Definition of a Kelpie


Ideally should be of athletic build, however if a companion dog only, may be slightly heavier. The dog must look as though it is able to run well.

May be a variety of heights. Some are quite tall dogs and others more compact.


Varies from very short to medium length hair. Not shaggy.


Kelpies come in these colours: Black and tan; red and tan; blue (grey) and tan; fawn and tan.  The tan markings are on the face, legs, underbelly and under the tail. Some black and tans may have quite a dark face ie: not a lot of tan. They can also have slightly brindle markings on the tan on legs. There may be a fawn coloured undercoat amongst hairs around neck.

Saddle-back kelpies come in black and tan, red and tan and fawn and tan. These have considerably more tan on face, legs and underbelly. They may have a total face mask of tan.

Plain coloured kelpies can be black; red; blue (grey) and cream or tan.

The absence of white is indicative of the Kelpie breed, however some white on chest and toes is permissible.

White paws, legs, broad white chest, white collar and tip of tail generally define kelpies cross-bred with Border Collies.

The blue merle markings (white with dark spots in it) in dogs with a kelpie build, are commonly indicative of either a Border Collie cross, Koolie cross, or a Cattle dog cross.


Should be balanced in size to the proportion to the body.


Ideally both ears should be erect, but can be heavier with tips or more, of one or both, down. Large heavy ears, lying flat against the head are not typical of kelpies.


A variety of lengths, but ideally should be carried low.


A variety of colours, usually matching the coat. On blue and tans and blues quite often, yellow eyes.