I’m running a bit late this month, new puppies and a few other dramas have taken my mind off the website! I am getting a lot of enquiry for pups as pets, and thought it might be a good idea to publish a letter I emailed to one of these people recently

I do sell a few pups as pets, but prefer them to go to working homes so I can assess their quality of stock work. My purpose in breeding is to provide very useful dogs as helpers to farmers and graziers; if too many pups are sold for other reasons it’s impossible to assess matings.
Kelpies need heaps of exercise as youngsters and get up to all sorts of things to entertain themselves if not kept challenged.
If the client does marathon running, cycling, long distance horse rides, lives near a beach, is a keen walker…etc…I say Yes!
But seriously, many young kelpies finish up in trouble and I heard recently they’re the most common breed in pounds in Oz.
This is because so many people don’t know what they’re really getting when they commit to a Kelpie pup, so you’re very wise asking around a bit.
It is probably better to wait until you’ve moved and get a suitable yard and kennel set up for any pup you decide on. They get run over very easily, and it’s like taking on a toddler again for the first couple of years. When left unsupervised they should be put in a safe pup yard with shelter, water, toys/bones/chews. A small raised kennel and run is ideal, it discourages fleas and snakes.
The other problem with Kelpies (especially) is discipline. Unless there’s a firm line of command/pecking order/pack structure the pup will try to dominate the family. It’s often hard with youngsters to get them to remember this, and they can stir the pup up and all training goes out the window! Training must be consistent and understood by all the family.
On the other hand, they’re intelligent, loving pets but I suggest they need a firmer commitment than most dogs or they can finish up a liability. I had better point out that there are two quite different types of Kelpie, the Australian Working Kelpie and the Australian Kelpie (or ‘bench’ dog). They had a common beginning many years ago, but as so often happens with dogs bred mainly for showing they have diverged in so many ways that they are two seperate breeds these days. As can be imagined, the working instinct decreases when dogs are bred mainly for looks.A couple of walks a day won’t tire out a  working kelpie, they’re bred to work long hours and will often finish up racing up and down a garden fence after cars…until they’re big enough to jump the fence.
Some are a lot calmer than others, but  I have sold a pup that seemed suitable for a pet home and when the work instinct kicked in at 5-6 mths the people wanted rid of it!
All the best, Jan

Back to May news! Gemma’s litter of seven is doing well, almost weaned and eating their mince really well. Very bright, friendly little pups with lots of character.

The Wilson x Cara litter have done beautifully during their first 6 or 7 weeks with Marina… being spoiled rotten! Little Ace, Lily’s last single, is keeping Carly(the only bitch pup in Cara’s litter) company for a few weeks so Marina didn’t have to have a traumatic weaning from puppies!

Never a dull moment with Brandy, as many of you would know by now. She went about 5 days over her due date when she should have whelped to Cash, and as she was only mated once I thought I’d better get her checked out on day 4. I’ve seldom had a bitch go more than 2 days over without trouble, but of course it’s quite possible if she’s mated prior to ovulation. Many older experienced dogs seem to wait until about the right time, but Cash being the smart boy he is realised she was only there for a short visit! The end result was great, FIVE bitch pups! The first all girl litter ever here. If they survive Brandy’s TLC it will be a bit surprising, though. She’s back to her old tricks of trying to hide them so she can pretend she doesn’t have to feed them, I think! She covers them with bedding and goes away from them…at least they stay warm, I suppose, but I keep hearing pups yelling out which is very nerve wracking. 

Old Karmala Win(Riana GlidexKarra.Gift IV) has four pups to Karmala Clyde, 2 creams and 2 black/tans, only 1 cream bitch.

It’s very dry and starting to frost a bit, very warm for May though, like much of the country. Looks like a lot of hay will be fed before feed grows again; I have  paddock shut up for winter, but it won’t last too long.

More young dogs here than usual as I’m keeping some Wilson and Chopper youngsters, so there’s never a dull moment…and little Rev(K.HarveyxK.Remy) is an escape artist like G’ma Brandy, funny how these unwanted traits breed on. Wilson has been snuffling as though he could have a growth and I’ve been treating him with herbs under Marina’s direction. He looks well and hasn’t got any worse, so fingers Xd. I mated Mocha and Vonny to him just in case he isn’t around next time they come on, but both were a bit young and silly, not sure he caught up with them!

On a sad note to finish, Lynnton Martin rang recently and said he’d lost his good dog Hank. It’s a shame that those good old dogs don’t last longer but it’s a hard life for them, especially in the hotter areas. Hank had a tumour. I always enjoy having a yarn with Lynnton. 

I should have mentioned before now that Riana Glide, David Hart’s good old dog, also died last month. He’s left a wonderful legacy, and his name will live on in pedigrees for a long time. He certainly left his mark here at Karmala.