How we started

The Koolie Club of Australia Inc. was formed in April 2000, by a small group of Koolie enthusiasts who wished to bring people together who had a common interest, to share knowledge and understanding of a wonderful breed of working dog. They all knew that Koolies are naturally very talented dogs that do well at any work they are put to from working sheep, goats and cattle on farms and stations, on transports and in sale yards, gently working dairy cows, fronting up to scrub cattle or droving the long paddock.

When they got together they realized what they saw as special traits in their own “great dog” were in fact normal Koolie traits.

Not only are Koolies great at traditional work, they also excel in dog sports such as agility, tracking, trieball and obedience and they are also successfully used in such things as rescue, pets for therapy, quarantine work, explosive detection dogs as well as making great companion dogs in suitable circumstances.

The Koolie Club of Australia Inc. has gone on to promote these talents, to educate potential purchasers of the talents and needs of their Koolies and also to welcome into their membership all who think in a like way and want to share good fellowship while promoting these ideals.

The Koolie Club of Australia Inc. was the first club formed for the breed and is not affiliated in any way to any other group, association or ruling body. This gives us total independence on how we run our club. The club has been set up in a legal and safe manner with a good size committee to manage its affairs openly with regularly reporting to Consumer Affairs as required under rules of incorporation.

If you are interested in the future of the Koolie, like to socialize, with your dog, you are welcome to visit our meetings or become a member, and we will celebrate with you!!!!

About the Koolie Club

The Koolie Club of Australia Inc. currently has over 250 members across Australia and welcomes members from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany to its ranks as well. Our members range from several breeders with over 40 years experience breeding working Koolies, many with 15 or 20 years, through to people who have just found Koolies. Our past Patron Mr. Frank Kelm, who passed away in 2010 had over 50 years experience working and breeding Koolies, his reputation and dogs are known all over Australia.

All are welcome - our intention is to enjoy good company, learn from each other and keep an open mind to the ideas of others.

We do not tell people how to breed their dogs, we give our members credit for knowing what they want to achieve to suit their own situation, but we are here to offer suggestions or assistance if inexperienced or experienced breeders feel they need some advice or ideas. For this reason we have not laid down a 'breed standard' at this time as we accept that the different styles of Koolies suit the many and varied jobs they undertake. We also feel that we need to give the breed time to evolve a little before trying to mould the physical attributes to a 'standard'. It is however necessary for breeders to aim to improve their lines from each breeding. The commitment and expense of breeding deserves to bring a positive outcome. To assist breeders and purchasers to achieve their goals we have adopted a guide call the "The Koolie Fundamentals" which describes clearly the points of a structurally sound working Koolie.

Although Koolies have been around since the 1800's this is the first register and after 10 years and 760+ registrations it is still in it's infancy, time will see breeding within the gene pool evolve a style and size of koolie most suited to today and maybe then we can consider a 'standard'.
One thing we have come to realize is that Koolies all have a wonderful personality, temperament and will to work and it is our main aim to retain these attributes in our breed.

We understand and accept that not all Koolies are suited to all situations, but we do our best to place appropriate dogs in appropriate homes, not all our members need a red hot working dog, but are happy living with the wonderful personality and temperament. This is not to say they couldn't decide to dabble in some herding or other discipline and find they have a dog that does quite well for them.

We will not be subjecting owners and their dogs to 'instinct testing' to see if they make the grade. We believe the majority of Koolies have a natural instinct and will not penalize a dog because its owner has not got the skill to bring that ability to the fore or because the dog is not in a situation best suited to it being able to work.

We prefer to assist owners to learn the best methods to nurture that instinct and to see dog and owner evolve.
Because we accept that some Koolies end up in the wrong place for them, this club supports Australian Koolie Rescue who have an excellent success rate re-homing Koolies who have ended up in the wrong place.
If you feel that rehoming a Koolie is for you,search online for Australian Koolie Rescue.

Why is it Spelt Koolie ?

The spelling of the name Koolie has come under some discussion. At the inaugural meeting in April 2000 it was discussed at some length. Obviously if the club was to be set up as an entity one spelling would have to be used to run a bank account, be on letterhead and be registered for incorporation.

It was decided that the majority of people seemed to use Coolie or Koolie but the use of Koolie would set the breed apart for those unfamiliar with the breed when Coolie and Collie were so easily confused.  Members are welcome to use whatever they like but in relation to the club and registrations Koolie would give consistency and cause less confusion.

In the past the breed has often been called German Koolie or German Coolie or even German Collie, in recent years this has evolved to Australian Koolie as the breed evolved here in Australia and is not known in Germany. Research into the origins of the breed is ongoing but it seems that the name evolved from wording like "the German's Koolie" as there were certainly German working dogs bought with German settlers in the mid 1800's. The breed most like the Koolie that is active in Germany is the Tigér which is a working dog known mainly to the Agricultural world there, like the Koolie is here. It is interesting to note that the German language does not have an equivalent to our "C" and uses "K" for all of our uses of "C".

Stud Register

There has been a stud register established recording dogs, what ancestors are known and any breeding that is done.  A certificate is issued for each dog with details of characteristics such as colour, coat  length, ear set, eye colour and percentage of white on each dog.  Where room permits as many of these characteristics are recorded as possible for 5 generations so owners get a genetic snapshot of their dog.

At this time the register is open, so dogs with unknown parentage can be registered.

The Koolie register is in sections to cater for different circumstances: Section A dogs have both parents already recorded in the register. Section B has no registered history but is known or obviously a Koolie, or only one parent is already registered in A or B. Section C is for known or obvious cross bred dogs but does require one Koolie as one of the parents. Crosses will only be accepted when to related breeds. The offspring of Section C can only move to Section B regardless of whether the Koolie parent is already registered in Section B or A. Section C is NOT for creating new crosses as in first cross Koolie x ?  Section C allows people with good working dogs that have a non Koolie ancestor to still be part of the Koolie community and breed towards pure Koolies. Section P is for Koolies only suitable as pets or dogs breeders feel are not suitable for breeding but are quite able to be working dogs or companion dogs, no offspring are registered from Section P dogs.  There are currently over 1400 dogs registered.

Beware of imitations! Others have tried to benefit from the positives of registration with the Koolie Club of Australia, issuing certificates that mimic our own. It is worth double checking that when you purchase a “registered Koolie” or seek to use a stud dog that the registration is with The Koolie Club of Australia as we cannot verify any records from other bodies.

What are the benefits of registration? As a breeder you are proving you are open and honest about the breeding of your dogs. Registration verifies your records and keeps the history and details of the ancestors of your dogs on record where they will follow through to future generations. Once you sell your registered Koolie purchasers who breed and register their offspring have the correct history which includes your Prefix on any dogs you bred in the Ancestry, so future purchasers know to give you the credit you deserve.

As a purchaser you know the details supplied to you are consistent and reliable. Also more detailed than “the sire is the neighbours Blackie…good dog that”. You know your breeder is open and reliable regarding the details they are offering you. Don't be afraid to ask to see the registration certificate of the parents prior to purchase, unlike other registers our certificates carry information on physical traits for several generations. Such things as coat length, ear set, percentage of merle and eye colour are included so you can get an indication of the puppies potential and it's potential for breeding.  A breeder happy to show you the certification is open and honest. Our aim is to have the most accurate information possible, occasionally information will come to light that has been verified that allows us to update pedigrees to include more information or more accuracy. Certificates with hand written information cannot be verified by the club as accurate information. 

The next step the Koolie Club of Australia is working on implementing is the Koolie Pedigree Assurance Program. This will be voluntary; Koolies that have their DNA certified will have their registration number appended with a “D”. To achieve this the dog must be micro-chipped at the time of swabbing with the number recorded with the sample. Samples must be taken from an authorised collector, which includes vets. In this way any offspring of two DNA profiled Koolies can be verified as an offspring of both parents after they too are DNA sampled. Any doubt of parentage is scientifically proven or dis-proven. This is only one advantage of DNA testing, already there are many health tests that can be run on DNA with more being developed all the time. Once your dog is certified new health tests can be undertaken without needing to re-swab your dog. Any health DNA health test your dog has been through will also be recorded, so breeding decisions can be made fully informed.

Without registration with the Koolie Club of Australia, everything is a guess.

National Registration

Koolies registered with the Koolie Club of Australia Inc. are accepted for registration on the state Sporting Registers such as the Victorian Canine Association, Royal New South Wales Canine Council and the Queensland Canine Council.  Koolies on these sporting registers can now compete in events run by those bodies such as herding, obedience, agility, tracking and receive full recognition by most as Koolies, in all results published and on certificates.  They can also compete without the requirement of being de-sexed before entering.  For further information on the Sporting Registers contact your state canine control.