The Australian Kelpie is very easy to groom. In fact you can get by with an infrequent combing and brushing. Bathe only when necessary as otherwise it will remove the natural oils in the weather-resistant coat and dry out the skin. This breed is an average shedder.
Since this is an outdoor working dog, and is usually around livestock, you will want to make certain you check them for injuries incurred while working. Cuts, scrapes, bruises and things of that nature. Check for barbed wire cuts or glass and small rocks embedded in their paws. Since they work with livestock, check their teeth on a regular basis for any loose, cracked, chipped or missing teeth due to injury.
Also make certain to check for any wild life that likes to make its home in the fur of passing dogs – whether this is ticks, fleas or other burrowing animals. Even though these dogs are always on the run, pay attention to the length of the toenails.
The Australian Kelpie is a working dog that demands a great deal of exercise, preferably with some kind of job to do. Their energy levels are extremely high!! They are workaholics and will run until they drop!! It is a bit of an understatement to say these dogs actually do best with an athlete’s training schedule – daily exercise, and lots of it and intense. These are busy minded and busy bodied dogs with extreme intelligence. If left idle they can become bored and very destructive.
As an additional part of the Kelpie’s exercise routine, make sure to stimulate the mind. These dogs excel at problem solving and thrive on being able to do things.
Due to their intelligence, the Kelpie is easy to train, however they tend to use their own initiative. Meaning, they would be less compliant than some other breeds. To have a well trained Kelpie there needs to be a good relationship with their owner and they need to respect that owner.
These dogs think and their ability to solve complex problems is phenomenal. The working Kelpie mostly uses his own initiative and works well in unsupervised conditions. The Kelpie may not wait for a command to act but tries to anticipate what is needed – and usually succeeds in getting it right.
Keep things interesting while you are training. This breed learns fast but can be easily bored. Firm but fair training methods are best. You, not your Kelpie are the Alpha dog – the pack leader. In your home, you are the dog’s pack and if you don’t set yourself up to be the Alpha dog (leader) your dog will take the role over himself. Anyone can be a pack leader. It is done without being big and mean and scary. It is an attitude, an air of authority. That is what you build upon for mutual respect and communication. First though, your dog must learn you have the power to handle him, and that handling will not lead to any harm. Your dog must come to trust you completely.