When you are looking to adopt a new pup, an important stage of the adoption process is researching different dog breeds. Learning more about different dog breeds and what options are out there will help you make the right choice. Upon doing some research, you might have come across the Kelpie and the Kelpador.
The Australian Kelpie is a popular breed that has been exported around the globe. This medium-sized, Australian sheepdog has been used primarily to muster livestock, such as goats, sheep, and cattle. The breed is also considered a family dog and is a great companion due to its affectionate nature and intelligence.
Meanwhile, the Kelpador or Kelpie Cross Labrador is a cross breed. As the name suggests, it is a mix between the Australian Kelpie and the Labrador Retriever. Considering its parent breeds, the Kelpador is an affectionate, active, and smart dog. Learning more about the Kelpie cross Labrador breed through a comprehensive pet guide will let you know that the breed also makes an excellent addition to your family — but which one should you adopt?
To help you decide, here’s what you should know about both dog breeds:
Size and Appearance
On average, the Australian Kelpie weighs about 14-16 kg and can stand as tall as 43-51 cm. Hence, the breed is moderately sized and has a short, soft coat that comes in seven colors: chocolate, brown, black, fawn, red and tan, smokey blue, and black and tan. Meanwhile, the Kelpador is also a medium-sized breed with an average height of 46-58 cm.
In addition to being a bit taller, they are also heavier and usually weigh anywhere from 18-32 kg. As a cross breed, it can either take after its Kelpie or Labrador parent. Shades of chocolate and black are most common though, with some pups having specks of white or brown on their legs and white markings on their chest.
The average lifespan for Australian Kelpies is 12-15 years. However, some Kelpies are known to live an additional three years longer than expected due to factors like weight, health, environment, and similar. On the other hand, Kelpadors usually live for 10-12 years and may live an additional two years if they receive proper care and nutrition throughout their lifetime.
It’s important to note, however, that your pup’s life span is also determined by other factors, such as their diet and lifestyle. To ensure good health for your four-legged companion and to reduce the risk of certain diseases, it is always best to schedule regular visits to the veterinarian and to give your pup the tender loving care and attention it deserves as the years go by.
Australian Kelpies are versatile working dogs that are known for their intelligence and alertness. Kelpies are independent thinkers and can get into mischief if left to their own devices due to their high IQ. Hence, it’s important to keep your Kelpie pup entertained and mentally stimulated.
Similarly, the Kelpie Cross Labrador is an intelligent breed that takes after its Kelpie and Labrador Retriever parents — both of which are known to be intelligent dogs. Hence, Kelpador pups also require mental stimulation to prevent misbehavior that is usually caused by boredom.
Temperament and Personality
The Kelpie is an active breed with oodles of personality. Kelpie pups are known for their intelligence and versatility, as well as their independent thinking skills. Hence, they can be quite a mischievous breed without proper stimulation and training.
Due to its heritage, the Kelpador is an active and enthusiastic cross breed that loves to socialize and spend time outdoors. If properly socialized, Kelpadors can be even-tempered and friendly dogs. However, they can also grow up to be unruly and destructive without proper training and stimulation from a young age.
Kelpies have a short, soft coat that requires brushing once or twice a week to remove dead hair and minimize shedding. Some Kelpies have a double coat that will require more frequent brushing, especially during spring to keep shedding to a minimum. For active Kelpies, keep your puppy’s nails trimmed and bathe your pup when it gets dirty.
Likewise, the Kelpie Labrador cross breed will likely have short hair with an undercoat which requires minimal grooming. Although they will shed especially in spring, they don’t require major grooming to stay healthy. Brushing a few times a week is essential though, as well as clipping their nails and brushing their teeth.
Activity Level and Exercise Needs
Both breeds are active dogs that require tons of exercise to be happy and healthy. Regular exercise through long workouts or activities like walking or playing outdoors should be done daily. Kelpies also require mental stimulation, so some interactive toys or learning new tricks can also help develop obedience and prevent boredom.
Considering the Australian Kelpie’s history, it comes as no surprise that they respond well to training. This breed is always eager for a job to do, so providing some mental stimulation and physical exercise through training is an excellent way to keep your Kelpie pup happy and involved. Kelpies are fairly easy to train and are fully capable of performing several dog sports like agility training and lure coursing as well.
Contrastingly, the Kelpie Labrador cross breed is a smart dog but is also independent. This means, your Kelpador pup may prefer to do things on their own terms and get bored with repetition easily. So, if you’re new to dog training, you may want to consider a few training lessons for both of you to get a better understanding of how it works. Similar to other breeds, positive reinforcement goes a long way in getting good results.
Kelpies are active dogs that require a lot of exercise and open spaces to run around and burn some energy. This dog breed has an all-weather coat, which means they are perfectly content to live outdoors in your backyard with adequate shelter. As a result, apartment life is generally not recommended for this energetic breed.
Similarly, Kelpadors thrive in an environment with large, fenced backyards or open spaces to roam and play in. Hence, a home with a fairly-sized outdoor space is most suitable. So, if you live in an apartment, you may want to consider a different breed.
Kelpie and Kelpadors are warm, affectionate dogs that make great companions. They warm up to family members fairly quickly and have boundless energy. Hence, they also require constant attention and cannot be left alone for extended periods. Both breeds will require daily walks and exercise due to their endless stamina.
So, if you are considering adopting either breed, be sure to have a chat with your family members to discuss your availability and division of tasks. Taking care of a Kelpie or Kelpie Cross Labrador pup requires work and commitment, but in return, your new four-legged companion will reward you with affection, loyalty, and devotion to you and your family throughout its lifetime!
As mentioned, Kelpies are affectionate and loving dogs that make great companions. However, they cannot be left alone for long periods, as they can suffer from separation anxiety and may display destructive behaviors when left alone.
On a similar note, Kelpadors may take after their Kelpie parent and experience separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods. If you are away from home for most of the day, it is best to have a family member who can stay at home and keep your furry companion company. If you plan on traveling somewhere, it is advisable to find dog boarding services or to hire a reliable pet sitter to make sure your pup is comfortable and cared for.
The Kelpie is a generally healthy breed with some potential health conditions that can be a concern. This includes progressive retinal atrophy, cerebellar abiotrophy, and hip dysplasia. With proper care and attention, however, your Kelpie pup can live a long and healthy life with minimal risks for disease.
The Kelpie Cross Labrador breed’s health can vary depending on their parents. While some pet owners report having a robust pup with no serious health issues, some claim several health concerns. Common diseases in Kelpadors include hip dysplasia, eye diseases, and progressive retinal atrophy. Hence, be sure to do more research when looking for a responsible breeder.
All in all, Kelpies and Kelpadors are friendly, affectionate, and robust dog breeds that make excellent companions. They are both active dogs that love spending time with their human companions and require constant care and attention to encourage good behaviors. Although both breeds share similar health risks, they can live long, healthy, and happy lives with your family with the right level of care and attention.
With the numerous similarities these two dog breeds share, it ultimately boils down to your personal preferences, as well as the availability of the breed in your area. So, which of these two breeds do you prefer more? Let us know by leaving a reply in the comment section below!