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Beardies and Kelpies


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One more question for neil b: is yours a straight first cross kelpie x greyhound or is it kelpie/greyhound x kelpie/greyhound?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm surprised by the colour. As I'm sure Jigsaw, OldPhil, etc will testify, for some reason most kelpie and heeler first crosses seem to be either brindle or an unusual reddish colour. Or at least most of the ones I've seen.

I'm not great at colour genetics but I'm sure I remember a whippet breeder once telling me that what we think of as being "red" is different (genetically) in some breeds. I'm sure I read somewhere that the red (or chocolate) in kelpies is a weakened version of black which is different to the red you get in something like a labrador or cocker. Does that make sense? I suppose that's why every litter of kelpie x labs I've seen are all black (even if the lab is yellow and the kelpie is red and tan).

Anyway, none of this matters one jot when it comes to working them, it's just that I'm curious and wondered why yours looks so good.👍😆

Edited by Neal
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Here we go. If this works there'll be two of her marking rabbits and one side view for a better idea of her build. She's difficult to photograph as she's one of those dogs which comes straight over as

that’s my half bred pup just under 12 months old 

The way I look at things,...the game has changed dramatically, these last few years, and will obviously change, even more so.. bearing in mind that I am an antique, and ancient in the extreme,...I can

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2 gen half x so kelpie x greyhound back to kelpie x greyhound, there was a mix of colours in the litter chocolate, blacks, sable, the sire is the same colour as mine the dam is black 

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2 hours ago, neil b said:

2 gen half x so kelpie x greyhound back to kelpie x greyhound, there was a mix of colours in the litter chocolate, blacks, sable, the sire is the same colour as mine the dam is black 

If she keep’s excelling at her job do you plan on breeding with her?

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19 minutes ago, MagyarAgar said:

If she keep’s excelling at her job do you plan on breeding with her?

Absolutely, 3 of us kept bitches back so at some stage in the future some sort of breeding plan will be put into action 

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4 hours ago, Neal said:

One more question for neil b: is yours a straight first cross kelpie x greyhound or is it kelpie/greyhound x kelpie/greyhound?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm surprised by the colour. As I'm sure Jigsaw, OldPhil, etc will testify, for some reason most kelpie and heeler first crosses seem to be either brindle or an unusual reddish colour. Or at least most of the ones I've seen.

I'm not great at colour genetics but I'm sure I remember a whippet breeder once telling me that what we think of as being "red" is different (genetically) in some breeds. I'm sure I read somewhere that the red (or chocolate) in kelpies is a weakened version of black which is different to the red you get in something like a labrador or cocker. Does that make sense? I suppose that's why every litter of kelpie x labs I've seen are all black (even if the lab is yellow and the kelpie is red and tan).

Anyway, none of this matters one jot when it comes to working them, it's just that I'm curious and wondered why yours looks so good.👍😆

I think chocolate is recessive so needs both parents to show it or have the chocolate gene hidden

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2 hours ago, mush said:

I think chocolate is recessive so needs both parents to show it or have the chocolate gene hidden

Thanks, that makes sense.👍 It could also explain why so many kelpie studs in Australia only have black and tans now. 

As I said, I've always been firmly of the opinion that a good dog is never a bad colour, it's just that the nerdy part of my brain (always wanting to know more about something I don't know about...must be the teacher in me) finds the subject fascinating. 

Coincidentally, I'm currently reading Walsh and Lowe's Whippet book (which I bought a first edition of in a charity shop for £1.50 last year!) and the last part I read was the section on colour breeding and recessive genes.

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8 hours ago, neil b said:

Absolutely, 3 of us kept bitches back so at some stage in the future some sort of breeding plan will be put into action 

Keep us posted! Will be interesting to see which direction you choose to go.

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9 hours ago, MagyarAgar said:

Keep us posted! Will be interesting to see which direction you choose to go.

Only once these pups have been well tested over a good few seasons will a further breeding plan be put into action, 

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In addition to the spring-file full of old Shooting News articles, I found some old notebooks and I was perusing one this morning looking for something. I didn't find what I was looking for but I did find some notes I'd made from an old kelpie book by Mike Donelan (that's not the bloke from the Monkees!😁)

Thought some of you might find these bits interesting:

"My advice to the discipline fanatic has always been - go and buy something else, but don't buy a kelpie."

"I have seen some kelpies over obedience trained that could not work sheep well at all. They were 'push-button' dogs at a young age. They thought obedience was their sole function because their breeders put so much emphasis on it. To such dogs working is just a side line."

"Kelpies will not generally tolerate the discipline that Border collies will. A kelpie is not a push-button dog but more of a do-it-yourself kit. With experience a good one will learn to solve a lot of problems his or her way; too much discipline and they will lose their resourcefulness." 

"Kelpies are one man dogs: kelpies get to be 'mates' and mates do things for 'mates' they won't do for others, it's that simple."

 

I hope I'm not in breach of copyright for typing those out.🤐 

 

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🤔 Hi Neal,.. yes, I read Mike's Kelpie book a long time back....

During the 1980's, I actually encouraged a rabbiting mate to embark on a quest for Kelpie info, during his hunting trip to Oz ..

Back then,.. there was no books or Internet, and we had scant info available, other than from relatives in Australia and New Zealand,.so any news was precious...

Suffice to say, when my pal was out in the Bush, hunting the pigs and sundry critters,.. his mood suddenly changed, and his thoughts turned away from my Kelpie project, and instead he returned home, having purchased a fecking Blue Heeler  pup instead❗

Consequently,..my own Kelpie plans stopped abruptly, and of course,...lurcher wise, I also went in another direction...

Yes,.. Mike's words sound great ,...and only a fool would disagree with this extremely knowledgeable stockman, however, I  would say,..  we should always remember, that we live in the UK ,.not on an outback sheep station....Different strokes....

If you are a hunting man, with a penchant for including pastoral types, within your lurcher breeding projects, the aim is to use the incredible traits of tractability that such canines posses.

 For, if we do not consciously harness, or actually need that amazing sagacity,....then,. what is the point🤔 Herding dogs frequently bring, good feet and wrists to the table, and the sensible ones are easily schooled, but if all a guy wants, is to slip and be damned, then there are better choices.

Personally, I like a working style cur to have the capacity to think for himself, and to work stuff out, more so, when ranging out of sight,.. but, the bottom line is,...when asked to do something, be it 'get on',  or get in',...I expect an instant response.

Feck all this, "chill out man .. I'm a Kelpie,...I don't take orders" malarkey..

I've been around Kelpie hybrids in the field, and they are more than capable of following commands in just the same way as the average Collie Lurcher...

No different....👍 

Lets not make them out to be, free thinking hippies, and half feral jukes, that walk their own path to Nirvana,..... Feck  that ..😀

As with most things , the end result is often down to the training methods employed, and the experience of the handler....

Good discussion lads,...lets keep it up..🙏

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Wise words OldPhil. I've found my experience of them to be half and half. 

My lurcher Moss (who was only 1/4 kelpie ameliorated with border collie and greyhound) was just as biddable as previous collie crosses. However, as others on here have said, he was definitely 'different.' I wouldn't go so far as to say he was cleverer, but he certainly seemed more worldly wise at a younger age.

Then, when I got Rusty, I assumed (from what I'd read in breed books about kelpies) that he'd be like a collie but tougher in the heat. I found him to be extremely willing to please but he seemed to be less 'intelligent' than the lurcher. I came to realize that the difference was that Moss learnt things for his benefit whereas Rusty learnt them for mine. If he got something wrong he'd stare at me intently and it was as though he was saying, 'OK, we've got this wrong somewhere, let's try again, maybe if you explain it differently.' He taught me far more about dog training than any dog before or since.

Actually, his attitude has reminded me of another quote from the same notebook but this one's from James Joyce: "errors are the portals of discovery." I'd written it down as it fitted my own teaching philosophy as there's research to suggest that we learn 'better' when we fail first...that'll be why I'm so clever.🤪

Back to Rusty, I gradually discovered that if I taught him like my previous dogs, he'd get it but I could see him losing his individuality. This is when I decided to take more of a step back with training and let them take it at their own pace and to do things their way.

One experience, which I think I've repeated on here a few times, is from the lady who bred both Noggin and Maud. Her first kelpie was Rusty's uncle and was bred from two of the original kelpies to come to the UK. She told me how she was training him in the same way as she'd done with her previous collies. One day, while using the usual "come bye/away" type commands he simply stopped working and she couldn't get him to do anything. It wasn't until she stopped shouting at him and went to walk off that he got up again, rounded up the sheep she wanted and put them where she'd wanted them without any further instructions. She said she's since realized that if you keep giving a kelpie an instruction when it's already doing the right thing (as you'd often do with other breeds to confirm with them that what they're doing is right) it starts to assume the opposite. They think 'oh, I thought I WAS going clockwise, is that not right then? I'll do somethings else. What? Oh that's wrong too. I'm getting confused here. I thought you DID want them over there.'

So, to sum up, I'd say I probably could get my kelpies to be as exact as my old collie x whippet (probably my best 'trained' dog ever) but they wouldn't seem the same and they'd lose their 'something else.'

Edited to add: I forgot to say...ooh! New book. Will it be ready for Christmas?👍

Edited by Neal
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On 21/05/2022 at 16:34, Neal said:

Thanks, that makes sense.👍 It could also explain why so many kelpie studs in Australia only have black and tans now. 

As I said, I've always been firmly of the opinion that a good dog is never a bad colour, it's just that the nerdy part of my brain (always wanting to know more about something I don't know about...must be the teacher in me) finds the subject fascinating. 

Coincidentally, I'm currently reading Walsh and Lowe's Whippet book (which I bought a first edition of in a charity shop for £1.50 last year!) and the last part I read was the section on colour breeding and recessive genes.

WWW.KELPIEGALLERY.SE

Kelpiegallery - a photo gallery of pure breed Australian Kelpie.

 

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Thanks Sandymere. I think I've read that page before...you can see why I find it so confusing.🤪 It's a good job we use working dogs so colour is of less importance but, as I said, it's a fascinating subject.👍

If this was Countdown, mine have been "Two from the top left, one from the top right and three from the bottom left."

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