'They only have two modes.' 9 things all Kelpie owners know to be true.


They're fiercely loyal with an inexhaustible amount of energy and those adorable ears that stick straight up, alert and ready for action. Everyone loves them, but to own one is a whole other ball game. 

My partner and I recently adopted a four-month-old Kelpie cross. She’s adorable, full of energy and has made our lives chaotic but full of love. In that time we’ve learnt a lot about what owning a Kelpie means, and to all the fellow Kelpie parents out there, I feel your joy but also your pain. 

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There's a lot I feel like I wasn't... warned about. So now, with a few months under my belt, here's a list of nine things Kelpie all owners know to be true. 

1. You now wake up at 6am every day to go for a walk. Non-negotiable.

Lucky I’m a morning person… because early morning exercise is just part of your life now. 

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2. They will always be the one who rounds up the other small dogs at the park. 

Kelpies have a natural instinct to herd, and if you don’t live on a farm, they will find anything else they can to practice - you don’t need to teach them anything, somehow they just KNOW. 

At the dog park, there’s often about 20 cavoodles/small fluffy teddy bear dogs, and you bet that your Kelpie will be there running circles around them trying to get them all in line. 

3. If you live in the city, everyone will walk past and ask you, "Oh, is that a KELPIE? You poor thing, they must need so much exercise".

I don’t know if it’s because they’re not a common city dog, or if they’re just so cute people have to comment, but I guarantee you won’t be able to go for a walk without one person stopping, smiling and saying, "Oh wow, how much exercise do you need to do for your dog?"

"Oh I feel sorry for you that must be so much work!" 

YES IT IS THANKS but any Kelpie owner knows they aren’t getting a lap dog… please take your fluffy teddy bear home and leave us to our exercise. 

4. They do not like walking on the lead… 

It’s a daily struggle. Leads and Kelpies do not mix. They want to RUN not to walk slowly beside their human at a snail's pace. There’s so much to explore and the darn lead really gets in the way. 

You will spend a good part of the first two years teaching your Kelpie not to pull on the lead… but it’s worth it in the end (I hope?… we’re seven months in). 

5. They only have two modes - hyperactive, and dead to the world sleeping. There is no in-between.

They go from having an inexhaustible amount of energy to passing out fast asleep. But there is no in-between. No chilled relaxing and gentle playing with a toy, or ‘hanging out’ when you have people over. It’s either full blooded running around or sleep. It’s like a weird switch they have.


6. You cannot go for a run with them.  

Try as you might, if you go running with a Kelpie, it will inevitably end up with the dog running around in front of you, trying to round you up in an excited craze. Humans and sheep look kind of the same… right?

Of course, I’m sure they can be trained not to do this, but in my experience you don’t get very far. 

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7. All the toys you buy will be destroyed.

Soft toys, balls, ropes, chew toys… they will ALL be destroyed. Kelpies love to play and if you leave them with any toy for long enough, they will likely chew/throw it around so much it breaks. 

8. They love chasing birds… and anything that moves.

Swallows, mosquitos, insects, balls… leaves in the wind. You name it, if it moves, your Kelpie will want to chase it. 

9. You will have dog hair all over your house.

Initially, I didn’t think I was getting a ‘hairy’ dog… not like a Golden Retriever. WELL let me tell you. I was wrong. Get ready for your whole house to be covered in brown or black hair. Goodbye clean house. 

In the end though, I promise Kelpie's are worth every extra moment of vacuuming.

Do you own a Kelpie? Let us know your experience in the comments below. 

Feature Image: Supplied.