The Canadian Kennel Club welcomes the Australian Kelpie, the Lagotto Romagnolo and the Portuguese Sheepdog.
Joining the Herding Group: the Australian Kelpie
If someone was described as “hardworking like a Kelpie” - that’s someone you want on your team. The Australian Kelpie is fast, smart, and has an inexhaustible energy level. This lightweight powerhouse’s beginnings can be traced back to Australia in the 1800s when two smooth collies imported from Scotland mated. Their puppies were bred with other imported sheepdogs in the area of New South Wales. A puppy from that litter named “Kelpie” wowed at the first Australian sheepdog trials in 1872. Her pups were known as “Kelpie puppies,” and thus the breed was born.
Kelpies continue to wow with their speed and intelligence. Stock farmers often say that one Kelpie can cover the jobs of several humans.
Bred for extremely hot weather and dusty conditions, the Kelpie is an action-packed dog ready to work at any moment and can move a variety of livestock. I’ve even seen Kelpies herd Canada geese! The brain and the body require so much stimulation that keeping an Australian Kelpie without having an outlet for his energy would be unfair to the dog, and your property, as a bored Kelpie will find its own job (and that might be chewing apart your furniture). Apart from herding, these dogs excel in sports like agility, flyball, and rally obedience.
Australian Kelpies are generally good with children and other animals.1 Their easy to maintain coat comes in black, black and tan, red, red and tan, fawn, chocolate or smoke-blue.
In one sentence: An extraordinary herder, the Australian Kelpie is built in both mind and body for hard work.
Joining the Sporting Group – The Lagotto Romagnolo
Lagotto Romagnolo. A fun name to say (La-got-tow Roman YOLO), a fun dog to know!
An ancient Italian water retriever turned truffle dog; the Lagotto loves to be in on the action. Lagotti Romagnoli (plural) have tons of gorgeous, woolly curls from head to paw and an adorable beard you just want to smooch. Those curls don’t shed, and many allergy sufferers can live happily with a Lagotto. Their coat requires some grooming to keep it looking great and comes in a variety of colours like solid off-white, white with brown or orange markings, brown roan, solid brown, and solid orange. They aren’t big dogs (17-18 inches at the shoulder and under 35 pounds) but are powerfully built and require daily exercise on top of mental stimulation.
The Lagotti I’ve met are all super affectionate, bouncy, happy dogs. Although all dogs are individuals, I find that most Lagotti are sweet and playful with children if they are socialized with children from a young age, and the children are taught to respect dogs. Lagotti do best in a home with a fenced yard where they can run safely, dig, and practice being fantastic watchdogs. When it comes to dog sports, there isn’t much a Lagotto can’t do with their keen intelligence, incredible nose, and athleticism. It’s not uncommon to see one dog excelling in several events.
In one sentence: The Lagotto Romagnolo is an intelligent, active dog that will light up your life if you provide them with lots of activity and affection.
Joining the Herding Group: the Portuguese Sheepdog
Known in their region of Portugal as the "monkey dog," the Portuguese Sheepdog is an extremely agile and quick herding breed known both for keeping livestock in a pasture as well as for being able to find stray herd members quickly.2 You will immediately notice the Portuguese Sheepdog's coat. It's long and has a goat-like texture.3 There's no undercoat, and it can either be long or a bit wavy. They come in a variety of colours, including yellow, chestnut, grey, fawn, and wolf grey.
Portuguese Sheepdog's stand between 18 and 22 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 26 and 40 pounds. They are very intelligent and active dogs requiring lots of mental and physical stimulation on daily. They are loving and very devoted to family and flock but can be wary of strangers. This wariness of strangers is important as out in the pasture, Portuguese Sheepdogs work as both herder and guardian at the same time.
The Portuguese Sheepdog does best in a home with an active family and a fenced yard. They are smart and quick, and there isn't a lot they can't do. From whizzing through an agility course to showing off natural herding instincts, the Portuguese Sheepdog will wow anyone watching.
In one sentence: Quick in both speed and mind, Portuguese Sheepdog's thrive in a home that will put both their body and mind to work regularly.
1 The Working Kelpie Council of Australia, http://www.wkc.org.au/About-Kelpies/The-Working-Kelpie-As-A-Pet.php#:~:text=A%20Working%20Kelpie%20makes%20a,working%20for%20their%20owner's%20approval
2 American Kennel Club, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/portuguese-sheepdog/
Ibid., American Kennel Club