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A short-coat tri-merle Koolie
A short-coat tri-merle Koolie
Alternative names
Australian Koolie
German Koolie
German Coolie/Collie
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct
Koolies registered with the Koolie club of Australia are accepted to the Canine Control Sporting registers in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The Koolie is an Australian dog breed; specifically, it is a herding dog or working dog. Koolies have existed in Australia since the early 18th Century.


Blue Merle short coat Blue Merle short coat

The Koolie is a medium-sized dog of varying coat type, and color though they are generaly recognised with a merled coat pattern. Koolies are typically slightly longer than tall and resemble a cross between a Border Collie, Kelpie and an Australian Cattle Dog, dogs with whom they share Collie bloodline ancestry.

Like the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, the Koolie Club of Australia defines the breed based on its ability to work rather than on its conformation. Unlike the JRT Club of America, most Koolie breeders refer to this dog as a breed rather than as a type, and assert that it "breeds true".


The Koolie is believed to be descended from the same Collie types that were brought to Australia for the kennels of Thomas S. Hall (an originator of the Australian Cattle Dog breed); some believe that they could be direct descendents of Hall's dogs. This, if true, would make the Koolie the oldest of Australia's breeds.

Red Merle short coat Red Merle short coat

The dog was originally referred to as a German Coolie or Collie or simply Coolie. To avoid unpleasant connotations and also so that the breed's Australian origins are not confused, the Koolie Club of Australia officially changed the breed name to Australian Koolie most enthusiasts use the current spelling, or just Koolie although the variants are also seen.

The Koolie is currently not recognized by any of the major kennel clubs, although judges from the ANKC may judge Koolies. In the states of Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, Koolies may compete in canine council-sponsored working, Obedience, tracking, Jumping and dog agility events by registration on their Sates Sporting Registers. In 2000, the Koolie Club of Australia was formed to preserve, protect and ethically promote the Koolie breed. Opinion is divided as to whether official recognition would be good for the breed. As of (2006), no bench standard exists and none is expected in the near future.


Herding technique

Koolies are much sought after in rural Australia and interest is now being shown in America and Germany. According to Geoff Broughton, the current president of the Koolie Club of Australia, the Koolie will head (move to the front or head of the stock to push them back towards you), heel, drive (push the stock from behind), cast (move out and around the stock), and back, literally jump onto the backs of their charges, to herd them if necessary. Koolies have a reputation for being an upright worker with a good eye, who can easily shift their focus from holding the group to casting around a flock or gathering breakaways. They are not known for having sticky eyes (stuck on the sheep that's in front only). Unlike other working breeds which are noted for their crouched form or style and preference for either yard or field work, Koolies are just as much at ease working in close as in yards or trucks or out in paddocks and droving. As well as working anything from ducks to bulls, like all dogs of their kind, they will herd family members and children in the absence of other charges.

External links

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