I get to do a twofer; featuring the theme of the week and highlighting my angel doggie, Kia, who is most likely a blend of two fine Aussie herding dogs, the Kelpie and the Cattle Dog. As far as I can tell, the only Australian breeds are herding dogs. Both Kelpies and Cattle Dogs are medium sized dogs, coming to about the knee, and generally weighing under 50 lbs. Kia is 47 lbs at this point, down from 70 lbs when she was surrendered to the rescue group.

Kia at the cottage this summer;

There are two kinds of Kelpies; show Kelpies, which are solid colour, and working Kelpies, which are bi-colour, either black and tan, like Kia, or red and tan.

Contrast the show guys with the working Kelpies from Cubbaroo Working Kelpies


Kelpies (and Cattle Dogs)are crossed with several English collies, and there may be dingo in the mix. Both breeds date from the mid-late ninetenth century.

Kelpies have an unusual technique when herding sheep; it’s called “sheep backing”, and they actually run across the backs of the sheep in enclosures.

And my favourite video of Kelpies; 13 from Pilbara ranch, out for a run. Watch for when the owner, Aticia Grey gives them the release command, and they fly;

Cattle Dogs are either Blue Heelers, blue merle colouring (grey, white and black spots), or Red Heelers (orange and white spots). The “heeler” part of the name comes from the nipping at the cattle hooves. They are a slightly more robust build than the Kelpie.


A rather vintage video about Cattle Dogs;

Both breeds are SMART; Kia is hands down the smartest dog I’ve ever had. I talk to her in full sentences, and I always assume that she understands.