot of engine but lacked the power.

English Shepherds: These are all-around, farm dogs very popular in the Midwest where I grew up. I don't consider them anywhere close to these other two breeds - in fact, I put their personality closer to a Golden Retriever. The dogs I knew moved ducks but I don't think they would know what to do in a cattle situation. They are physically striking and my favorite of the three breeds here.

Kelpie: These dogs are closest to the Border Collie and really hold their own against them. The ones I saw were extremely comparable to an ACD and had a very tough, no-nonsense temperament and were not exactly receptive to strangers. They had a lot of energy but focused well on the trial field and seemed to be well. I definitely see why they excel at working cattle - they are "hard" dogs.
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