Australian kelpie, breed of medium-sized sheepherding dog originating in Australia c.1870. It stands from 17 to 20 in. (43.2–50.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 25 to 30 lb (11.3–13.6 kg). Its short, dense, straight coat is harshly textured and may be any of a variety of colors, e.g., black, black and tan, red, red and tan, fawn, chocolate, or smoke blue. It has generally been accepted that the border collie and probably the dingo were ancestors of the kelpie. Trained to respond both to hand signal and whistle, this rugged sheep dog is equally adept in pens or on the open plain and has proven indispensable to the Australian herder. The kelpie is exhibited in the miscellaneous class at dog shows sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.