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Posts Tagged ‘Australian kelpie’

Kelpie song:

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The kelpie is the Australian sheep-herding dog. It is definitely descended from collie stock, but it may also have dingo in its ancestry.

The kelpie is the Australian sheep-herding dog. It is definitely descended from collie stock, but it may also have dingo in its ancestry.

I found an interesting page on Australian kelpies, and some good documentation of their dingo ancestry.

It’s well known that the Australian cattle dog (Queensland heeler, red heeler, or blue heeler) is a mixture of collie, dingo, Dalmatian, and bull terrier. However, the dingo ancestry of the kelpie is always denied, mainly because it’s a sheep dog and dingoes eat sheep. To say that the sheep killer is in your good working dogs is to give the dingoes a little break. And to say anything good about dingoes in the very rural parts of Australia is bit like saying anything good about coyotes in  virtually any rural part of North America. Also, many Australian states did not allow dingo ownership, so the people who were interbreeding dingoes into their dogs probably did deny any such crossing.

I don’t know if this website is true, but I find it a bit convincing. The kelpie does have dingoish features, and black and tan dingoes are not unknown, although it is usually said that the black and tan coloration comes from interbreeding with domestic dogs.

Depending upon your perspective, the dingo is either an Australian wolf, a feral dog, or a primitive breed of dog. I take that all three are accurate. It is the “wolf” of Australia, and it is derived from an Asian animal that was somewhere between wolf and dog. It was kept as a dog in Asia, but when it arrived in Australia, it soon moved into a semi-domesticated position. The thousands of years of benign neglect on that continent gave the dingo a chance to become fully wolf.

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