Formation of Working Kelpie Council
The Working Kelpie Council was formed in 1965, although the need for such an organisation had been discussed continuously during the previous decade. With the natural loss of the men who have successfully brought the breed through to modern times, the lack of active encouragement by the various Sheep Dog Workers’ Associations towards pure breeding, and more importantly the damage being done by the supply to the Pastoral Industry of the Show Kelpies which through sheer lack of selection for working ability, had been deteriorating rapidly over the last twenty years or more, it was felt that unless something was done the reputation of the pure-bred Working Kelpie would be affected. The Working Kelpie Council was formed to counteract the buyer resistance to the pure-bred Kelpie and to ensure the future of the breed as a working sheepdog for all time.
Formed along the lines of other breed associations, the Council operates as a service to the man on the land as well as the Breed. From the very beginning emphasis and encouragement was given to the need to register and record breeding activities and individuals were encouraged to think in terms of developing small studs rather than just to breed for their own needs.
A Breeders’ Directory was established by the accredited breeders of the day and encouragement was given to prospective breeders by the inclusion of a provisional list. All new breeders are restricted to this section until the ability of the stock being produced has been established. The Breeders’ Directory was an immediate success and within months proved that it was a service well overdue; the overwhelming support from the Pastoral and Agricultural Industries both in Australia and overseas has done a great deal to establish the Council as Australia’s national authority for the Breed.
Being a national organization the need to have centrally situated records became essential and for a considerable time the WKC negotiated with the various State official canine bodies in an effort to gain their co-operation. However, lack of unity between the States hampered progress. With some regret, after two and a half years of negotiating, failing to achieve a solution, the Council was forced to implement its own National Stud Register in October 1967. The first volume of the National Stud Book was issued in November 1967, listing 676 individual dogs. Further volume s have been issued at regular intervals with entries now being received for Volume 51, making a total of well over 48,000 working strain Kelpies (as of year 2009) recorded in the main Stud Book as well as over 17000 recorded in the Appendix Stud books which are issued separately. The Working Kelpie Council National Stud Books are copyrighted as they are issued and, for the convenience of the general public, copies are issued to all Australian Capital City Public Libraries and to local and overseas Agricultural Departments etc., as well as being available for purchase by the general public.