Weekly Times Now; Chris McLennan | February 8, 2012
AUSTRALIA’S most famous dog breed, the Kelpie, has an identity crisis.
A tug of war is being played out between Kelpie organisations over what constitutes the fair-dinkum article.
Differences between the working Kelpie and its show-ring siblings have been shown up by the Victorian Government’s new anti-puppy farming laws.
Despite some breeders of working Kelpies being able to trace their dog’s lineage back 15 generations, they are not considered pedigree.
But breeders of show Kelpies that are registered as pure-bred animals are able to comply with the new legislation, which was introduced on January 1.
Under the newly revised Domestic Animal Act, breeders can pursue the costly, lengthy and difficult path of registration as a “domestic animal business” with their municipal council.
Breeders may also belong “to an applicable breeding organisation” such as Dogs Victoria.
Kelpies are already represented by Dogs Victoria, which is allied to several breed groups, including the Australian Kelpie Club of Victoria.
These Kelpies are exhibited in the Working Dogs (Group 5) class.
The true working dogs, which are represented by groups such as the Working Kelpie Council, do not belong toDogs Victoria.
Dogs Victoria upholds Kelpies to be a different “standard” to those most often seen on the farms. The show dogs are registered as a pure breed through the Australian National Kennel Council.
Dogs Victoria has this week suggested working dogs could also seek their protection for breeders through a “sporting register” as distinct from other Kelpies.
For a $115.50 joining fee, plus registration of $39 a dog and the added cost of microchipping, the working dogs would meet the requirements of the new laws.
Dogs Victoria management committee member Lionel Bleakley said he considered working dogs as pure-bred, but they did not have the correct registration as specified by the new laws.
Australian Kelpie Club of Victoria president Stephen Gambling said including the working Kelpies under the Dogs Victoria umbrella would likely cause confusion.