Characteristically, Australian kelpie dogs are highly intelligent, energetic, athletic and strong-willed. They tirelessly attend to whatever tasks they undertake. Kelpies are exceptional watchdogs and make suitable seeing-eye dogs. Properly socialized, this breed enjoys children and is very protective. However, these dogs require vigorous physical exercise, strong leadership and mental challenges.
Australian kelpies have well-muscled, compact bodies that are slightly longer than tall. With a lifespan from 10 to 14 years, these dogs are prone to a degenerative retinal disease that leads to partial or complete blindness. The Australian kelpie breed originated in Britain, and many still work on Australian farms and ranches herding sheep and livestock.