Border Collie X Kelpie

It’s the best of both worlds with this x breed – The ultimate Australian working sheepdog AND/OR family pet!

When it comes to the breeds Australian’s love the most, the Kelpie and Border Collie are right up there at the top. It comes as no surprise these two super-active intelligent breeds make an excellent cross.

Within this breed profile we’ll assess the Border Collie X Kelpie as a suitable family pet or working dog, and take a look at the real cost of owning such a dog.

As a pet food review website I’ll refer you to commercial dog food products I consider suitable for such an active breed (and warn you of those which aren’t), and offer tips on Border Collie X Kelpie ownership.

A little history

Both the Border Collie and Kelpie have a long history, the former originating from the English and Scottish border (hence the “Border”), and the Kelpie also hails from Scotland.

Both breeds are classified as sheepdogs or herding dogs, originally brought to Australia in the early 19th century to work on farms in the sheep and wool industry. Border Collies were the original choice, but Kelpies later became a favourite due to their better ability to cope with harsh Australian conditions.

It was inevitable Border Collies would be mixed with Kelpies, and most are found as working dogs. It’s not overly common to find Border Collie Kelpie mixes for sale due to the preference in urban areas towards one or the other, but they can and do crop up, and they definitely make great family pets.

Is a Border Collie X Kelpie the right breed for me and my family?

Both Border Collies and Australian Kelpies are members of thousands of Australian families. Yes, they’re working dogs by nature, but as a loving and intelligent breed they make excellent family pets. This is the same for both Border Collies and Australian Kelpies.

Most Border Collie X Kelpies are loving, loyal, and tolerant of children if handled correctly. As a breed they are highly recommended if you want the best of both worlds, especially if you can’t decide between the two!

What is the right Border Collie X Kelpie diet?

Sadly many working dogs are fed a feed diet from one of the big Australian milling companies who sell what is effectively their grain waste as working dog feed. Even bigger commercial brands with a working dog formula opt for profit over a diet being species-appropriate for a highly active dog.

Border Collie X Kelpie

What this means is most working dog formulas are made almost in their entirety with cereals and/or cereal by-products, and very often wheat. A pet food manufacturer would argue an active dog needs grains and high carbohydrates for energy, but the truth is these ingredients are just dirt cheap. It also works very well as a product, as most farms and owners of working dogs would rather feed these dogs cheaply rather than correctly.

Dogs are essentially carnivorous, and the best form of energy for a cross breed like a Border Collie / Australian Kelpie mix is one rich in animal ingredients, animal protein, and animal fat. All dogs utilise animal protein and fat highly efficiently for not just energy, but building muscle and retaining optimal health.

In contrast, an active dog may burn off the carbohydrates in a pet feed formulated mostly from cereals, but any they don’t will turn to sugar, and the indigestibility of such species-inappropriate ingredients will likely take a long term toll on organ health. The first sign of poor health will be dry skin, dry coat, and likely an itchy scratchy dog.

As a recommendation to both the owners of Border Collie X Kelpie working dogs and family dogs, do your best to offer them a diet rich in animal/whole prey ingredients. Many farmers have easy access to fresh raw ingredients, and growing trends in the cities means these should also be available from local butchers.

In terms of commercial dog foods, any on our best rated list are a good start given these have a primary focus on meat protein and fat, or refer to our working dog food list.

Border Collie X Kelpie Videos

A video says a million words (or something like that), so here’s a couple of short YouTube videos of the Border Collie X Kelpie mix:

Training a Border Collie Kelpie cross:

Source: Off Leash K9

This great video discusses the various Border Collie cross breeds, but very applicable to the Australian Kelpie mix as well:

Source: All Things Dogs

Border Collie X Kelpie Photos

Photos of Border Collie X Kelpies (puppies and adults):

Border Collie X Kelpie

Border Collie X Kelpie stats

The Border Collie and Australian Kelpie have many similarities in size, weight, activity, and intelligence, so it comes as no surprise a Border Collie Kelpie mix will have similar traits.

Both breeds, and the cross breed, fall under the category of “herding dog” or sheepdogs.

Height and weight

Border Collies and Kelpies are similar in height and weight. Kelpies range from 11kg to 20kg compared to a Border Collie ranging 14kg to 22kg. Kelpie height can range 41cm to 51cm, and Border Collie height from 48cm to 56cm.

Border Collie Kelpie mixes tend to have a height around 50cm and weigh from 14 to 21kg (mostly depending on sex, activity level, and diet).


There are subtle differences between the two breeds, but both are energetic, intelligent, generally friendly, and fiercely loyal.

The Border Collie is considered very intelligent, and the Kelpie from mid to high intelligence. Border Collies tend to need more social interaction and stimulus, and can become more destructive when bored. Kelpie’s need less interaction due to their more calm and gentle nature.

In terms of hunting prey, the Kelpie has a higher drive compared to the more average prey drive of a Border Collie.


Although it’s possible for a Border Collie or Kelpie to live over 20 years, the average lifespan is between 10 to 17 years. Hopefully the information on this page regarding suitable diet for this cross breed will allow your dog to have a fuller, longer life.

Where to buy a Border Collie Kelpie Cross

As a cross breed these can be hard to get hold of compared to a pure breed Border Collie or Australian Kelpie. Some good starting points are as follows:


If you have a Border Collie / Australian Kelpie cross and have any tips or information to add then please leave a comment! What do you feed them, and how has it worked for you and your dog?

Hopefully this Border Collie X Kelpie Cross guide has been a good start to assessing the breed, and hopefully offers insight into the healthiest diet for the breed.

Calling Aussie pet lovers – join the mailing list!

David D'Angelo

David D'Angelo has worked as a scientist since graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 2000. In addition, David holds a CPD accredited Diploma in Pet Nutrition as well as being CPD accredited VSA (Veterinary Support Assistant). However, his experience and involvement in the pet food industry for 15+ years has given true insight into pet food, formulations, science, research, and pet food marketing. Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Pinterest

  1. I have a border kelpie I adopted from the animal shelter. She’s the most intelligent, loyal and loving dog. Weighing in at 22kg, I highly recommend this mix for anyone looking for an active dog suitable for suburban family life. My girl exercises daily at the dog park and enjoys walks. Very low maintenance girl who is happy chilling at home with the air con on a hot day. If looking specifically for this breed try animal shelters and rescue organisations first as many end up in these places as they don’t make it as a working dog. My girl thrives on a mixed diet of high quality kibble mixed with a small amount of wet food plus raw meaty bones.

  2. I have a border collie x kelpie called Gibbs- I got him expecting him to be smaller than what he is now- 31 kg, but not fat, about 100 cm long, with extra long legs. He is a big black dog, with floppy ears, and some white on the chest. He does shed a lot during seasonal change, and is very loving and gentle. He saved my life and I never taught him anything about it. Extremely intelligent and independent. ❤️

Leave a reply

Pet Food Reviews (Australia)
Shopping cart