Golden opportunity to secure proven working Kelpie genetics at Kirkcaldy stud dispersal

Renown Queensland Kelpie breeder and trainer Peter Austin will disperse Working Kelpies of Kirkcaldy after 48 years of selling dogs throughout Australia and the world. Image courtesy Austin family

One of the nation’s foremost Kelpie breeders and trainers, Peter Austin, is stepping into retirement, opening a golden and rare opportunity to secure young dogs from proven bloodlines over generations and fully trained on sheep, cattle and goats.

Peter and his wife Kate will disperse their Kelpie stud, Working Kelpies of Kirkcaldy, based at Blackbutt, Queensland, this month, offering 22 working/breeding dogs and bitches along with the business and domain names.

The “Calling Time” Working Kelpies of Kirkcaldy dispersal will be a timed sale on AuctionsPlus in conjunction with Hartwig & Bliss Livestock on June 26 to 30.

The dispersal represents a rare opportunity to purchase superior Kelpie genetics from a stud which has a history of 48 years of selling dogs throughout Australia and to Japan, USA, Canada, and Mexico.

“There are few, if any, Kelpie studs today that can claim almost 50 years of breeding with the same genetic pool. This pool has developed over the years allowing many dominant traits to continue,” Mr Austin said.

“The ongoing traits of the foundation sire Rockybar Ripper is one example. He was a big strong dog with excellent nature and temperament, and a natural working ability in almost any situation and livestock.

“These traits have been handed down to Kirkcaldy Doc, the grand sire of many of the dogs in the dispersal, giving buyers the opportunity to acquire a dog from these proven bloodlines. All the good young bitches listed in the dispersal go back to Rockybar Ripper on the dam side.

“We haven’t offered any young dogs for sale over the last 12 months in preparation for this dispersal. The dogs catalogued are all aged from 14 months to four years, with many lots displaying very smart foot work, a big searching cast and are clean about their work.”

A feature lot is Kirkcaldy Dream (Kirkcaldy Doc x Kirkcaldy Jess), a red and tan bitch displaying exceptional natural working ability, a calm temperament, medium eye, good cover and classy footwork.

“Dream is the ‘go to’ bitch for sheep and cattle. She will lead cattle and force with presence,” Mr Austin said.

“Kirkcaldy Meg (Kirkcaldy Butch x Kirkcaldy Gabby) is another outstanding lot who will make a great worker and breeding bitch for the discerning buyer. She has a big wide searching cast and great holding ability with classic footwork that comes with this breeding. Her dam has a proven record as a brood bitch of high-quality natural workers.

“Of the males, there are many big strong, good-natured dogs suitable for paddock, yard and truck. There is a mix of black and tan, and red and tan dogs – all big headed and prick eared.

“Kirkcaldy Bear is the last male dog by Kirkcaldy Boss and is suitable as a worker and sire for the discerning buyer as he will breed litters with strong heading abilities.

“Of the 22 dogs on offer, 20 lots will work sheep, cattle and goats. There are nine lots from a particular bitch, Gabby (by Kirkcaldy Doc) for those seeking strong maternal genetics.

“We have never lost sight of line breeding to keep those genetics intact. There is about a dozen bitches ideal as breeding bitches with their ability, eye and style.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking for a quality brood bitch or sire – not just a superior young working dog.”

Mr Austin believes the fundamental characteristics in working dogs are a faultless nature and temperament, sound conformation, high fidelity and concentration, a strong desire to cast or head stock, shepherding and holding ability, willing compliance and an untiring stamina.

He has aimed to breed versatile dogs for every day station work on all classes of stock using their natural instinct.

“We are looking for early starters but in saying that some of the better paddock dogs will start later. I like dogs with tails down, ability to concentrate and stick at the job.

“We pay a lot of attention to carefully matching a dog with a person’s requirements. No matter what age you get a dog, the handler must bond with them, then start them on small mobs of livestock to develop that working bond.

“In the last 14 years we have sold 750 dogs alone and more than 2000 dogs over 48 years. The sires we have used have been genuine, consistent workers and their progeny have bred on.”

All of the Kelpies offered in the dispersal have Kirkcaldy Marco bloodlines, a sire who became known for his working demonstrations at agricultural field days nation-wide.

Working Kelpies of Kirkcaldy was established in 1976 when well-bred Kelpies became vital for Peter’s work on a large Victorian sheep and cattle station.

Peter and Kate purchased Glenville Tammy (Port Patrick Taj x Glenville Jean) and Wyreema Jillie (Wyreema Sweeney x Wyvelloe Pattie) as their foundation dams. Rockybar Ripper was purchased for $1000 in 1977 as an eight-year-old proven worker, trial dog and sire. In four years, he sired over 100 pups for the stud and was known for his huge searching cast over a big distance with an excellent lift and draw, great cover, medium eye and excellent temperament.

Peter and Kate travelled widely to learn from the master breeders of Frank Scanlon, Bill Prendergast, Les Tarrant, Bert Bromham, Mike Donelan and Gordon McMaster. The couple pioneered dog auctions in Australia, holding the first major auction sale of Kelpie sheep dogs in 1982 at Mortlake with 48 dogs selling under the hammer to five states.

The stud had a nucleus of about 10 breeding bitches and four sires, producing 75 to 100 pups a year. They were grouped into four main families which are genetically similar.

Over the years, Peter and Kate have given working dog demonstrations at sheep shows, agricultural field days around Australia, an international congress, agricultural colleges, and helped coordinate the National Kelpie Trial at Mortlake.

For all enquiries relating to the dogs contact Peter Austin on 0407 503 456.